Beer Boiled Peel & Eat Shrimp
Yield: 4 entrée or 8-10 appetizer servings (recipe can easily be halved)
Flavor-packed peel & eat shrimp add fun to backyard barbecues, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and lots of festive occasions in between. Plus, they're quick and easy enough to enjoy at the end of a long workday!


  • 2 pounds raw jumbo (21-25 per pound) shrimp in shell*
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer** (like a lager or wheat beer—not an IPA or hoppy beer, which can become bitter when cooked. I use Corona.)
  • 12 ounces (1½ cups) water (you can fill the beer bottle to measure)
  • 3 tablespoons (24g) Old Bay seasoning
  • For serving: extra Old Bay, lemon or lime wedges, melted butter, and/or cocktail sauce (Speedy Cocktail Sauce is a great homemade option)


  1. To a large pot or Dutch oven, add the beer, water, and Old Bay seasoning and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the shrimp, cover, and cook for 2-5 minutes or until the shrimp have just barely turned pink. (Helpful hint: Although the liquid may not return to a boil after the cold shrimp are added, cooking time starts as soon as they are added to the pot.) Stir 2 or 3 times for even cooking. To produce the most tender shrimp, remove the pot from the heat when the shrimp are just short of done (they’ve just turned pink and you see no patches of gray), as the carryover heat will continue to cook them. Drain the shrimp.
  3. Sprinkle the drained shrimp with more Old Bay seasoning to taste and serve with lemon or lime wedges, cocktail sauce, and/or melted butter. The shrimp may also be refrigerated and served cold.


*You can cook frozen or thawed shrimp. Thawed shrimp cook very quickly, while frozen shrimp will likely take the longer end of the recommended cooking time. It’s also helpful to stir frozen shrimp an extra time or two, as they tend to stick together in clumps when frozen.

Using a different size shrimp? Any size will work, simply adjust the cooking time. Small, thawed shrimp will take barely a minute, and frozen colossal will require the upper end of the recommended cooking time. Thankfully, it’s easy to judge by looking at the shrimp.

**Need a gluten-free recipe? I use Corona, which is considered gluten-free, although it is not certified as such because barley is used in the production. To explain, Corona and Corona Light have been tested to under 20ppm (parts per million), and the FDA considers a level of gluten under 20ppm to be gluten-free. If there’s any doubt based on a diner who has Celiac or an allergy, you may wish to err on the side of caution or consult them. Alternatively, a certified GF beer could be used.

Serving tip: When entertaining, I often place some Fresh Naps (the individual hand wipes) on the table for a fun yet practical touch.

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