With summer upon us, many people are beginning to spend more time grilling their food outdoors and are looking for new ideas for tasty summer meals. Shrimp is a popular summertime treat because it tastes good for one, but also because shrimp is a versatile food that can be used to make a wide variety of appetizers and meals.
One problem people have when they grill shrimp is that the shrimp often ends up a little dried out and not as tasty as they’d like it to be. If you’ve struggled with this problem and are looking for the secret that will leave your grilled shrimp juicy and packed with flavor then you need to keep reading.
Bigger Is Better
When you are buying shrimp to grill buy the biggest you can find. The large and jumbo size shrimp will retain more juices while they’re cooking, whereas smaller shrimp will dry out quicker. Buying big shrimp will also make them easier to handle while grilling and will keep them from falling through the grate, as small shrimp often do.
Preparing Your Shrimp
Most people recommend deveining your shrimp before cooking it, but this is an entirely optional step. You might be able to purchase shrimp that has already been deveined, and if you can, why not go ahead and buy it that way. If you can’t buy deveined shrimp and you want to devein it yourself, you can do so fairly easily by slicing it lengthwise along the back with a knife or kitchen shears and then use the tip of the knife to lift the vein up and pull it out.
Leave the shell on the shrimp, even if you slice it to devein it, leave the shell on. This is the secret to keeping the shrimp nice and juicy. Coat the shrimp with either some vegetable oil or olive oil, which will help to lock in the juices and adds flavor and it will prevent the shrimp from sticking to the grill.
Cooking Your Shrimp
Make sure the grill is nice and hot before you start grilling the shrimp. If you use a gas grill, allow enough time for it to heat up completely, which should probably take about 10 minutes. If you use a charcoal grill, you can start placing the shrimp on the grill when the charcoal has become covered with white ash.
Keep a close eye on the shrimp while it’s grilling because it will cook pretty fast. Depending on how big the shrimp is it could take anywhere from 5 to 9 minutes to cook completely. You’ll know the shrimp is done cooking when each side turns an opaque color.
Some people wait for the shrimp to begin to curl, but you don’t really want to do this as it may be overcooked by that point. Also, if the shell is sticking to the meat, it’s overcooked. Not only will the shell almost fall off the shrimp when it is grilled perfectly, but the shrimp will burst with flavor and juices when you pop one into your mouth.