10 Tips for Perfectly Grilling Shrimp and Scallops

10 Tips for Perfectly Grilling Shrimp and Scallops

Are you looking to elevate your grilling game this summer? Grilling shrimp and scallops can be a delicious and impressive addition to your BBQ menu. However, getting them just right can be a challenge. With these 10 expert tips, you’ll be able to achieve perfectly grilled shrimp and scallops every time. From choosing the best seafood to mastering the grill temperature, this article will guide you through the process of creating mouthwatering grilled dishes that will impress your family and friends.

Preparation Tips

Before you start grilling shrimp and scallops, it’s important to properly prepare the seafood to ensure a delicious end result. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Selecting Fresh Seafood

When choosing shrimp and scallops for grilling, it’s important to select seafood that is fresh and of high quality. Look for shrimp that are firm and have a mild, sweet scent. For scallops, choose ones that are plump and have a slightly translucent appearance. Avoid seafood that smells fishy or has discolored spots.

Cleaning and Deveining Shrimp

To clean and devein shrimp, start by removing the shell and legs. Make a shallow cut along the back of the shrimp and remove the dark vein with a knife or deveining tool. Rinse the shrimp under cold water to remove any remaining debris. Pat them dry with paper towels before grilling.

Preparing Scallops

When preparing scallops for grilling, make sure they are dry to ensure a nice sear. If the scallops are wet, pat them dry with paper towels before seasoning. You can also remove the small side muscle from the scallop if desired. Season the scallops with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices before grilling.

Marinating Techniques

When it comes to perfectly grilling shrimp and scallops, marinating is key. Marinating not only adds flavor to the seafood but also helps to keep it tender and juicy during the cooking process. Here are three delicious marinades to try for your next seafood grilling adventure:

Citrus Marinade for Shrimp

For a bright and refreshing flavor, try marinating your shrimp in a citrus marinade. Simply combine freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. You can also add a touch of honey or maple syrup for a hint of sweetness. Let the shrimp marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Garlic Butter Marinade for Scallops

If you’re a fan of rich and indulgent flavors, a garlic butter marinade is the perfect choice for scallops. Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté minced garlic until fragrant. Add a splash of white wine, lemon juice, and fresh herbs like parsley or thyme. Let the scallops soak up the delicious garlic butter mixture for at least 15 minutes before grilling to perfection.

Asian-Inspired Marinade for Seafood

For a fusion of sweet, savory, and umami flavors, try an Asian-inspired marinade for your seafood. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic in a bowl. You can also add a touch of honey or brown sugar for sweetness. Marinate your shrimp and scallops in this flavorful mixture for at least 1 hour before grilling to infuse the seafood with delicious Asian-inspired flavors.

Experiment with different marinades to find your favorite flavor combination for perfectly grilled shrimp and scallops every time. Happy grilling!

Grilling Methods

When it comes to grilling shrimp and scallops, there are a few different methods you can use. The two main methods are direct heat and indirect heat.

Direct vs. Indirect Heat

Direct heat is when the food is placed directly over the heat source, such as the flames on a gas grill or the charcoal on a charcoal grill. This method is best for quickly cooking shrimp and scallops, as it gives them a nice sear on the outside while keeping them juicy on the inside.

Indirect heat, on the other hand, is when the food is placed away from the heat source, usually on the cooler side of the grill. This method is best for slower cooking shrimp and scallops, allowing them to cook more evenly without burning on the outside.

Skewer vs. Grill Basket

Another important aspect to consider when grilling shrimp and scallops is whether to skewer them or use a grill basket. Skewering the seafood can help prevent them from falling through the grill grates, but a grill basket can make it easier to flip them and prevent them from sticking.

Grilling Time and Temperature

The optimal grilling time and temperature for shrimp and scallops can vary depending on their size and the method of grilling being used. In general, shrimp and scallops cook quickly and should be grilled over medium-high heat for just a few minutes on each side. It’s important not to overcook them, as they can become tough and rubbery. It’s best to use a meat thermometer to ensure they are cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F. Remember, seafood will continue to cook even after being removed from the grill, so it’s best to slightly undercook them and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

Presentation and Serving

When it comes to presenting and serving grilled shrimp and scallops, it’s all about creating an enticing and visually appealing dish. Here are a few tips to help you elevate the presentation of your seafood:

Garnishing with Fresh Herbs

One way to add a pop of color and flavor to your grilled shrimp and scallops is to garnish them with fresh herbs. Consider using herbs like parsley, cilantro, or chives to add a touch of freshness to your dish. Simply sprinkle the herbs over the seafood before serving to enhance the overall presentation.

Pairing with Side Dishes

To complement the flavors of your grilled shrimp and scallops, consider pairing them with a variety of side dishes. Some popular options include grilled vegetables, rice pilaf, or a fresh salad. The key is to choose sides that will enhance the flavors of the seafood without overpowering them.

Serving Suggestions for Seafood

When serving grilled shrimp and scallops, it’s important to consider the overall presentation of the dish. You can opt to serve the seafood on a bed of greens, on a platter with dipping sauces, or even on skewers for a fun and interactive dining experience. Whatever serving method you choose, be sure to present the seafood in a way that is visually appealing and inviting to your guests.


In conclusion, grilling shrimp and scallops can be a delicious and satisfying experience when done correctly. By following these 10 tips, you can ensure that your seafood turns out perfectly grilled every time. From properly prepping your ingredients to mastering the grill temperature, there are many factors to consider when grilling shrimp and scallops. With practice and attention to detail, you can become a master griller and impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. So fire up the grill, grab some fresh seafood, and get ready to enjoy a mouthwatering meal that will have everyone coming back for more. Happy grilling!

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