New Orleans-Style Grilled Shrimp

Shrimp closeup

Summer is winding down, but it’s still grilling season! This version of a classic New Orleans dish starts with a quick brine to yield some of the most tender shrimp you will ever have.

Use good size shrimp for this recipe, preferably extra jumbo. They may be labeled 16/20 which means that you usually get between 16 and 20 shrimp per pound. Small shrimp can cook too fast on the grill and can be rubbery when overcooked. The larger shrimp hold up well due to the brine and the fact that they are grilled in their shells.


  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Pour 1 quart of very cold water into a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup Kosher salt and 1/4 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Add shrimp and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain shrimp. Open shells with kitchen scissors and devein.

2. Mix thyme, oregano, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt together in a bowl.

3. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. When butter begins to sizzle, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat, cover and keep warm.

4. Add vegetable oil to the spice mixture and toss shrimp to coat. Grill shrimp for 3 minutes per side or until pink. Drizzle with butter mixture and serve with lemon wedges. Can be served with white rice for a classic Creole meal. Either way, this is finger food, so break out the paper towels!

Source: America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook (2001 season)


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