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Sep 1, 2012 09:17 PM

surprising yield - shrimp peeled to unpeeled

is it normal to yield only 50% yield from peeled to unpeeled shrimp? it's a bit of a depressing shocker that my 1 lb of unpeeled shrimp is only 1/2 lb peeled...

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  1. Shocking as it may seem, that's just about right. You should expect 1 pound of raw shrimp in their shells = about 1/2 pound peeled and cooked shrimp.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      good incentive to save the $12/lb shells, eh?

      1. re: porker

        I try to avoid shrimp that has been peeled before freezing. I find the shells not only add more flavor to the shrimp, they protect the texture of it as well.

        1. re: JoanN

          I agree - even more so, shrimp that has been peeled *and* cooked before freezing.

          What I meant was to peel the shrimp at home and save (freeze) the shells until you get enough to make a stock or something....instead of throwing away stuff that you're paying $12/lb for.

          1. re: porker

            ^this ^this and a thousand times ^ this.

            Shells, legs etc make wonderful broth.

            1. re: Zalbar

              I really wanted this to be true but I've tried making broth from shells and it was so bad! I can only assume it was my error, I'll have to try again.

    2. That does not sound right to me unless you had head on shrimp. I think you may have had a lot of water loss... Maybe smaller shrimp have a higher ration of skin to meat...

      2 Replies
      1. re: kengk

        That sounds very low for headless shrimp. When I worked in a fish market years ago it was about 66%, regardless of what size we we were peeling.

        1. re: kengk

          They were 16/20 tiger shrimp if that makes any difference. I have noticed that these shrimp vs the non-tiger variety I have bought in the past seem to have somewhat thicker shells but not sure if that is actually true

        2. I know, it feels like such a waste to toss half of what you spent good money on! I always make soup broth with the shrimp shells. If I have peeled them raw, I saute the shells in a little olive oil for a few minutes till they turn pink, then add a couple cups of water and cook it for a few hours. Strain, then freeze to use for any fish soup, gumbo or jambalaya that I make another time.

          The head-on ones I got at the shrimp boat shack in Charleston did yield just 50%, but they were only 2 bucks a pound, so it didn't hurt as much.

          1. For head-on shrimp... sounds logical. For head-off, thiinking shells:tail ration would be significantly different. Think I'll check that out myself the next time I buy shrimp.

            Though I love crab, imagine you toss WAY more than you keep if you're picking them yourself... ven if you're really GOOD at it. That $25/lb lump or backfin just might be a bargain in the long run.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kseiverd

              Edible yield by weight from lobsters, both Maine and spiny, runs about 30%. My yield from shell-on headless pink Florida shrimp is 75% after cooking in the shell. I never learned the knack for thorough crab picking; not enough practice.

              1. re: Veggo

                I was lucky enough to learn from the ladies picking crabs down at the docks in Annapolis. I'm not as fast as I used to be (not much practice any more), but I'm still pretty quick!

            2. We peel large amounts of shrimp at work. 21-25 Gulf white or green and we get a much better yield than that I would say near 75% shrimp meat at least.