Perfectly Grilled Shrimp
Yield: 3-4 entrée servings or 5-6 appetizer servings
No more tough, rubbery shrimp! You can have tender, juicy shrimp with a golden sear thanks to this simple technique. Perfectly seasoned with convenient advance prep. Broiling option included.


  • 1 pound extra-large or jumbo shrimp, thawed, peeled, and deveined (tails on or off, as preferred), rinsed and patted dry
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon each baking soda, garlic powder, and smoked paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (this adds flavor without heat; use ¼ teaspoon for a touch of heat)
  • 1 tablespoon (14ml) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (could sub lime juice)
  • Optional for serving: lemon wedges and/or a sprinkle of fresh parsley


  1. Before you start: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 20-30 minutes and up to several hours to prevent burning on the grill. I’ve even let the skewers soak overnight.

    Season the shrimp: In a small bowl, mix the salt, baking soda, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Place the shrimp in a large bowl and sprinkle it evenly with the seasoning blend, tossing to fully coat.

    Skewer and refrigerate the shrimp: Thread the shrimp onto the skewers, pushing them so they are nestled closely together; how many shrimp you thread on each skewer will depend on length of skewer. (Helpful hint: To prevent the shrimp from spinning, stick them in two places – once through the top and again near the tail.) Lay the skewers on top of a cooling rack set over a baking sheet (longer skewers can be propped up on the sides a baking dish). You want the air to flow all around to dry the surface. Place the shrimp in the refrigerator and allow to rest, uncovered, for at least 1 hour and not more than 2 hours. (In a hurry? If the shrimp have been patted dry, you will still have a good outcome if you cook them now.)

    To grill: When ready to grill, preheat the grill to medium high and, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil and lemon juice. Set aside.

    Grill the shrimp over direct, medium high heat for 5-7 minutes total, turning the shrimp several times. I close the lid but do open every minute or so to turn the shrimp. In the final minute or two, baste the shrimp all over with the olive oil/lemon mixture.

    To broil: Alternatively, broil the shrimp 4 inches from the heat for 1½ – 2 minutes on each side. Brush all over with the reserved olive oil/lemon juice mixture. If the shrimp are larger and not quite done, place back under the broiler and cook for another 1-2 minutes, watching carefully so as not to overcook and flipping after a minute if not done.

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