Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Smoked Shrimp

Smoked shrimp are tender, juicy, and seasoned with a delicious blend of spices. Make these as a party appetizer or an easy weeknight dinner!

Don’t have a smoker? You can find instructions in the recipe card below on how to use a grill instead.

It will require a little extra prep since the wood needs to be soaked for a couple of hours before you can get started.

Or, swap out the flavors in this smoked shrimp recipe for those in my Cajun pasta or mac and cheese dishes instead. I even have a pasta salad that tastes just like your favorite Po’ Boy sandwich!

Smoked Shrimp on a plate

Smoked Shrimp - Helpful Tips and Tricks

  • Use room temp butter. Any extra heat will start to cook the shellfish, and they need to go in the smoker raw. If you need to soften the butter in the microwave, be sure to let it cool off first.
  • Save some time and effort. I prefer to buy mine already peeled and deveined so I can get right to cooking. If you’re buying fresh or can’t find any already prepared, you’ll find instructions on how to do it yourself in this post.
  • Leave the tails on. This makes the shellfish easier to eat, especially when serving it on a platter for everyone to grab from. If needed, you can always remove the tails afterward before including the meat in other dishes.

Smoked Shrimp Ingredients

Serving Suggestions

These are delicious all on their own since the spices and wood pellets infuse tons of flavor. Feel free to add your favorite dipping sauce or a bowl of melted butter.

Add some rice or a green salad for a simple side, or serve these with your favorite pasta salad instead. If you have enough room, you can even toss some corn on the cob or red potatoes in the smoker first!

What You Will Need For Smoking Shrimp

  • Smoker - Wood pellet varieties allow extra flavor to be infused into whatever you’re cooking.
  • Your favorite flavor wood chips - I love this blend and use it for just about everything.
  • Cast Iron Skillet - Go with a larger size like 12-inch so there’s plenty of room.
  • Mixing Bowls - I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.

Smoked Lemon Butter Shrimp in a cast iron pan

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Should the meat be room temperature when smoking shrimp?

I keep mine in the refrigerator until they are ready to be cooked, especially on hot summer days. In my opinion, they will get a better smoke flavor this way as well.

Can I make this smoked shrimp recipe at 200 degrees instead?

Absolutely! You will probably need to adjust the time a little bit, so be sure to test one or two before pulling the whole pan.

How do you know when shrimp is done?

When raw, the meat is grey and appears translucent. Once cooked, the color changes to bright pink or orange with white lines. It will also look solid and opaque throughout.

You can also keep an eye on the shape. Once it forms a loose “C” shape, it’s typically ready to eat. If it becomes tightly curled, there’s a good chance it is overdone.


With love from our simple kitchen to yours.

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Smoked Lemon Butter Shrimp

Yield: 4
Author: Donna Elick
Smoked Shrimp

Smoked Shrimp

Smoked shrimp are tender, juicy, and seasoned with a delicious blend of spices. Make these as a party appetizer or an easy weeknight dinner!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 30 Min


  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, deveined and shells removed, tails on
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • pinch chili powder
  • 5 tarragon leaves
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Preheat the smoker to 225°F. Choose your favorite wood, I am using my favorite blend of oak, maple and hickory on my pellet smoker.
  2. Coat your favorite cast iron skillet with some oil, set aside. If you don’t have cast iron, you can use a foil pan or use a double layer of aluminum and form a little pocket and coat with oil.
  3. Rinse the shrimp in cool water.
  4. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine the shrimp, chili powder, pepper, sweet paprika and tarragon leaves. Stir to combine.
  6. Add the lemon juice and melted butter. Stir to combine.
  7. Place the shrimp in a single layer in the skillet, pour the liquid over top.
  8. Place the skillet on the smoker and cook for 10 minutes. No peeking so the shrimp can get the smoking flavor in.
  9. After 10 minutes, open the cover and flip the shrimp. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  10. After 10 minutes, open the cover and flip the shrimp. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes as necessary, if the shrimp are bright and orangey-pink, they are ready to serve.
  11. Serve immediately and Enjoy!

Smoked Shrimp on a white plate

Originally published April 2021

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