Upgrade your summer cookouts with this Grilled BBQ Shrimp! Juicy shrimp marinated in smoky seasonings, then grilled and brushed with sweet barbecue sauce for the best tender shrimp. Once you give it a try, it will be your go-to easy grilled shrimp recipe!
📋 About the Recipe
- Easy to customize. This grilled BBQ shrimp is made with a homemade spice blend and a BBQ sauce of choice, meaning you can completely control the salt and spice level. If you're serving kids, go for a sweet BBQ sauce instead of a spicy one.
- 10 minute cook time. Shrimp is one of my favorite proteins to make when I'm short on time. Grilled BBQ shrimp requires just minutes to marinate, then cooks in 10 minutes or less depending on the size of the shrimp! Perfect for dinners any night of the week.
- Can be grilled indoors. If you don't own an outdoor grill, this BBQ shrimp can be made using an indoor grill pan or cast iron skillet on a stovetop, too!
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Large shrimp - Buy larger shrimp so they don't fall through the grill grates. Make sure to pat them dry prior to cooking. This will help them crisp up instead of just steam.
- Seasonings - A simple blend of garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt and smoked paprika is all you need.
- BBQ sauce - The shrimp are brushed with BBQ sauce while grilling for additional smoky BBQ sauce flavor. Feel free to use your favorite store-bought or homemade BBQ sauce!
- Oil - A neutral cooking oil helps turn the seasoning mix into a paste and better adheres to the shrimp on the BBQ. The additional fats and moisture also helps keep the shrimp from drying out on the BBQ. Any cooking oil with a high smoke point will do.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Seasoning alternatives - If you'd like a more distinct, savory and spicy flavored BBQ shrimp, substitute in Old Bay Seasoning, or your favorite seafood spice mix.
- Preheat and prep. Preheat the gas grill to 425 degrees F and peel and devein shrimp, if necessary.
- Season the shrimp. While waiting for the grill to preheat, add the shrimp, oil, garlic powder, onion powder, Kosher salt, and smoked paprika to a large bowl. Stir gently until the shrimp is well coated.
- Skewer the shrimp. If desired, thread shrimp onto skewers to prevent the shrimp from falling through the grill grates.
- Cook the shrimp. Once the grill is hot, add the raw shrimp. Allow them to cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip and cook for one more minute.
- Brush with BBQ sauce. Using a basting brush or pastry brush, brush your favorite BBQ sauce on top of the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for a final 30 to 60 seconds to help the BBQ sauce stick to the shrimp. Once ready, the internal temperature of cooked shrimp should be at least 145 degrees F.
- Serve. Serve the grilled BBQ shrimp hot with a side of BBQ sauce and your favorite side dishes.
❄️ How to Store
To store: Cool the leftover shrimp to room temperature, then store leftovers in an airtight container. Keep in the fridge up to 4 days.
To freeze: Cooked shrimp can be frozen. To do so, cool the shrimp to room temperature, then transfer to a freezer-safe zip top bag or container.
Freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen shrimp overnight in the refrigerator.
To reheat: Reheat leftover shrimp on the stovetop in a hot skillet seasoned with oil until warmed through again, about 2 to 3 minutes. For best results, be careful not to overcook the shrimp.
🔍 Recipe FAQs
Soaking shrimp ahead of grilling is not necessary. Simply pat the shrimp dry with paper towels before tossing in the shrimp marinade - this will help you achieve a better sear and prevent the shrimp from sticking to the grill.
If you are skewering the shrimp using wooden skewers, you will need to soak the skewers in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them from catching on fire.
Unlike heartier proteins, shrimp cook quickly and will be ready to pull from the hot grill in minutes. For this reason, the best way to grill shrimp is to keep the grill lid open. This will allow you to monitor the cooking process and flip the shrimp early, if needed.
On a grill set to 425 degrees F, I recommend leaving the shrimp, undisturbed on the first side for 5 minutes. If your grill is hotter, you may need to flip sooner. You'll know the shrimp are ready to flip when the bottom side of the BBQ shrimp kabobs turns an opaque color and develops a few charred grill marks.
Marinating shrimp can help enhance the flavor, but all you need is a 15 to 30 minute marinate time. I usually season the shrimp and let it sit while I prep the grill and my dinner side dishes.
💭 One More Tip
Lightly oil the grill grates before laying the shrimp. This will help prevent the shrimp from sticking to the grill grates and make it as easy as possible to flip after 5 minutes. I recommend using a cooking oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable oil. Add a few tablespoons to a paper towel and lightly rub the grill grates until well seasoned and coated right before pre-heating.
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Grilled BBQ Shrimp
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled with tail on
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- BBQ sauce
- Preheat grill to 425 degrees F.
- While waiting for grill to preheat, add shrimp, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and smoked paprika to a bowl. Stir to coat the shrimp in the seasoning.
- Optional: To make sure the shrimp doesn’t fall through the grill grates, place each onto skewers.
- Once grill is hot, add the shrimp. Do not move them for 5 minutes. Once the 5 minutes are up, flip and cook for another minute.
- Brush BBQ sauce on top of the shrimp. Cook another 30 seconds to a minute until the sauce sticks to the shrimp.
- Serve shrimp hot with a side salad or your favorite side dish.
- For the best grilled char on the shrimp, make sure to pat them dry before seasoning.
- Feel free to switch up the seasonings to your preferred tastes.
- I like a sweet BBQ sauce with these shrimp, but a smokier or spicier one will work well too.
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