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Jun 8, 2011 08:23 AM

Boil shrimp in or out of shell

I want to cook shrimp to put in a salad. Is it better to boil in or out of the shell? Thanks!

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  1. I prefer out of the shell. That way I can devein before cooking and save the raw shells for soup.

    1. I think you get more flavor if you boil in the shell. And you can still keep the water, strain it and reduce further for stock.

      1 Reply
      1. They're easier to peel after cooking.
        Throw the shells back in the water for a while to make shrimp stock!

        1. They cook for such a short time I don't think the flavor will be different either way. I agree that the peeling is less of a chore after cooking.

          1. I like to boil them shell-on. I think there is less chance of drying them out. But I discard the shells. I also plunge them directly into ice water to halt the cooking process.

            3 Replies
              1. re: Gail

                I do this: Bring water to a boil, add shrimp, start timing -- 3 minutes. (Don't wait for water to return to a boil, start timing the second the shrimp are in.) After 3 minutes, remove from water. This always works nicely for me. I usually cook about 12-15 medium shrimp at a time, not tiny salad ones or giant grillable ones.

                1. re: blue room

                  I usually bring water to a boil, add shrimp, take pot off heat, slap a cover on until the shrimp are pink through - happens in 5-8 minutes or so, depending on size, and they are always tender, never tough.