Here’s a smokey twist on a classic favorite. Smoked garlic butter shrimp are indulgent, easy, and they smoke super quickly!
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This is one of those smoker recipes that everyone asks us to bring to parties. Dustin makes a pan of smoked shrimp just about every time we have the smoker fired up.
They cook in about 30 minutes once the temperature is up to snuff and since they’re easy to prepare I have no qualms about keeping them on hand.
Is it safe to smoke shrimp?
It’s really easy and totally safe to smoke shrimp. We’re using a hot smoker to cook these tasty little crustaceans and since the shrimp cook so fast they reach their prime internal temperature quickly on the smoker.
Your shrimp need to get to 145 Degrees Fahrenheit to be safe for consumption. We use internal thermometers that have digital displays. Some of them attach to our phones as well so we can monitor them and pull them off as soon as they reach temperature (yay for not overcooking food)!
What do I need to make smoked garlic butter shrimp?
You’ll need just a few simple ingredients to make our fabulous smoked garlic butter shrimp. The name is confusing. We’re not smoking the garlic butter, we’re smoking the shrimp that are coated in garlic butter…it’s totally indlugent and a little bit too easy if you ask me. Might be some witchy magic going on!
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled, tail on
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, salted
- Salt and pepper to taste
That’s it. No joke it could not be any easier, right?! Check it out below, you won’t believe how quick it is to throw these together.
How to make shrimp on the smoker:
We’re going to dive right into this recipe. It’s not complicated and there’s no need for warnings, tips, or tricks. This is as simple and direct as they come for smoker recipe.
Preheat the smoker to 175-180 degrees F. You can go hotter if you want but this works just fine for us on a typical day.
Use a baking tray or aluminum pan for your shrimp. Place the raw shrimp in lines inside the pan.
Coat the raw shrimp with the melted butter and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste and pop them in the smoker.
When they’ve reached 145 F internal temperature they can come off. This usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour depending on how well insulated your smoker is and how windy it is outside.
There’s no need to open the door, turn them, or check them really until the thermometer tells you they’ve reached our goal temperature!
The shrimp are ready to eat as soon as they come off the smoker but you can let them rest for a few minutes if you’d like. This small amount of smoker time allows the garlic butter shrimp to get a good smokey flavor without being too overwhelming.
Because the shrimp are cooked in a pan they marinate in their juices and all that buttery garlic really soaks into the shrimp. We have thrown these into an alfredo sauce, tossed them with pasta, eaten them right off the tray, and used them for salads. This is an easy smoker recipe that anyone can try and the end result can be used in so many different ways!
Smoked garlic butter shrimp also make a nice appetizer for parties, gatherings, and family events…but be warned: once you make one batch it’ll be what you take to parties for the rest of your life 😉
Can I use frozen shrimp on the smoker?
I keep frozen raw shrimp on hand at all times. It’s something we use a lot and eat a lot of so I stock up when I’m at Aldi and keep them around to use when the mood strikes us.
You can thaw shrimp out pretty quickly which is nice but I wouldn’t try to use completely frozen shrimp in the smoker. Thaw them out, season them, and then smoke them!
Is there a dairy free alternative for the butter?
You can skip the butter and use ghee or a vegan substitute of your choosing! For this garlic butter shrimp recipe I think the butter adds a nice flavor but you can sub in whatever you would normally use in a butter situation!
Can I smoke plain shrimp?
You can absolutely smoke the plain shrimp. I would give them a little toss with some olive oil and salt and pepper just to make sure they don’t come out super bland but it’s absolutely possible to just smoke the shrimp without the garlic and butter.
If you are smoking the shrimp plain, just put them into a wire basket so they get the most smoke possible. They’ll also get done faster that way!
Can I make smoked shrimp with precooked shrimp?
We’ve never tried to smoke cooked shrimp because shrimp overcook really easily. It’s never made sense for us to use cooked shrimp instead of raw ones so we just haven’t tried it.
I suppose you could try it at a lower temperature and see how it comes out, just be prepared for overcooked shrimp in that case. Once you have smoked your shrimp, of either kind, you can also use them in amazing pasta dishes like this smoked shrimp rigatoni!
What type of wood to use for making smoked garlic butter shrimp:
You can use whatever wood you have on hand. I think mild woods work best for fish and that goes for shrimp in this case as well. Fruit woods, maple, alder wood, etc. Cherry, pecan, apple, or hickory would be great choices!
Printable Smoked Garlic Butter Shrimp Recipe
Smoked Garlic Butter Shrimp
- 1 pound raw shrimp peeled, tail on
- 2 tablespoons fresh garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons melted butter salted
- Preheat the smoker to 175-180 degrees F. You can go hotter if you want but this works just fine for us on a typical day.
- Use a baking tray or aluminum pan for your shrimp. Place the raw shrimp in lines inside the pan.
- Coat the raw shrimp with the melted butter and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste and pop them in the smoker.
- When they’ve reached 145 F internal temperature they can come off. This usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour depending on how well insulated your smoker is and how windy it is outside. There’s no need to open the door, turn them, or check them really until the thermometer tells you they’ve reached our goal temperature!