How to cook beer boiled peel and eat shrimp – this classic spread can be recreated in less than 15 minutes.
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Read on for a few relevant details (1 min)
Beer Shrimp Boil
A simplified version of low country boil, your typical peel and eat shrimp boil is centered around two key ingredients besides the well loved crustaceans – beer and a flavorful blend of spices. While there are people who love and swear by Old Bay seasoning, others mix their own blends.
The key is to boil the shrimp in as flavorful liquid as possible so it can get infused with that distinctive taste seafood boils are loved for.
Ingredients for Beer Boiled Peel and Eat Shrimp
- Shrimp. Use fresh or frozen shell-on shrimp, sized 21-25 per pound or similar. Before cooking rinse and devein them if needed (if the vein is dark, otherwise you do not need to remove it).
- Beer. See the notes below on suitable styles.
- Onion. To add savory flavor to the boiling liquid.
- Bay leaf and mustard seed. To infuse the boiling mixture with their distinctive flavor and spice.
- Lemon or lime. To contribute bright, acidic notes.
- Seasonings. The key contributor of salinity and flavor, you will add it to the boiling liquid and also season the cooked shrimp. Use classic Old Bay seasoning or the homemade mix we include in the recipe card and feel free to adjust it to taste.
TIP: To devein shrimp and keep the shell on simply use a small, sharp knife and carefully cut a shallow slit through the shell and the back of each shrimp, along the top. Use the incisions to lift out the veins using the knife’s tip. Doing this will also make peeling the cooked shrimp easier.
Best Beer for Shrimp
In terms of beer styles to use for the boiling liquid, there are multiple options – the more flavorful the brew the better.
Desirable flavor infusions are beer’s distinct maltiness and citrusy or herbal hoppy notes. Excessive bitterness is not complementary even though the dilution with water takes away some of the edge.
To that end the following styles are highest on our list of possibilities.
- flavorful lagers such as pilsners, American craft lagers, helles, dunkel, bock
- flavorful ales such as saisons, gose, low bitterness pale ales and IPA’s flavored with citrusy/herbal aroma hops
- American wheat ales brewed with clean, citrusy American yeast
For this post we used Chris’ home brewed New England style IPA – low in bitterness, high on bright citrus flavor.
How to Boil Shrimp with Beer
- Add beer and water to a large pot and heat it over medium-high heat. Use a 1:1 ratio of beer to water. About 12 oz of each is enough for 2 pounds of shrimp.
- To the liquid mixture add onion, lemon and/or lime wedges, bay leaf, mustard seed and 1 tbsp of seasoning and bring to simmer.
- Add the shrimp and let simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Once the shrimp is cooked drain it, discard the liquid and generously dust with more seasoning salt. Garnish with chopped parsley.
How to Serve Peel an Eat Shrimp
By far the most popular item to serve alongside classic beer boiled shrimp is drawn garlic butter sauce, followed by cocktail sauce. By way of sides stay in keeping with the traditional seafood boil ingredients such as boiled red potatoes and corn on the cob.
Also try our Seafood Boil Sauce that is loaded with flavor and very easy to make. You can dip the shrimp and any accompaniyng starches and vegetables in it for delicious results!
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Classic Beer Boiled Peel and Eat Shrimp
No fuss, low key classic beer boiled shrimp recipe. Resulting quantity of peel and eat shrimp serves 2 as a main course or 4 as an appetizer.
- 2 lbs of fresh 21-25 shrimp
- 1 yellow onion, cut in small pieces
- 1 12 oz craft beer, wheat ale, Pilsner, Kolsch, pale ale or lager
- 12 oz water
- 3 lemon wedges + extra for serving
- 3 lime wedges + extra for serving
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seed
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Old Bay seasoning or prepare your own by mixing: 1 tsp each of celery salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, dried oregano, dried thyme + 1/2 tsp black pepper
- drawn butter as needed
- cocktail sauce as needed
- In a large pot pour the beer and water and heat over medium-high.
- Add the onion, lemon and lime wedges, bay leaf, mustard seed and 1 tbsp of the seasoning to the liquid and bring to simmer.
- Add the shrimp and let simmer for 3-4 minutes.
- Drain the shrimp and discard the boiling liquid. Generously dust the drained shrimp with more seasoning.
- Serve garnished with parsley and ramekins of drawn butter and/or cocktail sauce. As sides serve boiled corn on the cob and/or red potatoes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 2 or 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 983mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 11g
Good recipe. We used hefe and doubled the ingredients to feed six. Success! Glad I came across this site and will try more of your recipes.
Thank you so much Sharon! We are stoked about the feature! Thank you, thank you!
Thank you Leslie! We are a tiny bit jealous of those who get to buy fresh shellfish on a regular basis:)
Thank you so much Lisa!
kristin mccarthy says
I love seafood. We just returned fro Cape Cod where I ate it for every meal. Lobsta’ rolls for breakfast ya’ll!
Sounds great! A lobster roll for breakfast sounds divine. I’d even throw in a beer if I was on vacation and eating my breakfast closer to noon…
Marvellina | What To Cook Today says
I can just imagine peeling the shrimp and busy licking fingers at the same time 🙂 Looks incredibly good
Thank you Marvellina! Glad you are on board with the messy act of licking seasoning off of shrimp and fingers:)
Amber Harrop says
Wow these sound fantastic 🙂 I love shrimp and I am an Aussie by birth so beer and shrimp it perfect
Thanks Amber! I have heard of the Aussie love of beer:)!
Miz Helen says
A Bucket of these beer boiled shrimp would be fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
Thank you Miz Helen!
Menaka Bharathi says
Shrimps….The pictures looks totally tempting and yummy…Love your seasoning too 🙂
Thank you Menaka!
Jann Olson says
I love beer batter on fish, so I am sure this is absolutely the yummiest! I love shrimp!! Thanks for sharing the recipe with SYC.
Thank you Jann!
This has to be the perfect summer meal. My best friend lives right on the ocean so I will be sending this to her. Your photographs are making me hungry, beautiful pics of beautifully displayed food.
Leanna, thank you for your kind words! Truth be told, looking at the pictures I’m getting a little hungry too…Maybe I will see fresh (er) shrimp at the store soon:) Fingers crossed!
Amy (Savory Moments) says
This looks amazing! A perfect summer meal. Thanks for linking up to the Friday Frenzy!
Thank you Amy!
Michelle Leslie says
Oh emmm geeeee, how I miss being close to the ocean right now Milena. Your shrimps look scrumptious. If only I could reach my hand through this laptop of mine, those would be gone in an instant.
Thank you Michelle! I agree, living close to water has notable culinary benefits!
I live on the Texas Gulf Coast and can get shrimp pretty much year round. This looks like a delicious recipe!
Cathy, what a tease! Having fresh seafood available is definitely a blessing in my opinion.
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
So I’m thinking I’ll come for a visit this weekend. I’ll bring dessert as long as we get this amazing shrimp boil for the main event! OMG, your pictures are making me soooo hungry!
That’s a great idea!We can peel and eat shrimp and then indulge in dessert:)
[email protected] says
Man how I wish I was sitting at this table! Gorgeous, summery and delish! Everything we hope for in a meal! Pinned!
You are always welcome at our table, Annie!
Dawn - Girl Heart Food says
Love this!!! I’m such a fan of licking seasoning too. Like, if I have potato chips (especially Zesty Doritos) all the spice is off before I even bite into it, lol. Love that you made your own seasoning here and butter? YES please. I love that stuff to darn much. Too much. Gotta love summertime eatin’. It’s recipes like this that make me wish it were summer year ’round! Good luck with your organizing, girl! I love organizing too, but totally have to be in the mood, but when I am….watch out 😉 Have an awesome weekend! Cheers to ya!
Totally relate to the chips seasoning being licked off before the chip has been bitten into:) LOL! Cheers to you too and eat well!