All About Food Smoking: Let’s Talk About Shrimp


Lots of people and other sites will say you can’t smoke shrimp.  I’ve done it many times. You just have to keep a close watch and take off just when done.  But then again, I’m not picky about shrimp. What others claim to be overdone shrimp and rubbery, I devour.  I’ve never met a shrimp too “tough” to eat. Well, except for those tiny dried ones in the oriental markets. 

One thing I don’t do though is wrapping them in bacon.  I’ve never had that work out for me.  To smoke long enough to get the bacon done, the shrimp are dry.  Others seem to be able to do it, but I haven’t.  When I want that flavor sorta, I will wrap it in a cheap Prosciutto instead of bacon.  Don’t have to wait for that to get done.

Avoid Smoking the Biggies

I don’t usually try to smoke the biggies – the U15’s and bigger – I’ll grill those.  I’ll use the 21/25 or the 26/30 sizes, shell off and marinate, then smoke until just done.  Most say to use a milder smoke like alder or maple, but heck, if you like mesquite go for it – I have.  They won’t take long at 165 (73.9 C) to 200 F (93.3C) to get done.  For instance, a shrimp is done in boiling water in about 3 minutes.  It’ll take longer in the smoker, but not much longer. Just watch for the color change. It might take from 10 to 45 minutes, depending on temp and size of the shrimp.  I like the CT to be down lower than 200. Marinade the little buggers from 2 to 8 hours.  I don’t like the longer times, as they seem to get soggy with the oil. Here is how I marinate them:

My Texas Shrimp Marinade

You just need white wine, something sweetish like a Riesling. EVOO, Cilantro, Chili Powder, Cumin, Chopped Garlic, Chopped Shallots, or Green Onion. Maybe a little sugar or sweetener and sometimes I will add red pepper flakes. Another one I like is the Tequila Lime. For this marinade, you’ll use EVOO (1/4 cup), a few tablespoons of Tequila, but an equal amount with the lime juice, Fresh Lime Juice, Coarse ground pepper, a pinch of granulated garlic, a pinch of cumin. You may add cilantro and red pepper flakes. Both work great.

We hope you enjoy this smoked prawn tutorial and don’t forget to check out the Bradley Smoker Food Smoking Blog for additional pitmaster-level tips & tricks. Enjoy!