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How to: shrimp kabobs

Shrimp kabobs are an easy way to give great grilled flavor to shrimp and vegetables.

  • When it’s Done:
    • When the shrimp curl and turn pink and the flesh is pearly and opaque.
  • 30 large shrimp
  • with tail shells on (21-25 count per pound)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green onion
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Marinade (optional)
  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 6–8

The easiest way to grill shrimp is actually on skewers, because they become infinitely easier to manage and flip. You can grill the shrimp on the kabobs with the shells on or off—either works fine. Add some fresh vegetables or fruit to your shrimp skewers and you have a fantastic grilled meal on a stick. Here’s how to make them in just seven steps.

  1. KFD_SKEWER-0025

    Start soaking your skewers.

    Readily available in most grocery stores, bamboo skewers are inexpensive and perfect for shrimp kabobs. However, because they are made of wood they can easily catch fire while grilling. To prevent this, simply soak the skewers in water for an hour prior to grilling.
  2. KFD_Sidebyside_SHRIMP_KEBAB

    Season your shrimp and prep the vegetables.

    You can use a marinade or a dry seasoning to bring flavor to your shrimp. If using a marinade, do not use one with high acid content with ingredients like lemon juice or vinegar. If left on too long, the acid in these marinades will change the texture of the shrimp, almost like cooking them. You can also simply drizzle olive oil onto the shrimp and apply the dry seasoning of your choice—many are popular for seafood. Next, cut your vegetables to match the size of your shrimp. Because shrimp cook so quickly, use vegetables that also cook quickly like cherry tomatoes and scallions. Fruits like pineapple or peaches are also good choices to pair with shrimp. If you plan on marinating your vegetables or fruits, do so in a separate container from the shrimp.

    Start assembling.

    Gently thread your shrimp onto the skewers, followed by the vegetables and fruits if desired. Work in sequence, alternating between shrimp and veggies to ensure even cooking. Do not overcrowd your skewers, but don’t skimp either. You want to fill the skewers so the shrimp and veggies are touching but not too packed in.
  4. KFD_2-ZONE_FIRE-0015

    Start a two-zone fire.

    You will grill the shrimp skewers over a two-zone fire. Fire up the coals, and once lit, pile them all onto one side of the grill. Leave the other side completely empty. You’ll sear the shrimp kabobs over high heat, but you can still move them over to the cooler side in case of a flare-up.

  5. 5

    Sear and flip your shrimp kabobs.

    Grill your shrimp skewers directly over the coals on the hot side of the grill. Shrimp don’t take long to cook—only two to three minutes per side—so don’t load up the grill with too many skewers at once. Cook them in batches so you can flip them and move them aside in case of flare-ups.

    Finish on the cool side.

    If you are using particularly large, meaty shrimp, you may need to let them finish cooking through on the cool side of the grill.

    Serve immediately.

    You do not need to rest your shrimp kabobs, just serve them hot off the grill. Shrimp kabobs go great with leafy green salads for a lighter meal or paired with hearty pasta dishes on the side.

The advantage to using shell-on shrimp is their natural fireproof jacket prevents burning, and the meat steams up nicely inside. If you choose to go shell-on, use a liquid marinade to season so that more flavor gets past the shell.

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