We love using our smoker for anything from beef and lamb to corn and macaroni and cheese — smoked foods turn out delicious every time. This smoked shrimp is no different!
Whether I’m looking for a quick dinner during the week, or an easy appetizer, these shrimp deliver. It only takes a few minutes to peel and season them and then the smoker does the rest of the work.
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I like to serve the shrimp as a main dish along with some easy sides. But there are so many other dishes it can be a part of from pasta dishes to tacos, or as a small side to go with a great grilled steak.
The next time you’re looking for a way to put your smoker to good use and get dinner on the table quickly, check out these smoky shrimp.
Common Questions about Smoked Shrimp
What do labels on shrimp (like U15) at the grocery store mean?
Shrimp sizes are indicated by how many you get in a pound. The higher the number, the larger the shrimp are and, therefore, the fewer you get in a pound. For instance, a label of U15 (colossal shrimp) means that you will get under 15 shrimp in a pound.
If you see two numbers with a slash in between, that indicates a range of how many shrimp you may get per pound. A label that says 13/15 means that you will bet between 13 and 15 shrimp per pound.
What wood should I use to smoke shrimp?
Hickory or pecan are popular choices. Since it is not a long smoking process you’ll want to use hardwood that imparts flavor quickly.
How do I know my shrimp are fully cooked?
Fully cooked shrimp sport a pink (and sometimes slight orange color) when they are done — they are also firm to the touch. You can also use a thermometer to test doneness — shrimp are fully cooked when they have an internal temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Making Smoked Shrimp Ahead of Time
Smoked shrimp are best straight out of the smoker but they can be kept in the refrigerator to use in other dishes.
These shrimp are easy to store after cooking. Make a big batch so you can have them for days.
Refrigerator: After allowing the shrimp to cool, place them in an airtight container or ziploc bag. They can be stored for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Freezing: Place shrimp in a freezer-safe container or ziploc bags and store for up to 3 months.
Tips For The Best Smoked Shrimp
Since this recipe is pretty easy, it’s hard to not wind up with amazing smoked shrimp! But here are some ways to get the best results.
- Choose larger shrimp like U15 (labeled “colossal”). These work best in the smoker, especially since you are putting them directly on the grates. If you aren’t able to find those, though, you can opt for U25 which are labeled as jumbo shrimp.
- Be sure that all of the shrimp are evenly coated with the oil and seasonings. If you don’t mind using an extra small bowl (or large liquid measuring cup) you can add the oil and seasonings to that, then mix them together before pouring over the shrimp.
- Use fresh shrimp. While frozen foods do often contain the same (or more) nutrients as fresh, the texture of shrimp will be superior if it hasn’t been frozen.
- Raw shrimp, shell-on (13-15/lb)
- Vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Garlic powder
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
- Smoker (example: Traeger pellet smoker or an electric smoker)
- Paper towels
- Large bowl
- Meat thermometer
How to Make Smoked Shrimp
These simple shrimp couldn’t be easier but they’ll pack a flavor punch with all their smokiness.
- Peel the shrimp and place them in a colander.
- Place the colander under running water in order to fully rinse them.
- Using a paper towel, blot the shrimp dry and place them in a large bowl.
- Pour the oil over the shrimp, then top with the seasonings.
- Thoroughly mix the oil, seasonings, and shrimp to make sure they are all completely covered.
- Place shrimp on the smoker rack (of a preheated smoker) directly.
- Let the shrimp cook until they reach the desired internal temperature. The shrimp should be firm to the touch and pink in color.
- The smoked shrimp should be served immediately after smoking.
What to Serve With Smoked Shrimp
Smoked shrimp can be a solo star of the show as the main course but there are plenty of ways to dress these shrimp up, too.
- Dipping sauce – Dip these smoky shrimp in melted butter, cocktail sauce, bang bang sauce, garlic butter sauce, or BBQ sauce.
- Salad – These shrimp are great to throw over a green salad with a light vinaigrette.
- Meats – Make a smoky take on surf and turf by serving these alongside a quality cut of beef (or the meat of your choice).
- Rice – Serve these over seasoned rice or risotto to round out the meal.
- Potatoes – Roast (or smoke) chunks of potatoes and onions to go with the shrimp. Use the same spices that you use for the shrimp, or try your own spice blend.
- Deli-style salads – Potato salad, macaroni salad, and coleslaw all pair well with smoked shrimp.
- Vegetables – Simple veggies like green beans or sliced tomatoes (in season) are easy sides.
- Noodles – These shrimp are great for tossing together a smoky version of shrimp scampi.
- Tacos – While the shrimp are smoking you can quickly warm some tortillas and slice up your other fillings to make delicious shrimp tacos.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
- Easy – With just a few quick steps, these shrimp are ready to go on the smoker.
- Simple ingredients – Most ingredients are likely already in your pantry.
- Quick – The hands-on time is minimal and they require little to no maintenance while they are in the smoker, freeing you up to make side dishes or finish up homework on a weeknight.
- Delicious – While we love steamed shrimp, too, there’s nothing quite like the smoky flavor of these shrimp.
Variations and Add-ins
This easy recipe is one of our favorite ways to prepare smoked shrimp but there are lots of other ways to prepare them.
- Seasonings – Already prepared seasonings like Old Bay, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, Creole seasoning, or a BBQ dry rub are all great pairings for shrimp.
- Spices – Chili powder, ancho chile powder, red pepper flakes, and onion powder all complement the smoky flavors of this shrimp.
- Citrus – Tossing the shrimp in lemon or lime juice can brighten their flavor. You can also try using lime or lemon zest.
- Oil – Instead of vegetable oil choose another that you prefer to cook with like olive oil or avocado oil.
- Shrimp salad – In the event that you have leftovers, dice up these shrimp fresh from the fridge and toss them with mayonnaise, diced celery, and Old Bay seasoning for a delicious shrimp salad.
If you love this easy Smoked Shrimp recipe, you’re going to love these other recipes to make on the Traeger too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Smoked Dishes
If you love this recipe for Homemade Smoked Shrimp as much as I do, please write a five-star review, and be sure to help me share on Facebook and Pinterest!
- 2 pounds raw shrimp shell-on (13-15/lb.)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Preheat the smoker to 225°F.
- Peel and rinse the shrimp and blot them dry with paper towels.
- In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the oil and sprinkle the seasonings onto the shrimp and toss to cover.
- Place the shrimp directly onto the smoker grates and smoke for 30-40 minutes or until they are pink and firm with an internal temperature of 140°F.
- Serve the shrimp fresh from the smoker.
- electric smoker
- smoker pellets apple, pecan, cherry, or signature blend
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.