How Long Does It Take To Boil A Shrimp (And Why)?

How Long Does It Take To Boil A Shrimp (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 to 3 minutes

Shrimp has various cooking recipes, and it takes very little time to cook or boil it. Shrimps are one of the most loved seafood and are incredibly delicious to eat. 

Countries rich in water bodies have massive consumption and exports of different varieties and different sizes of shrimps. The boiling of shrimps is always beneficial for any shrimp recipe, and it takes very little time. Due to this reason, one must keep a watch while boiling shrimp to avoid overcooking. 

Shrimps from Asian nations travel to different European, African as well as Western Nations. The reason remains the high amount of water bodies present in Asian countries that are highly suitable for the shrimp market. 

Shrimps are perishable food items and must be cooked within one or two days of purchase to avoid damage. Boiling depends on the nature of shrimp, as shrimps are both raw and frozen. Both types take their own time to get boiled.

How Long Does It Take To Boil A Shrimp

How Long Does It Take To Boil Shrimp?

Size of ShrimpTime 
51-60lb i.e. Small 30 seconds – 1 minute
41-50lb i.e. Medium 1-1.5 minutes
31-35lb i.e. Large2-3 minutes
21-25lb i.e. Jumbo3-4 minutes
16-20lb i.e. Extra Jumbo4-5 minutes

Shrimps take very little time to boil and, depending upon their size and type, time varies. A large pot full of water may prove more efficient as it will remain hotter. But try to adjust the water quantity per pound of shrimp. 

Red shrimp, jumbo shrimp, etc., have different time duration for boiling. But most remain under five minutes. If the shell was not peeled off still the time duration doesn’t vary much that to shell-off shrimp. Shrimps cook faster, and the texture might get disturbed, so it’s essential to calculate proper time according to the shrimp amount.

If the ends of the shrimp have a white appearance, it may indicate that it is overcooked. When there is a pinkish color, and the shrimp get curled, it has almost reached cooked, and it’s time to slow down the process. 

The process starts with taking cold water in a saucepan and putting it on high heat. Then add the shrimps to the saucepan and wait. The time duration will depend on the type and amount but should be between 2-5 minutes.

Now after the first two steps, drain it. Now put it in cold water to stop the cooking process. Add lemon juice to it with pieces and herbs. Also, one can prepare a sizzling sauce for dipping the delicious shrimp. 

Why Does It Take So Long To Boil Shrimp?

Boiling shrimp is not the only option to cook the shrimp. Shrimps can be steamed or even grilled too. But boiling is a faster, time-saving and healthy process. 

Due to the soft texture, boiling makes the shrimp juicy and tender. Even marinating it after boiling makes it tastier. When dipped in sizzling sauce, boiled shrimps become a tangy, sweet, and addictive treat. 

Shrimps are both farmed and are fetched from rivers or oceans. Shrimp must be cooked within a suitable period after buying them. Stay informed during the purchase of shrimp.

Local shrimps are fresher than the imported ones. Shrimps boil faster due to the soft and light-textured surface. Shell on shrimps have a layer of slightly hardcover, but the boiling process doesn’t require shot In or shot-off words. 

Shell on shrimps have a better texture, but the cover-off ones are easier to eat. The garnishing process may be carried out after the booking, but even one can cook them together. Add spices and herbs to the boiling water and make it more aromatic.

Along with spices, onions, garlic, ginger, everything must be chopped and added in the proper amount. In the end, potatoes and corn can also be added, but that sticks to some particular recipes. 

Although in different parts of the world, shrimps have other recipes. In India, they are fried or are made with spicy gravy. Take a precaution, don’t let the shrimp turn rubbery, stop the boiling process at the proper time. 

One can taste shrimp while boiling to determine the texture. It will also help to understand the concentration of spices required, or it’s already in excess.


The boiling process doesn’t require much patience and skills. It’s easy to prepare. Also, one can experiment with mixing different spices and create shrimp recipes. One may grill it, fry it or steam it, but it will remain one of the most delicious seafood.

Try it with forms of sauce to make it an explosion of spicy and tangy experience. Keep it fresh, soft, and light-textured to enjoy excellent cuisine. 


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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