When the summer months roll around and you want to show off some fancy tricks at your annual barbecue, it’s time to break out the shrimp. Shrimp add a tropical touch to your barbecue, and you’ll find that grilling them is a simple process once you learn a few tricks. While shrimp are relatively high in cholesterol, you’ll discover that they are similarly low in fat. They have a deliciously tender taste, and some time on the grill adds an excitingly smoky flavor to this simple marine fare. Start with shrimp that are fresh or thawed so that they will be easier to work with.
First, start by peeling the shrimp. Pull of the head and pinch off the legs. Remove the shell by simply pulling it off. While some people can very easily pull the shell off in one piece, other people would simply rather snip the shell into pieces with a pair of scissors. If you want to use scissors, insert one point into the edge of the shell, and snip along the shrimp’s curled back. Do this for all of the shrimp you intend to cook.
Cut along the edge of the shrimp’s curled back using a sharp knife. The cut should be about ¼ inch deep, and in many cases, though not all, this reveals the shrimp’s digestive vein. This vein is black and obvious in the shrimp’s body. You can pull out the vein by sliding the tip of the knife underneath it and pulling it out. Throw out the vein and give the shrimp a quick rinse once you are done. If you do not see a vein inside the shrimp, do not worry about it.
Thread between four and five shrimps apiece onto a wooden skewer. If the shrimp are very large, you may only be able to fit two or three shrimps on to each one. This is the best way to grill shrimp, as otherwise they may slip through the bars of the grill and fall into the charcoal.
Oil your grill plate thoroughly and heat it to a medium heat. The oil prevents the shrimp from sticking, and cooking these delicious crustaceans at a medium heat allows you to keep them moist while still getting that tasty grilled flavor.
Lay the shrimp skewers flat on the grill, cooking the first side for about one and a half minutes. Then flip the skewers over and cook them for another 30 seconds. You may need to add between 30 seconds to a full minute to these times if the shrimps are very large. After this, remove the shrimp skewers from the fire.
To test to see if the shrimps are done, cut one in half with a very sharp knife. The flesh should be delicate and flaky, and the shrimp should be completely opaque all the way through. Raw shrimp have gray bodies that are slightly translucent, while cooked shrimp are completely pink and white. The shrimps are ready to serve once they are completely cooked.
To add some flavor to plain grilled shrimp, marinade them after you peel them. You can use just about any marinade that you use on your burgers. Add a bit of tartness to your shrimp by marinating them in balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic for a few hours before grilling them. Similarly, for a small bit of sweetness and for some presentation points, place a pineapple chunk on each end of your shrimp skewer and between each shrimp before grilling.
Serve your shrimps on their skewers along with the rest of your grilled barbecue products; this is a great way to add a tropical taste to your dinner or lunch celebration!