At first glance, these butter and garlic smoked shrimp seem so simple and seemingly unexciting they can’t possibly be worth an entire recipe write-up about. Simple? Yes. Worth a recipe write-up about? Oh yes. If you have a smoker (or can borrow one for a hot minute) and you haven’t smoked shrimp on it, you are in for a treat. We developed this recipe with the idea that the results would require minimal effort but be huge on flavor. We must admit: we outdid ourselves. These smoked shrimp are a total homerun. With six super simple ingredients and a little time in the smoker (like seriously, six minutes tops) the most succulent, smoky, buttery shrimp are all yours.

butter & garlic smoked shrimp with minced parsley and lemon

Tips for Making Smoked Shrimp

  • Fresh or frozen shrimp both work here, but quality and freshness are key. This is not the time to use those freezer-burned shrimp that have been relegated to the back of the freezer. The shrimp flavor shines here, and so too will that freezer burn.
  • Whether fresh or thawed from frozen, please do pat the shrimp dry. Butter doesn’t properly adhere to wet shrimp, which makes basting pretty tough. Which makes for dried-out shrimp. Which would be a shame.
  • The shrimp are going to cook really quickly–yay for dinner-in-30! They do require a careful eye, though, as they will go from not-quite-done to shrimpy hockey pucks in a matter of moments. Grab your meat thermometer, cook to 120°F. You’ve got this.

What to Serve with Smoked Shrimp

While we have no shame in endorsing consuming an entire plate of smoked shrimp for dinner, your wallet might thank you for sharing the love and pairing these pink beauties with something carb-y and green-ish. If it’s summertime, make thick slices of grilled sourdough with salted butter and this heirloom tomato salad for accompaniments that require essentially no time in front of the stove. If you’re not feeling stove-averse, roasted potatoes or rice pilaf (both vehicles for welcomed smoky lemon and shrimp juices) would pair beautifully. And, though we haven’t done it yet, we can’t think of a single reason not to make shrimp cocktail using these smoked shrimp. We’ll be right over.

More Dinner-in-30 Ideas

Butter & Garlic Smoked Shrimp

Brooke Eliason
Servings: 4 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


  • lbs large peeled, deveined shrimp, tails on*
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 large lemons
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup parsley, minced


  • Preheat smoker to 500°F. If wooden, soak kabob skewers in a tall glass of water or shallow pan while preparing shrimp. If shrimp is frozen, run under cold water until thawed. Pat shrimp dry.
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. While butter is melting, use a microplace zester to finely grate garlic into the butter. Add salt, and cook garlic in melted butter for about 1 minute until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Do not burn. Remove from heat.
  • Cut lemon into small wedges by cutting in half crosswise, then cutting each lemon half into 6 wedges. Skewer shrimp and lemon onto skewers, placing a lemon wedge between each set of two shrimp (see picture for example). Baste half of the garlic butter on top of the skewered shrimp (don’t baste the lemon).
  • Place the skewered shrimp and lemons on the smoker, buttered side down. Butter the exposed/unbuttered sides of the shrimp with remaining butter, close the lid and cook for 2-3 minutes. After 2-3 minutes, turn the shrimp to cook the other side for an additional 2 minutes. Shrimp is done when it’s pink, opaque, and the internal temperature is 120°F. Do not overcook.
  • Remove shrimp from smoker and sprinkle parsley on top. Serve immediately.


  • Smoker
  • 8-10 kabob skewers


*16-20 count per pound is ideal. You can usually find this information on the package of the shrimp if purchasing frozen.

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