How to Cook Raw Shrimp on the Grill in Foil


Shrimp is difficult to cook on a grill without it falling through the grates, but foil packets make it easy to cook raw shrimp next to your favorite grilled veggies and meats. The foil packets trap the steam inside, cooking the shrimp, so you don't end up with dry shrimp. If you have a cookout for a large crowd, the packets offer an easy way to serve the shrimp in individual portions. You can even customize the foil packets with different flavor combinations -- make spicy shrimp for adults without the hot spices touching kids' food.

Things You'll Need

  • Cold water
  • Assorted spices
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Tongs
  • Knife
  • Clean all the shrimp in cold water. Pull off the heads, legs and shells, if desired. The shells trap in the juices -- and flavor -- while the shrimp cooks, so you might prefer to leave them on while cooking and have guests remove the shells from the shrimp as they eat. You greatly reduce preparation time if you leave on the shells.

  • Tear off several large pieces of aluminum foil, about 12 inches square. Adjust the size of the foil depending on the size and number of shrimp you wish to include in the packet. Lay the foil on a flat work surface with the shiny, nonstick side facing upward.

  • Place the shrimp in the center of the foil packet. Sprinkle your choice of spices over the shrimp, such as salt, pepper, crushed red pepper or a Cajun seasoning blend. Squeeze citrus liquid such as lemon juice or lime juice over the shrimp, if desired. You also may add sliced vegetables including onions and pepper. If you want to make a scampi-style shrimp with peeled shrimp, generously season with garlic and dot with butter.

  • Wrap the foil tightly around the shrimp to form a packet that locks in the juices and spices. Gather the ends of the foil over top of the shrimp and fold down to the shrimp; repeat with each end.

  • Place the shrimp foil packets on a grill over medium-high to high heat. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the shrimp turns a bright-orange color.

  • Remove the shrimp from the grill immediately when they are done, using a pair of tongs to grip the packet. Poke a large hole in each foil packet with a knife to release the steam so the shrimp doesn't continue cooking in the packet. Shrimp should be tender, but overcooking makes them chewy and dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Poke several holes in the packet if you want to impart smoke flavor from the grill; this releases the juices and doesn't create the steaming effect of a sealed packet.
  • Serve the shrimp while they are still folded in the foil packet. The foil helps keep the shrimp hot, while the steam vent allows much of the hot steam to escape. This also preserves the flavorful juices inside the packet.

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