How to Boil Jumbo Shrimp


Shrimp are defined by the amount of shrimp counted in a weight of one pound. To be classified as jumbo shrimp, the amount of shrimp needed to make one pound is 11 to 15 individual shrimps. Jumbo shrimp can be cooked by a variety of methods, with boiling being one of the more popular and quickest ways. Jumbo shrimp can be purchased whole, headless and deveined, or shelled and may be fresh or frozen.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 quart stockpot
  • Water
  • Seasonings (optional)
  • Large colander
  • Fill an 8 quart or larger stockpot half full with water. Add seasonings if desired. Some possible seasonings include garlic and onion, prepared shrimp boil seasonings, and 1 cup beer or wine.

  • Bring the water to a rolling boil over medium high heat.

  • Place the prepared shrimp into the boiling water. The water will stop boiling at this point but will quickly return to a rolling boil.

  • Cook until the outside of the shrimp turns pink and the center of the jumbo shrimp is milky white in color. This should take between three and five minutes.

  • Drain the shrimp by pouring the shrimp and water through a large colander. The boiled jumbo shrimp is now ready to serve or be chilled for later.

Tips & Warnings

  • Overcooking jumbo shrimp causes them to be tough and rubbery in texture. Watch the shrimp closely as they cook, and remove from the boiling water as soon as the color changes occur.
  • Boiled jumbo shrimp can be served hot or cold and served with cocktail sauce, lemon juice or melted butter.
  • Chill boiled shrimp quickly by running the drained shrimp under cold water. Place them in the refrigerator immediately or serve over ice.
  • When buying fresh jumbo shrimp, use your nose to test for freshness. The shrimp should smell like the sea with no ammonia or other "off" odors.

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  • Photo Credit shrimp image by Antonio Oquias from
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