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Shrimp boil question?

worktogthr

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Well today I made a shrimp boil with some
Andouille I made because a fine friend supplied me with some andouille seasoning. The shrimp boil was great. Easy and delicious and only messed one pot. So here's my questions...

Why do most shrimp boil recipes call for shell on shrimp? Most of them only have the shrimp added in the last 3-5 minutes so it doesn't seem like the shells can impart much flavor but i may be wrong. Just curious! Looking forward to hearing all of your answers.

Thanks,

Chris

 

b-one

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Most likely there cheaper. I was hoping you were looking for help eating!:biggrin:
 

rabbithutch

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IME shrimp are a lot easier to peel after they are cooked. Also, the shell will keep them from getting that awful rubber texture because they won't cook as fast.
 

jaxrmrjmr

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My wife is a shell on person.  I am a shell off person.  I haven't figured her out yet, so I'm no help.
 

mdboatbum

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There are a few reasons. One, the shells actually do impart flavor to the broth even in 3-4 minutes. And two, as Rabbithutch said, shell on shrimp cook more evenly and aren't as prone to overcooking. Also the shells offer a barrier between the water and the meat, avoiding soggy watered down shrimp.
 

dirtsailor2003

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There are a few reasons. One, the shells actually do impart flavor to the broth even in 3-4 minutes. And two, as Rabbithutch said, shell on shrimp cook more evenly and aren't as prone to overcooking. Also the shells offer a barrier between the water and the meat, avoiding soggy watered down shrimp.
Exactly! Now if I could only get shrimp with the heads on... All we can get are the bodies and tails!
 

mike5051

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Nice boil!  


I've only boiled shrimp with the heads and shell on.  It would be very easy to overcook without the shells.  I'm doing some tomorrow!

Mike
 

moikel

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Down here we would never boil prawns ( shrimp) or anything Similiar without the head on.
We want to see the head because if they aren't fresh you see it in the head,it will be discoloured .
If I am cooking some style of dishes I will fry the heads seperate with bits & a solid slug of white wine or vermouth to make a stock to add back into things like risotto or paella or gumbo.
 

mike5051

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5 lbs head on shrimp ready to boil.


Boiled for 3 minutes, added ice in a bag to stop the cooking, and cold soaked for 15 minutes in the seasoned water.  Shrimp cook really fast, and become difficult to peel if overcooked.  I let them cold soak up the seasoning until they are how I want them without having to worry about overcooking them.  

Mike
 

rabbithutch

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^^^
Mike, you look like an expert at boiling shrimp. That Qview is making me hungry!

A question, if you don't mind . . .

I used to overcook shrimp pretty badly. I've taken to putting them in cold water and bringing them up to a boil. I take them off when the first 2 or 4 start floating, drain the water and place them in ice. This seems to work for me, but I wondered if you have a better rule of thumb to avoid overcooking them? Also, is bringing them up to a boil better or worse than putting them in boiling water?

TIA

:grilling_smilie:
 

mike5051

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That sounds like a good method rabbithutch.  I've overcooked my share as well, and hard to peel shrimp drive me crazy!  I think the key step is stopping the cooking process as soon as they start to float.  I get my water boiling before I add the shrimp, but if your method works, go for it!  Happy boiling!

Mike
 

worktogthr

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I posted this thread and never got back to it. Sorry! My life got crazy. I just wanted to thank everyone who shares their answers with me. That's why I love this site. Always learning!
 

jaxrmrjmr

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We are going shrimping this coming up Sat and Sun nights.  We usually end up with a bucket or so if it's good.
 

mike5051

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We are going shrimping this coming up Sat and Sun nights.  We usually end up with a bucket or so if it's good.
I'm probably doing some this weekend also.  How much is a bucket?

Mike
 

jaxrmrjmr

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Legally, here in FL, a bucket is a five gallon bucket.  I rarely catch that much.  I use a little 3 gallon bucket.  If that gets over half way full, then I'm happy.
 

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