How Long to Boil Shrimp

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.

How Long Do You Boil Shrimp
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To bring water to a rolling boil, wait until bubbles rise to the surface from the bottom of the pot. A quick way to speed up the process is to use warm water from the sink to fill the pot and cover it with a lid. These two simple steps will reduce the time for the water to boil.

Ensure enough water is in the pot to cover all the shrimp fully. Once the water is boiling, you can cook one or two pounds of shrimp in less than two minutes. After adding the shrimp to the boiling water, they will turn orange almost immediately. So don’t be surprised by how quickly the shrimp finish cooking. Fewer shrimp will take less time to cook.

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Overcooking shrimp will cause the shell to start coming off while boiling. The shell separating from the meat indicates that they have been cooked too long and may be slightly less tender but still edible.

To prevent overcooking, keep an eye on the boiling shrimp and promptly take them off the heat once the outside has turned orange and the meat is white.

How Long To Boil Shrimp
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What is a “Rolling Boil”? [Video]

How Much Time To Boil Shrimp

How much time to boil shrimp? After submerging the shrimp in boiling water, the shrimp will almost immediately begin to turn orange.

Boiling Shrimp for a Shrimp Cocktail
Tender Boiled Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce.

If are cooking outside using 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.

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If you are cooking with a smaller pot on the stove stir the pot a few times with a slotted spoon. Stirring will help the shrimp to cook more quickly and evenly and ensure none of the shrimp stick to the bottom of the pot.

Once the meat of the shrimp is firm and white, the shrimp have finished cooking.

Again, the time to boil shrimp is generally under two minutes. Always ensure there is enough water in the pot to cover all the shrimp completely.

Watch our video on How To Make Cocktail Sauce to accompany your boiled shrimp.

Now that you understand boiling shrimp, try our Shrimp Boil Recipe. Also, find out more about the proper temperature for deep fried shrimp, how to steam oysters, or make a keto friendly seafood boil.