The magic of skewering and grilling your food is how ridiculously easy it is. You just poke a stick through it, add a marinade or some seasoning, and then get to grilling. We love doing this with sausages or chicken thighs or bacon. But things get a little trickier with shrimp skewers, which, unlike vegetables and most meats, tend to engage in a fair bit of inconvenient spinning. Their natural slipperiness also doesn’t help.
There is a solution, though! It involves sticking two skewers through your shrimp, which prevents them from twisting and turning when you rotate them on the grill, and ensures even cooking. We consulted senior food editor Chris Morocco for the proper technique:
1. Thread one 8”-inch skewer through the thickest part of five or six large shrimp, making sure that you don’t place it too close to the end. If using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them in water for 20 minute before threading so they don’t burn on the grill.
2. Take a second skewer and thread it near the tail end of the already skewered shrimp, working your way up. Give them a trial turn to make sure none of the shrimp spin.
3. Adjust the shrimp so that there is a bit of space in between each one. This allows heat to circulate properly and therefore cook evenly. Pro tip: If you want juicier shrimp, place the shrimp close together, while those who prefer crispy, charred shrimp will want to place the shrimp slightly apart. Now get that grill fired up. There’s no time to waste.
Get the recipe:
Grilled Garlic-And-Black-Pepper Shrimp
Salt, pepper, garlic, acid, and a bit of heat are all you need to punch up this easy shrimp skewer recipe. This recipe is from Gunpowder, an Indian restaurant in London.
- 1 fresh red chile (such as Fresno), seeds removed, finely grated
- 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grill
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
- Kosher salt
- Lime wedges and Kashmiri chili powder or paprika (for serving)
- Four 8-inch-long metal skewers or bamboo skewers soaked 30 minutes in water
Whisk chile, garlic, pepper, lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat; season with salt. Thread shrimp onto sets of 2 skewers.
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; clean grates well, then oil. Grill shrimp, turning once, until cooked through and lightly charred, about 5 minutes total. Serve with lime wedges dipped in chili powder.
Recipe by Harneet Baweja and Nirmal Save
Photograph by Peden + Munk