Hot grills and shrimp have a bit of a love-hate relationship—the fiery coals give shellfish a great flavor, but that same high heat can easily lead to overcooking, with tough and rubbery results. Luckily, we have a couple of tricks and a great recipe to ensure that your shrimp come out perfectly cooked, with that signature char from the grill.
Your first step: Coat the shrimp with baking powder and salt. This combination helps the shrimp retain moisture and brown and crisp more effectively. In this recipe, we add chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder to the baking powder-and-salt mix, for an earthy flavor profile that pairs well with the sweet glaze (more on that later).
Our second tip: Skewer the shrimp close together, so that they touch each other. This method reduces the surface area and extends the cooking time, affording you a little more room for error—not that you'd ever make one. Plus, it's easier to maneuver the skewers this way—you don't want individual shrimp falling through the grates. After skewering, we also suggest letting the shrimp rest in the fridge for an hour, to gently dry their exteriors for quicker browning.
Even with these tips, there's no substitute for cooking the shrimp right, and this happens very quickly on the grill. Placed over the hot side of a two-zone fire—which means all the coals are placed on one side of the charcoal grate, or only half of the burners are ignited on a gas grill—the shrimp brown in just a minute and a half per side, after which they'll be almost, but not quite, cooked through.
At this point, you can move the shrimp to the cooler side of the grill and brush on a second layer of that sweet and sticky honey, chipotle, and lime glaze, then cover them up. Carryover cooking finishes them off in about two minutes.
The finished shrimp will be plump, juicy, and packed with flavor. To make them a meal, pair 'em with a bowl of BUSH'S® Honey Chipotle Grillin' Beans. The sweet honey profile complements the smoky charred flavors of the shrimp, for a satisfying, tasty dinner worthy of sharing with friends and family.
Chipotle-Lime Shrimp Skewers
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 4
Special Equipment: 10 to 12 bamboo skewers, soaked for 30 minutes prior to use; charcoal or gas grill
For the Glaze:
1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
2 tablespoons (30ml) honey
2 tablespoons (30ml) lime juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon (5ml) adobo sauce from a can of chipotle chilies in adobo
1 teaspoon lime zest
For the Seasoning:
1 1/2 teaspoons (7g) chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons (7g) dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon (5g) kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
To Cook and Serve:
2 pounds (900g) large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed
2 tablespoons (30ml) canola or vegetable oil
1 (21.5-ounce) can BUSH'S® Honey Chipotle Grillin' Beans, for serving
1. To Make the Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together chipotle chili, honey, lime juice, cilantro, adobo sauce, and lime zest. Set aside.
2. To Make the Seasoning: In a small bowl, combine chili powder, dark brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin, and baking powder. Place shrimp in a medium bowl and sprinkle on seasoning mixture. Toss to coat shrimp thoroughly. Thread shrimp onto 2 sets of skewers, pushing shrimp together so they're just touching. Lay skewers across edges of a baking dish so shrimp are suspended above bottom of dish. Transfer to refrigerator and rest for 1 hour.
3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate. Brush shrimp all over with glaze and place on hot side of grill. Cook until shrimp are almost cooked through, but not fully opaque throughout, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
4. Move shrimp to cool side of grill and brush again with glaze. Cover grill and let cook until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a cutting board.
5. Remove shrimp from skewers and transfer to a plate or serving platter. Serve with warm BUSH'S® Honey Chipotle Grillin' Beans.