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How To Tell When Grilled Shrimp Is Done

Making grilled shrimp scampi or maybe shrimp and grits? Whatever the meal may be, it is important to know whether your shrimp is cooked all the way through to avoid sickness.

When it comes to grilling shrimp, there are a few things you can do to make sure they turn out perfect every time. 

The most common way to know when grilled shrimp is done is to look for a change in color. You can also check it by touch, the shape of it and also the temperature.

Grilled shrimp on skewers laying on a wooden cutting board

The Best Way to Check If Shrimp is Done

Grilled shrimp with the shells on or deshelled steals the show of the plate with its sweet smokey flavor and its subtle crunch.

Getting them off from the grill when they are done and before they overcook is key. Be sure to not walk away while they are on the grill as they cook up very quickly.

The best way to know for sure if they are done is by checking the internal temperature. If you do not have a food thermometer you want to look for changes in color and shape.

Take the temperature

Using a thermometer to determine whether grilled shrimp is fully cooked or not is going to be the easiest way and give you the most assurance.

Using a food-grade thermometer, probe into the center of the shrimp. The FDA recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145°F for almost all seafood.

Look at the color of the shrimp

One of the easiest ways to tell if grilled shrimp is done is to look at the color. Raw shrimp looks gray and translucent while cooked shrimp turns white and has pops of pink or red.

Check all sides of the shrimp for doneness by looking at the color. You want to be careful when only judging its doneness by color.

If your shrimp is too white, that can be a sign that it has become overcooked.

Evaluate the shape of the shrimp

Another way to tell that shrimp are cooked is by looking at their shape. The shape of grilled shrimp will be oval before they’re done grilling.

If the shrimp curl slightly, that means they’re done. Raw shrimp tend to look longer and straighter, while grilled shrimp will have a nice curl to them.

When the edges of the shrimp start to curl in slightly, it’s time to take them off. Another way to look at it is: C = cooked and O = overcooked.

Feel the texture of the shrimp

When you are grilling shrimp, you can feel the texture of the shrimp to determine if it is done.

Using your finger or a fork, gently press down on the shrimp. If they feel springy or bouncy they most likely need just another minute longer.

Ideally, cooked shrimp should have a texture that falls in between raw and overcooked shrimp. Overcooked shrimp will be rubbery and tough, while undercooked shrimp will be slimy

Love seafood? Check out my recipe for grilled haddock! You will not be disappointed!

How long does it take to grill shrimp?

Shrimp cooks very quickly, so it is important to pay close attention to it while grilling. You will want to grill shrimp for 2-5 minutes over medium-high direct heat at 375°F to 400°F.

The cooking time will vary depending on the size and number of shrimp you are cooking. In general, you want to grill them for 2-5 minutes.

You can also find out how to tell when grilled salmon is done here.

How do you keep shrimp from drying out on the grill?

Shrimp is a popular protein to throw on the grill, but it can easily become dry and tough if not cooked properly.

Shrimp should be grilled on a skewer or skewers in order to avoid them from drying out. This helps keep them from falling into the grill and makes flipping them a lot easier.

Flipping them halfway through is key and will help to maintain their juiciness.

Lathering them with yogurt has been known to help tenderize the shrimp before grilling and prevent it from becoming tough and overcooked.


How do I know if shrimp is raw?

The simplest way to know if shrimp is raw or cooked is by the color of its flesh. Cooked shrimp will have an opaque white with some pink and bright red accents. Raw shrimp will be white and grey in color.

What happens if you eat raw shrimp?

Eating raw shrimp can cause food poisoning. The USDA recommends that shrimp be cooked to at least 145°F before being eaten. This will ensure that bacteria are cooked out of the shrimp.

Can you grill fully cooked shrimp?

Yes, you can cook fully cooked shrimp on the grill. You will want to skewer them and only cook them for a minute or two on each other. Avoid cooking them too long or they will become rubbery and tough.

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