How Long to Boil Shrimp
How long do you boil shrimp? The answer to this question depends on how hot your water is and how much shrimp you are boiling. Ensure that the pot’s water has come to a rolling boil before adding the shrimp.
Water has come to a rolling boil when large bubbles come up from the pot’s bottom. The fastest way to bring your pot to a boil is by filling it with warm water from the sink. Then be sure to cover the pot with a lid. Doing these two things will reduce the amount of time the water will need to come to a boil tremendously.
Make sure that there is enough water in your pot to cover all the shrimp completely. When the water in your pot has come to a rolling boil, you can boil a pound or two of shrimp in under two minutes. Shrimp will immediately start to take on an orange color once you have placed them in the boiling water.
It will not take more than two minutes to boil up to a couple of pounds of shrimp. Fewer shrimp will take even less time to boil. So don’t be surprised by how quickly the shrimp finish cooking.
If the shell starts coming off the shrimp, you have overcooked them. If the shells begin to come off, the shrimp are okay to eat but may be a little less tender.
What is a “Rolling Boil”? [Video]
How Much Time To Boil Shrimp
Remember, after submerging the shrimp in boiling water, the shrimp will almost immediately begin to turn orange. If you have a large pot with a strainer basket, move the basket up and down a few times while the shrimp are boiling. Moving the basket will allow for the shrimp to cook more evenly.
Once the meat of the shrimp is firm and white, the shrimp have finished cooking, and it will take around two minutes for the shrimp to complete boiling.
However, stir the pot a few times with a slotted spoon if you are boiling the shrimp on the stove in a pot that doesn’t have a strainer basket. Stirring will help the shrimp to cook more quickly and evenly and ensure none of the shrimp stick to the bottom of the pot.
Again, boiling up to two pounds will generally take under two minutes, and always ensure enough water in the pot to cover all the shrimp completely.
How to Cook Shrimp for a Shrimp Cocktail?
The best way to cook shrimp for a cocktail is to boil them with the shell still on. You can serve the shrimp with the shell still on or peel them down to the tail first. A shrimp cocktail can be served warm or chilled, whichever way you prefer. Check out our cocktail sauce recipe video also.
Can You Overcook Shrimp?
Yes, you can overcook shrimp. If the shrimp’s shell starts to come off, you have cooked them for too long. Slightly overcooking is okay, but the shrimp will not be quite as tender or as easy to peel.
If you believe you have overcooked the shrimp quickly remove them from the water. Pouring them out into a colander in the sink is the best way to remove the shrimp from the water.
Now that you know how to boil shrimp try our Shrimp Boil Recipe.