Smoked shrimp are an easy paleo, gluten-free appetizer or main dish. The possibilities are endless for dipping sauces — guacamole, honey mustard, cocktail sauce — but today I served them simply tossed with a garlic herb butter (made with grass-fed ghee). They were perfect with a quick summer tomato and cucumber salad.
The key to smoking shrimp is not to overcook them. I can't emphasize this enough. Unlike a thick cut of meat, shrimp smoke quickly and will be done in 20 minutes or so, depending on the heat of your smoker and the size of you shrimp. You definitely need to keep an eye on them. I start checking them at 10 minutes and keep checking them until they are just cooked through.
I've smoked shrimp both peeled and unpeeled, and they are good both ways. If you have shell-on shrimp, go ahead and throw them on the smoker that way and serve them as “peel and eat” shrimp with the garlic butter sauce for dipping. Either way, toss them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper before putting them on the smoker. This helps keep them from drying out while they smoke. I like to use a garlic infused olive oil for a little extra flavor.
- Preheat smoker or grill and add wood chips according to manufacturer's instructions.
- Toss shrimp with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Lay shrimp on smoker rack in a single layer. Check shrimp after 10 minutes and keep a close eye on them. Smoke shrimp until just cooked through, about 15-20 minutes total.
- While shrimp are smoking, combine ghee or butter, garlic, herbs and salt to taste. Drizzle over cooked shrimp and toss to coat. Serve remaining garlic herb butter as a dipping sauce.