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Cast-Iron Jumbo Shrimp

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These Latin-American inspired cast-iron jumbo shrimp are marinated in lemon juice, sazon, garlic, shallots and cooked hot and fast on the grill. We leave the shells on these shrimp, adding a little extra flavor to the sauce during the cooking process. Plus, it’s fun to slurp all that seasoned goodness off of them. YUM!

cast-iron jumbo shrimp

These cast-iron jumbo shrimp make the perfect quick weeknight dinner or a fabulous appetizer. We recommend purchasing extra-jumbo shrimp if available in your area.

Raw Jumbo Shrimp
Raw Jumbo Shrimp

Why Buy Extra-Jumbo Shrimp?

Extra-jumbo shrimp are large and probably your best bet for a satisfying meal. You will get 16/20 shrimp per pound or 4-5 shrimp per 3 ounce portion. This cast-iron jumbo shrimp recipe calls for 1 1/2 pounds, roughly between 24-28 shrimp, or enough shrimp to feed 4-6 people. If you cannot locate extra jumbo shrimp, use the next size down. You will end up with more shrimp, but they will be smaller, and the portions will still work for 4-6 people with 5-7 shrimp per person instead.

Fresh vs. Frozen Shrimp

Unless you live in an area guaranteed to sell freshly caught shrimp, plan on purchasing frozen shrimp instead. Most of the glorious looking shrimp you displayed at your local grocery store were pre-frozen before shipping and thawed. There is no way to determine how long this shrimp has been sitting around, so we recommend buying the frozen shrimp and defrosting them yourself. The best way to do this is by placing the bag of frozen shrimp in your refrigerator the night before. They will be perfectly thawed by the time dinner rolls around the next day. We do not recommend leaving them in your fridge for longer than 24 hours.

Sazon Rub

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds extra-jumbo shrimp (about 24-28 shrimp):
  • Olive oil
  • Cilantro: leaves and soft stems only
  • Garlic
  • Shallot
  • Lemons
  • Sazon This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of our rub recipe, but we recommend starting with 2 teaspoons and working up from there. We have used 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of this rub on occasion. But, be aware that our homemade Sazon is a little different from commercial Sazon which contains MSG. This additive can make the shrimp too salty. Follow the brand’s seasoning recommendations for the right amount, and omit the salt listed below.
  • Salt (optional)
  • Cast-iron skillet: You’ll need a 12″ skillet for this jumbo shrimp recipe.
Cast Iron Shrimp

Marinating the Shrimp

  • Combine lemon juice with olive oil, garlic, shallot, sazon, and salt. 
  • To devein the shrimp, make a slit down the rounded back portion of the shell. Remove the dark brown vein. Leave the shell intact. 
  • Rinse the shrimp clean under cold water. Repeat the process with the remaining shrimp. 
  • Blot the shrimp dry with paper towels.
  • Place shrimp in a resealable plastic bag. Pour half of the marinade over the top, and toss to coat with a pair of tongs. Seal the bag and place shrimp in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes—Reserve the other half of the marinade to make a delicious sauce for the cast-iron jumbo shrimp.

Making Cast-Iron Shrimp on the Grill

  • Preheat your grill for medium-high heat or 400 degrees F.
  • Once the grill comes up to temperature, place your cast-iron pan on the grill to heat up for 5 minutes or until it emits a light wisp of smoke.
  • Next, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Let it heat for 1 minute.
  • Remove shrimp from the bag and add them to the pan. Discard the remaining marinade in the bag.
  • Cook for 1 minute per side.
  • Add reserved marinade to the pan. It will bubble, cook down quickly, and add extra flavor to the cast-iron jumbo shrimp.
  • Turn the shrimp once more, and remove the pan from the grill.
  • The shrimp is done once the flesh and shells turn pink and are firm (not excessively firm) to the touch.
  • Serve cast-iron jumbo shrimp in the pan, or transfer to a to a serving dish. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lemon slices. See below for details.
  • Optional step: Cut a lemon into 3-4 thick slices, and place them on the grill while the shrimp are cooking. Get a nice golden brown char on both sides, and serve the sliced lemon with the shrimp.
Cast iron shrimp

Stovetop Method

To cook cast-iron jumbo shrimp, heat your cast-iron pan on medium-high heat until it releases a slight wisp of smoke; add olive oil. Heat for 1 minute, and follow the remaining instructions listed above. Reduce the heat to medium if needed. Serve this dish with a side of rice and grilled vegetables.

How to Store Leftover Cooked Shrimp:

Store leftover cast-iron jumbo shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a skillet on your stovetop. Do not microwave them. They will turn tough and rubbery.

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cast-iron jumbo shrimp

Cast-Iron Jumbo Shrimp

These Latin-American inspired cast-iron jumbo shrimp are marinated in lemon juice, sazon, garlic, shallots and cooked hot and fast on the grill. We leave the shells on these shrimp, adding a little extra flavor to the sauce during the cooking process. Plus, it's fun to slurp all that seasoned goodness off of them. YUM!
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Latin American
Keyword: cast-iron shrimp, grilled seafood, grilled shrimp, sazon shrimp
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Marinating Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 368kcal
Author: Sabrina Baksh

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp

for marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
  • 1 small shallot finely diced
  • juice of 2 large lemons Plus 1 whole lemon for garnish (see instructions)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon Sazon (or store bought)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Combine lemon juice with olive oil, garlic, shallot, sazon, and salt.
  • To devein the shrimp, make a slit down the rounded back portion of the shell. Remove the dark brown vein. Leave the shell intact.
  • Rinse the shrimp clean under cold water. Repeat the process with the remaining shrimp.
  • Blot the shrimp dry with paper towels.
  • Place shrimp in a resealable plastic bag. Pour half of the marinade over the top, and toss to coat with a pair of tongs. Seal the bag and place shrimp in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes—Reserve the other half of the marinade to make the sauce.
  • Preheat your grill for medium-high heat or 400 degrees F.
  • Once the grill comes up to temperature, place your cast-iron pan on the grill to heat up for 5 minutes or until it emits light wisps of smoke.
  • Next, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Let it heat for 1 minute.
  • Remove shrimp from the bag and add them to the pan. Discard the remaining marinade in the bag.
  • Cook for 1 minute per side.
  • Add reserved marinade to the pan. It will bubble and cook down quickly.
  • Turn the shrimp once more, and remove the pan from the grill.
  • The shrimp is done once the flesh and shells turn pink and are firm (not excessively firm) to the touch.
  • Transfer shrimp to a serving dish. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lemon slices. See below for details.
  • Optional step: Cut a lemon into fourths, and place them on the grill while the shrimp are cooking. Get a nice golden brown char on both sides, and serve the sliced lemon with the shrimp.

Notes

Stovetop method:
Heat your cast-iron pan on medium-high heat until it releases a slight whisp of smoke; add olive oil. Heat for 1 minute, and follow the remaining instructions listed above. Reduce the heat to medium if needed.
Storing Leftovers:
Store leftover cast-iron jumbo shrimp in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a skillet on your stovetop. Do not microwave them. They will turn tough and rubbery.

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 1290mg | Potassium: 228mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 374IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 1mg
Derrick Riches

I began writing about Barbecue & Grilling in 1997 with one mission, to help the backyard chef have the best experience possible.

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