Louisiana BBQ shrimp is traditionally cooked in the oven, but we will be cooking this dish in a cast-iron pan right on the grill. Whether you use gas, charcoal, or a pellet cooker is entirely up to you. What will be evident is how delicious this “BBQ” shrimp is!
What is Louisiana BBQ Shrimp?
Louisiana BBQ Shrimp, also known as New Orleans BBQ Shrimp, is not barbecued at all. Normally, this shrimp dish is cooked on the stovetop in a skillet or started on the stovetop and then finished in the oven. The flavors aren’t inherently barbecue; at least the barbecue flavors we’ve all come to know and love (think Kansas City rubs and sauces). No, this dish has deep roots in the Louisiana creole population. What they call BBQ is actually a braising liquid made of butter, spices, Worcestershire sauce, beer, or wine. Think more along the lines of shrimp scampi, but with a kick of flavor that is just out of this world!
What you’ll need for this recipe:
Jumbo Shrimp: The flavor of Louisiana BBQ Shrimp is entirely dependent on the ingredients and can vary from chef to chef. Even the preparation of the shrimp is an individual choice. We like to remove the shells to take the hassle out of serving and eating. However, some folks like to suck on the shells before removing them and digging into the shrimp meat.
Beer: We like to use a good quality ale for this recipe. However, you get to choose which one. Here’s a tip. If you like drinking a certain ale, consider using it in this dish.
Butter: Real butter is needed for this recipe. Yes, you can use olive oil if necessary, but it is much better with butter.
Worcestershire Sauce: This is an important ingredient for making Louisiana BBQ shrimp. It adds a nice umami flavor profile, similar to soy sauce but with a hint of tamarind and molasses.
How to serve:
If you plan to serve this dish as an appetizer, serve with crusty French bread. You can also pair this BBQ shrimp with plain rice and steamed or grilled vegetables for a full meal.
Like this recipe? Try this:
- 2 1/2 pounds jumbo shrimp
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley garnish
- 3/4 cup good quality ale
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne use less if preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Prepare the shrimp by snipping the shell down the back with a pair of kitchen scissors. Remove vein. Traditionally, the shells are left on, but I prefer to remove them. Repeat process with each shrimp.
- In a large bowl, combine ale, broth, melted butter, oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme, cayenne, granulated onion, and white pepper. Add deveined shrimp to mixture. Gently toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat your grill for medium-high heat. Place a cast-iron skillet large enough to accommodate all of the shrimp onto the grill. Heat it up for about 10 minutes; until it’s good and hot.
- Add the shrimp marinade into the pan first. This will become the sauce. Let it bubble up and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Stir through and watch for burning.
- Now, add the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes, turning often.
- One shrimp are firm and pink in appearance, and the sauce has simmered and reduced by 1/3, remove the cast iron pan from grill. It's best to use heat resistant gloves for this job.
- Carefully place contents into a serving dish, or set the hot pan on a sturdy heat resistant surface. Serve with rice or a good crusty bread, and dig in!