3 Best Ways To Grill Shrimp

Grilling is an excellent way to enhance the flavor of any dish, and grilled shrimp is no exception. With a cooking time of approximately 5 minutes, shrimp is one of the quickest foods to grill. Its delicate yet substantial flavor lends itself well to various cooking techniques and flavor combinations. This versatile seafood can shine as a side dish or take center stage as the highlight of your meal.

Here are three methods to grill this delightful seafood to perfection.

Shrimp Directly On The Grill

shrimp directly on grill

Grilling shrimp directly on the grill is a timeless and widely-used technique. It's likely that if you've grilled shrimp before, you've used this method.

A delicious sauce is the perfect accompaniment to enhance the flavors of classically grilled shrimp. Chef Bobby Flay provides a smoky grilled tomato cocktail sauce in this grilled shrimp recipe.  He combines grilled, smoky tomatoes with a medley of flavors such as Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, horseradish, and spices to create a rich and tangy cocktail sauce with a unique twist.

There are some important considerations when placing the shrimp directly on the grill, such as the risk of sticking or overcooking. We've included a few tips to help you avoid these pitfalls to ensure your grilled shrimp turns out perfectly.

Pro Tips:

  • Prepare your outdoor grill by arranging your coals evenly and positioning your grate for high heat. This will typically take about 45 minutes for a charcoal grill or one hour for a fire pit grill. If you have a SIF Grilling System, adjust the height of your grill grate to achieve the desired cooking temperature.
  • If you use wooden skewers to anchor your shrimp that you put directly on the grill, ensure you soak your skewers ahead of time (around 30 mins) to prevent the wood from cooking with the shrimp.
  • The Sea Island Forge metal skewers are an excellent alternative to grilling shrimp directly on the grates. You can easily flip the skewers in the stand without the meat sticking to the grill.
  • If you want to keep your shrimp from sticking to the grates, pat them completely dry, then drizzle olive oil on the shrimp directly or on the grates themselves.
  • Using larger shrimp, like Jumbo or Colossal-sized, is best for easy grilling since they are less likely to fall through the grill grates.
  • Shrimp cooks very quickly and can become rubbery if overcooked. Check for doneness by looking at the crevice on the back of the shrimp, where the vein was removed (if deveined), and when it goes from translucent to opaque, they are done cooking. 


  • 6 plum tomatoes or 4 beefsteak tomatoes, halved
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 chipotle in adobo sauce or 1 tablespoon chipotle hot sauce
  • 3 heaping tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Grilled large shrimp, for serving


  1. Heat a grill to high. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until slightly charred and soft, flipping halfway through, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Place the tomatoes, honey, chipotle, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lime juice, cilantro, a pinch each of salt and pepper, and a touch of olive oil in a food processor and process until slightly smooth. Serve with grilled shrimp.
  3. To cook the shrimp, toss with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper; grill over medium-high heat until marked and opaque, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Grilled Shrimp Foil Packets

foil packets

If you’re a shrimp boil fan, you'll love this one. Devon O’Brien’s Grilled Shrimp Boil Foil Packet recipe offers the familiarity and loved flavors of a shrimp boil and combines it with the ease and convenience of grilling shrimp in a foil pack. The magic of a foil pack lies in its ability to capture and seal all the delectable juices and flavors of a meal in one neat package.

As the shrimp cooks, their natural juices harmonize with butter and a medley of seasonings, resulting in a generous pool of savory broth ideal for dipping crusty bread. 

This recipe combines the tried and true flavors of a seafood boil that we all know and love.

Pro Tips:

  • Get your outdoor grill ready for cooking by ensuring the even arrangement of coals and positioning the grate for medium-high heat. This process usually takes around 45 minutes for a charcoal grill or approximately one hour for a fire pit grill. If you’re using a SIF Grilling System, make necessary adjustments to the height of the grill grate to achieve the desired cooking temperature.
  • Instead of cooking your potatoes in the foil pouches, you can put them in foil separately and have them cook directly on the coals in your Sea Island Forge Grilling System. This takes approximately 30-35 minutes, so time it accordingly with your shrimp and corn.


  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 corn, husked and cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 unpeeled raw shrimp (16-20 per pound)
  • 2 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 8 slices
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • Sliced scallion for garnish


  1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Cut four 12-inch lengths of heavy-duty foil.
  2. Divide potatoes, corn, shrimp, sausage and garlic among the foil pieces. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with Old Bay. Gently toss to coat. Top each with a lemon wedge. Gather the long edges of the foil and crimp, then fold up the ends to make packets.
  3. Grill the packets until the potatoes are tender and the shrimp are pink, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with melted butter and garnish with scallion, if desired.

Shrimp Elevated On The Grill


While placing your shrimp directly on the grill provides a great crispy char, you have to take extra steps to ensure they will not stick. The alternative method is using a skewer and stand set like the one from Sea Island Forge to skewer your shrimp and then place skewers on the stands to raise them off the grill grate. This will give your shrimp the smokey flavor of the open fire without worrying about the meat sticking to the grill or the delicious meat falling through the cracks. 


When you’re ready to flip the shrimp, turn the skewers with grilling tongs as usual. You still get the delicious char on your shrimp without worrying about your shrimp sticking to the grill. 

We were inspired by Chef Derek Wolf’s recipe for spicy tequila lime shrimp skewers. This recipe also includes a homemade tequila butter that couldn’t be more simple or delicious!

Pro Tips:

  • To prepare your grill, ensure the coals are evenly arranged and positioned for high heat. Allow approximately 45 minutes for a charcoal grill or one hour for a fire pit. 
  •  If you have a SIF Grilling System, try placing your cast iron pot or pan on the Side Kick as your shrimp cooks. This add-on is easy to attach and remove and has a basket weave handle that’s cool to the touch. The holes in the Side Kick allow for direct heat to reach your pot.



  • 2-3 lbs Shrimp peeled & deveined
  • Chopped Cilantro for garnish

Quick Marinade

  • 3 medium Limes juiced
  • 2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 tbsp Smoked Chipotle Mezcal *See substitute if needed
  • 1.5 tbsp Chipotle Purée
  • 1.5 tbsp Honey
  • *Seasoning Substitute
    • 2 tsp Smoke Salt
    • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
    • 1 tsp Onion Powder
    • ½ tsp Cayenne Powder
    • ½ tsp Black Pepper

Tequila Lime Butter

  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 oz Tequila Blanco
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • ½ tbsp Chopped Cilantro


  1. Begin by adding your shrimp to a large food-safe bowl or bag along with all the ingredients for the quick marinade (use the Smoked Chipotle Mezcal or seasoning substitute). Let that sit for 10-15 minutes, then drain the excess marinade. Begin skewering the shrimp onto the skewers and set aside.
  2. Preheat your grill for direct cooking at a high heat temperature (around 375-400F).
  3. Add a basting cast iron skillet over the flames to preheat. Add your tequila to simmer for 2-3 minutes, then add your butter and garlic to melt. Let simmer for one more minute, then add the chopped cilantro right before taking it off.
  4. Once the butter is done, pull off and add your shrimp to the grill to cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Once you flip the first time, begin carefully basting with the tequila lime butter. Pull off and rest for 1-2 minutes when the shrimp are done.
  5. Garnish the shrimp with cilantro, serve, and enjoy!

We have explored three easy methods for grilling shrimp: direct grilling, skewering, and elevated above the grill. Each method offers unique advantages, allowing you to experiment and find the perfect fit for your taste preferences and cooking style. Whether you're a seasoned grill master or just starting out, our aim is for these recipes to become regular fixtures in your year-round cooking repertoire.

If you want to explore the top grills for experimenting with these shrimp recipes, we’ve compared the best charcoal grills in 2023

Happy grilling!

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