How To Grill Shrimp Without Skewers

Grill shrimp without skewers using foil packets, direct on the grate, a grilling basket, a cookie rack, or a cast-iron pan for juicy, flavorful results.

how to grill shrimp without skewers

It’s happened to most of us. We are getting ready to grill a delicious shrimp dinner, but when we open our utensil drawer, we realize that we’re out of wooden skewers for grilling shrimp. Then you’re left wondering how to grill shrimp without skewers.

Grilling shrimp with skewers is the perfect way to make grilled shrimp. Investing in some metal skewers so that you always have skewers on hand is a great idea. However, grilling shrimp without skewers is entirely possible!


You can easily grill shrimp without skewers. We have four methods that we have used to grill shrimp.

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Method 1: Grilling Shrimp in Foil

You can grill shrimp in foil packets even if you have small shrimp. That’s the beauty of this method.

Besides being a great way to grill shrimp if you don’t have skewers, this method for cooking shrimp on the grill is also the perfect way to lock in delicious buttery goodness. Best of all, you need just a few key ingredients.

Here is how to grill shrimp in foil.

  1. Preheat your grill to 400F.
  2. Season the shrimp with your preferred ingredients. You need butter or olive oil. Other ingredients can include freshly squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic cloves, and chopped fresh parsley.
  3. Wrap the shrimp will all of the ingredients in foil. Crimp the foil and fold it inward to create a neat packet.
  4. Cook the foil packet on the grill for between 8 and 10 minutes. You’ll know your dinner is done when the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Don’t overcook the shrimp because it will become chewy, and the delicate flavor will be affected.
  5. Open the packet carefully because it will be steaming.

To make this grilled shrimp in foil a complete meal, add some quick-cooking veggies into the foil packages. This can be broccoli, asparagus, or bell peppers and onions.

Method 2: Laying Shrimp Directly on the Grill Grate

One of our favorite ways to make grilled shrimp without skewers is to lay the shrimp directly on the grill grate.

To cook grilled shrimp using this method, you need reasonably large shrimp. Small shrimp will fall through into the fire or coals below.

Cooking shrimp directly on the grill grate requires close watching. You don’t want the shrimp to get dry, and they’re done in about 5 minutes. Be sure to turn them halfway through the cooking time.

Method 3: Grilling Shrimp in a Grilling Basket

AIZOAM Portable Stainless Steel BBQ Barbecue Grilling Basket for Fish,Vegetables, Shrimp,and Steak and Chicken .Great Useful BBQ Tool.-Bonus Additional Sauce Brush and 50 Natural Bamboo Skewers

We love our grilling basket. It’s perfect for cooking veggies on the grill, but it’s also super handy for cooking grilled shrimp, scallops, and more.

To cook your shrimp on the grill using a grilling basket, follow these steps.

  1. Rinse and pat dry your shrimp.
  2. Marinate the shrimp in the fridge with some olive oil and the seasoning of your choice (Old Bay Seasoning is ideal).
  3. Slice your preferred vegetables, including bell peppers, squash, mushrooms, green onions, and zucchini. Season the veggies with salt and pepper.
  4. Spray the grilling basket with olive oil cooking spray and place the basket on the grill.
  5. Grill the delicate veggies first (the mushrooms and onions).
  6. Cook the rest of the vegetables, sauteeing them until they’re tender but not overcooked.
  7. Remove the vegetables from the basket and add the shrimp.
  8. Stir the shrimp until they start to turn pink.
  9. Add the vegetables back to the basket and stir to combine.
  10. Serve and enjoy!

Method 4: Grilling Shrimp on a Cookie Cooking Rack

One quick and easy way to grill shrimp is to put a cookie cooling rack directly atop your grill grates. The cookie cooking rack will allow the heat to get into contact with the shrimp, but the spaces in the rack are super narrow, which keeps your shrimp from falling through the cracks.

To make grilled shrimp without skewers using a cookie cooling rack, follow the same recipe that you would follow to cook grilled shrimp with skewers.

Method 5: Using a Cast-Iron Frying Pan on the Grill

Utopia Kitchen 12.5 Inch Pre-Seasoned Cast iron Skillet - Frying Pan - Safe Grill Cookware for indoor & Outdoor Use - Chef's Pan - Cast Iron Pan (Black)

Cast-iron cookware is perfect for grilling outdoors. If you don’t have skewers, consider sauteeing your shrimp over the hot coals or fire in a skillet.

The key is to get your fire hot enough that you can melt butter in the cast-iron skillet. Once the butter is melted, simply toss in your shrimp and saute them. If you don’t want to use butter, you can also use olive oil for cooking your shrimp in a frying pan on your grill.

Squeeze some lemon juice over your shrimp, and you’re ready for one of the best meals of your life.

FAQs about Grilling Shrimp

Below, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about grilling shrimp.

How do you grill shrimp if you don’t have skewers?

There are a few different ways to grill shrimp if you don’t have skewers. Here are our favorites.

  1. Grill shrimp in foil.
  2. Lay the shrimp directly onto the grill grate.
  3. Grill shrimp in a grilling basket.
  4. Grill shrimp atop a cookie cooling rack.
  5. Cook your shrimp in a cast-iron frying pan on the grill.

Can you grill shrimp directly on grill?

Yes, you can grill shrimp directly on your grill, and you can grill them with or without the shells. To keep the shrimp from drying out when you grill them, marinate them. If you remove the shell, the marinade will more easily penetrate the delicious meat, giving the shrimp even more flavor.

What is the best way to grill shrimps?

The best way to grill shrimp is to cook them for no more than five minutes on medium-high heat (between 375 and 400 degrees).

How do you keep shrimp from drying out on the grill?

Here are a few ways to ensure that your shrimp stays juicy when grilled.

  • Use brine or marinade to soak the shrimp. To use brine, soak the shrimp in their shells in a mixture of 1⁄3 cup of salt with eight cups of water. Allow the shrimp to soak in the brine for approximately three hours.
  • Consider full-fat yogurt as a marinade. Yogurt has a natural acidity that tenderizes the shrimp beautifully.
  • Don’t overcook the shrimp. Remember that shrimp is fully cooked in five minutes or less.

Can you use frozen shrimp for grilling?

You can thaw your frozen shrimp in advance, but if you forget to thaw them, don’t worry. Shrimp thaws very quickly. All you need to do is put your shrimp in a colander. Then, place the colander in the sink and run cold water over the shrimp until they’re thawed. It will take just a few minutes.

Also, shrimp can technically be grilled while frozen. They will just require about two more minutes of cooking time.

More FAQs

How do you cook shrimp on the grill if you don’t have skewers?

To cook shrimp on the grill without skewers, start by preheating a grill to medium high heat. If the shrimp are frozen, make sure to thaw them first. Place the shrimp in a bowl and drizzle them with olive oil, then sprinkle with kosher salt. Grill the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until they turn bright pink and are fully cooked.

How do you keep shrimp moist on the grill?

To keep shrimp moist on the grill, it is recommended to brine them beforehand. Despite shrimp coming from salt water, soaking them in a salt water brine, sometimes with the addition of sugar, helps retain moisture and prevents them from drying out, regardless of whether you choose to grill, broil, or bake them.

Do you grill shrimp with the lid open or closed?

The answer to whether you grill shrimp with the lid open or closed is that for thin pork chops, shrimp, and burgers, it is recommended to cook them with the lid closed. This helps maintain a high and even temperature, ensuring that they cook quickly and evenly. However, for thicker cuts of meat, it is best to close the lid to keep the temperature high and even throughout the cooking process.

How long to grill shrimp on high?

The shrimp should be grilled on high for approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side, until they turn slightly pink with opaque flesh. Once the internal temperature reaches 145F, the shrimp are considered done. Place the skewers on the hot side of the grill to achieve the desired results.

Can I put frozen shrimp on grill?

Yes, you can put frozen shrimp on the grill. To prepare them, I recommend thawing the shrimp first by placing them in a colander inside a bowl in the sink and running cold water over them until they thaw. Once thawed, you can then place the shrimp on the skewer or grill and proceed with the recipe.

How do you sear shrimp without sticking?

To sear shrimp without sticking, you can achieve this by using a nonstick or carbon-steel skillet. This type of skillet allows for the flavorful browning to adhere to the shrimp rather than the pan. Additionally, instead of oiling the pan, lightly coat the shrimp themselves to ensure even coverage.

How do you eat shrimp on the grill?

To eat shrimp on the grill, start by transforming the question into a statement: “The way to eat shrimp on the grill is…” Then, rephrase the provided answer: “You can either pop the whole shrimp in your mouth or, if it’s too large, cut it in half. To do so, spear the shrimp with your fork and place it on your plate. Hold it in place with your fork and use a knife to saw the shrimp in half.”

Can you put shrimp directly on grill?

Shrimp can be placed directly on the grill and cooked over medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. Remember to flip the shrimp halfway through the cooking process. Properly cooked shrimp will have a pink exterior and a white, opaque interior. It is important to avoid overcooking the shrimp to prevent it from becoming tough.

Can you put frozen shrimp directly on the grill?

It is possible to grill shrimp directly on the grill, whether they are frozen or thawed.

How long to cook shrimp?

The shrimp should be cooked for 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping only once midway. This will typically take 4 to 6 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the shrimp in the pan. Finally, transfer the cooked shrimp to a serving dish and serve it immediately with pasta or rice.

How do you prepare raw shrimp for grilling?

To prepare raw shrimp for grilling, you can coat them with a mixture of olive oil and spices, then thread them onto skewers. Grilling them for a total of six minutes will result in deliciously cooked shrimp. This particular recipe is one of my personal favorites for cooking shrimp because it eliminates the need for marinating. All you have to do is coat the shrimp in olive oil and spices, thread them onto skewers, and grill them to perfection.

What happens if you don’t peel shrimp before cooking?

If you don’t peel shrimp before cooking, the shells will enhance the flavor of the shrimp, adding a toasty and briny depth. Cooking unpeeled shrimp is the key to bringing out the true essence of shrimp flavor, and all you have to do is leave them as they are.

Can frozen shrimp be grilled?

Frozen shrimp can be grilled, whether they are thawed or not.

How long does it take to marinate shrimp?

The marinating time for shrimp should be around 30 minutes to 1 hour, ensuring not to exceed 1 hour. If shrimp is left in citrus or vinegar for an extended period, it will begin to cook and become excessively tough.

What do you soak shrimp in before cooking?

The shrimp should be soaked in a mixture of 2 quarts of water, 1/4 cup of salt, and 1/4 cup of sugar for every pound of shrimp. This brine solution should be prepared by whisking the ingredients together until the salt and sugar dissolve. After that, the peeled and deveined shrimp should be placed in the brine solution and left untouched for 30 minutes at room temperature.

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