How to Boil Medium to Large Shrimp

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Things You'll Need

  • Large shrimp

  • Shrimp deveining tool

  • Large pot

  • Slotted spoon

  • Ice

  • Bowl

  • Seasonings (optional)

  • Butter or oil (optional)

Boil shrimp in their shells to retain moisture and flavor.

Boiling is one of the fastest and least complicated ways to prepare shrimp. This method works equally well for medium, small or large shrimp, and it requires few tools. This basic preparation method is ideal for cocktail shrimp or for shrimp used in other recipes, such as a salad or sauce. Boil the shrimp at least an hour before serving if you want to eat them cold. Adjust the cooking time as necessary; smaller shrimp take less time, while larger shrimp may take a little longer to cook.


Step 1

Peel and devein the shrimp with the deveining tool before boiling. You can also boil the shrimp in their shells, if desired.

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Step 2

Pour 4 cups of water per pound of shrimp into a large pot. Heat the water until it starts to boil.

Step 3

Drop two or three handfuls of shrimp into the pot. When the shrimp are cooked, they will turn pink and float to the surface of the water. The shrimp should be cooked after at least three minutes of boiling.

Step 4

Remove the shrimp from the water using a slotted spoon.

Step 5

Place the shrimp onto a bed of ice inside a large bowl. Repeat the cooking process until all of the shrimp are boiled.


If desired, you can add herbs, oil, butter or other seasonings to the water for maximum flavor.


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