Grill Perfect: Preventing Shrimp Mishaps on the BBQ

Grilling shrimp on a barbecue can be a tricky task. The small size of the shrimp makes it easy for them to slip through the grill grates and into the fiery depths below. However, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can prevent these shrimp mishaps and grill your shrimp to perfection. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a barbecue beginner, these tips will help you achieve perfectly grilled shrimp every time.

Choose the Right Shrimp

When it comes to grilling, not all shrimp are created equal. Larger shrimp are easier to handle on the grill and are less likely to fall through the grates. Look for shrimp that are labeled as jumbo or colossal. These shrimp are typically 16/20 or 10/15 count, which means there are 16-20 or 10-15 shrimp per pound. The larger the shrimp, the fewer there are per pound.

Prep Your Shrimp

Before you start grilling, make sure your shrimp are properly prepared. This means peeling and deveining them. You can leave the tail on for a nice presentation and easier handling on the grill. It’s also a good idea to marinate your shrimp for about 30 minutes before grilling. This will add flavor and help prevent them from drying out on the grill.

Use Skewers or a Grill Basket

One of the easiest ways to prevent shrimp from falling through the grill grates is to use skewers or a grill basket. Skewers hold the shrimp in place and make them easier to flip. If you’re using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning. A grill basket is another great option. It keeps the shrimp contained and allows for easy flipping without the risk of any shrimp falling through the grates.

Monitor Your Grill Temperature

Shrimp cook quickly, so it’s important to monitor your grill temperature. You want a medium-high heat for grilling shrimp. If the grill is too hot, the shrimp will burn on the outside before they’re cooked on the inside. If it’s too cool, the shrimp won’t get that nice charred flavor. Aim for a grill temperature of around 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Don’t Overcook Your Shrimp

Finally, be careful not to overcook your shrimp. Overcooked shrimp can be tough and rubbery. Shrimp are done when they turn pink and opaque. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes per side on the grill. Remember, they will continue to cook for a minute or two after you remove them from the grill, so it’s better to err on the side of undercooking them slightly.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to grill shrimp to perfection. Happy grilling!