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How to Grill Shrimp

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Traeger Jerk Shrimp_RE_HE_M

Grilled shrimp is an excellent appetizer or added dish for special occasions and outdoor parties alike. It cooks quickly, takes a variety of flavor combinations well, and is easy to find in most grocery stores. Whether you’re new to grilling shrimp, looking for a quick refresher, or want some recipe inspiration, you’ve come to the right place.


Do You Season or Marinate Shrimp Before Grilling It?

You can and should marinate or season your shrimp before grilling it. Marinades generally take a little longer. You should marinate shrimp for no less than 30 minutes, but you can quickly toss shrimp in seasoning just before grilling.

If you opt for a marinade, you can generally let your shrimp sit, refrigerated, for up to eight hours. There’s an exception, however, if you use citrus in the marinade. Because its acidic properties break down proteins, shrimp can get soggy and mushy if it’s marinated in citrus juice for more than two hours.

How Long Does Shrimp Take to Grill?

At 350 degrees Fahrenheit, shrimp take 5 to 7 minutes total grilling time. That means about 2 to 3 minutes per side. You’ll be able to tell when your shrimp are done cooking because they will turn opaque and pink.

Do You Leave the Shell on When Grilling Shrimp?

You can grill shrimp with or without the shells. Some folks prefer to leave the shell on during grilling because it keeps the shrimp tender when cooked over high heat. If you decide to remove the shell before grilling, keep a close eye on your shrimp so they don’t overcook.

How Do You Grill Shrimp Without Drying It Out?

If you’re worried about drying out your shrimp on the grill, we recommend marinating your shrimp and then grilling them with their shells. We also suggest grilling your shrimp at a more modest temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 3 minutes per side rather than flash-grilling over higher heat. When you flash-grill shrimp over high heat, more liquid evaporates which could cause dry shrimp.

Can You Grill Frozen Shrimp?

You should thaw frozen shrimp before cooking it. If you don’t thaw frozen shrimp, the seasoning is unlikely to stick to the shrimp during the cooking process. Also, your shrimp won’t cook evenly and may be unsafe to serve. If you try to cook frozen shrimp, the outside can look done while the insides remain raw.

To thaw frozen shrimp, put them in a sealed plastic bag and submerge them until they’re fully thawed. It only takes 10 to 20 minutes to thaw frozen shrimp. After the shrimp have fully thawed, remove excess water by patting them with paper towels. Once your shrimp are thawed and the excess water is removed, you’re ready to season and grill.

What to Eat With Grilled Shrimp

Unlike a steak or fish fillet, shrimp is a team player that adds flavor to other dishes. We love shrimp served with cocktail sauce, on a skewer, or in fettuccine alfredo. These common dishes are also good ways to use shrimp.

  • Tacos
  • Pasta
  • Fried rice
  • Grain salad
  • Bean salad
  • Sandwiches
  • Pad Thai

How to Make Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

For a tasty new take on the classic shrimp cocktail, try this recipe with homemade cocktail sauce.

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 2


  • 2 pounds shrimp with tails, deveined

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • To taste kosher salt

  • To taste freshly ground black pepper

  • Hot sauce

  • Italian parsley, chopped

  • Before you start cooking or seasoning, make sure your shrimp is prepared. If they haven’t been deveined, now is the time to do so. With a small knife, cut a line lengthwise down the shrimp’s belly. Remove the large vein going through the shrimp -- it’s actually an intestine and you don’t want to eat the contents.

  • Preheat your Traeger to 350 degrees Fahrenheit with the lid closed.

  • While the grill is preheating, combining the shrimp with the oil and Old Bay Seasoning in a large bowl. Alternatively, you can simply season with salt and pepper in the oil. Toss shrimp until well covered.

  • Grill the shrimp on a baking sheet for 5 to 7 minutes, turning halfway through. Cook until the shrimp are opaque and pink, then remove from the grill.

  • For the cocktail sauce, combine the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. If you’d like an extra kick, add your hot sauce of choice.

Serve your shrimp alongside the cocktail sauce in a small bowl and garnish with parsley.

Grilled Shrimp Recipes

After you’ve mastered the basics of a shrimp cocktail, you may want to experiment with other flavors and recipes. Here are a few of our top grilled shrimp recipes to get you started.

Cajun Smoked Shrimp


Get that Cajun flavor without trekking to New Orleans with this easy smoked shrimp recipe.

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Chinese Jumbo Shrimp


Shrimp are a staple of Chinese cuisine, and it doesn’t get much easier than a simple marinade that captures those umami flavors.

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 1½ pounds uncooked shrimp, per person
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 cup sweet sherry
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Traeger Asian BBQ Rub

Smoked Shrimp and Grits


Shrimp and grits are a Southern Lowcountry delicacy, but you don’t have to be brunching in Savannah to enjoy this delightful flavor combination.

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 1 cup quick grits
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 ounce of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut in 1½-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Spicy Shrimp Skewers

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Skewers_RE_HE_M

Thai street food is famous for its flavor and portability. These spicy shrimp skewers will take you right back to the streets of Bangkok.

Cooking time: 6 minutes

Serves: 4


  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 Thai chiles
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Traeger Winemaker's Napa Valley Rub
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Grilled Shrimp Tacos


Get a taste of tropical flavor with these zesty grilled shrimp tacos.

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Serves: 2


  • 20 raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Kosher Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil, for frying
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 lime, zested
  • As needed shredded green cabbage
  • As needed diced Roma tomatoes
  • As needed avocado, sliced

Traeger Jerk Shrimp

Traeger Jerk Shrimp_RE_HE_M

Move over jerk chicken, this recipe for jerk shrimp comes together in minutes and is a zesty and bold appetizer that’s sure to impress.

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 8


  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 lime zest
  • 2 pounds shrimp in shell
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp


If you think everything tastes better with bacon, you’ll love this recipe that calls for as much bacon as shrimp.

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 10 large jumbo shrimp
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 10 strips bacon

Grilled Texas Spicy Shrimp


If you’re a fan of food with an extra kick, this recipe for Texas spicy shrimp will keep you and your friends and family happy and snacking.

Cooking time: 6 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 2 pounds jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • To taste salt
  • To taste ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 whole jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 cup Traeger Texas Spicy BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Grilled Cajun Shrimp

by Traeger Kitchen

Prep Time

20 Min

Cook Time

5 Min





Give your taste buds a pop of Cajun flavor, it will keep them rocking long past dinnertime. Plan ahead--the shrimp marinates for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

1/4 Cupextra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TablespoonCajun seasoning
1 Teaspoonkosher salt
2 Poundraw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1

    In a large resealable bag, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Cajun seasoning, and salt. Add the shrimp and massage through the bag to coat. Seal the bag and marinate the shrimp in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

  • 2

    When ready to cook, set Traeger temperature to 450° and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes.

  • 3

    Thread the shrimp onto skewers and place directly on the hot grill grate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side until the flesh is opaque. Serve and enjoy!

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