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Cyndi Allison - Grill Girl

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp on the Barbecue Grill

Fresh Shrimp at the Beach
Fresh Shrimp


Wooden Skewers Soaking in Water
Wooden Skewers Soaking


Shrimp Marinating to Go on Grill
Shrimp Marinating


Partically Cooked Bacon to Wrap Shrimp
Hafl Cooked Bacon


Becon Wrapped Fresh Shrimp
Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

We spent last week at Cedar Island, North Carolina. The shrimp boats came right past the cottage, so we knew when to go down to Quality Seafood and buy shrimp fresh off the boat. At $3 per pound, we played around with a lot of grilled shrimp and ate as much as we could possibly handle.

After a lot of experimenting, this is our favorite for Bacon Wrapped Shrimp.

Bacon Wrapped Fresh Shrimp Directions

First you need to get your shrimp. I prefer fresh with heads on and right off the boat. It’s fine to get it ready to cook from the grocery store especially if the heads gross you out. The size doesn’t matter much. The smaller the shrimp the quicker it cooks. Larger shrimp is quicker to prepare, since the pieces are larger.

Heads On or Off

You can grill the shrimp with the heads and shells on. I like it fine like that, but the boys prefer that the shrimp is de-headed and peeled. I humor them. You do have to watch closer if you remove the heads and shells. It’s easy to overcook shrimp, and that makes it tough and rubbery.


We tried a number of marinades – many homemade. The boys liked our basic Kraft Italian dressing (the oily type – not creamy) best. They are not gourmet boys, and many of my readers aren’t either. So just pour some Kraft Italian dressing over the shrimp and let them sit in the refrigerator for a half hour or more.


While the shrimp are marinating, be sure to soak the skewers if you’re using wooden skewers. They need to soak at least 20 minutes or they’ll scorch or catch on fire. If you’re using metal skewers, you’re good to go.


You can half cook the bacon while the shrimp is marinating and the skewers are soaking. Actually you don’t have to cook the bacon at all. You can just wrap it, but we found that cooking it about half done was better. When we didn’t cook the bacon at all, it was flabby. The younger son likes bacon like that. The rest of us prefer crispier bacon. The key to getting it crispy is to fry it in the skillet for a while. You can see what I mean in the picture over to the side.

For this shrimp, I cut the bacon slices in thirds. For bigger shrimp, cutting the bacon in half might work better. You want the bacon long enough to go all the way around the shrimp with a little overlap. Remember that it shrinks a bit if you pre cook the bacon a bit.


After the bacon was fried a little and had cooled, I took a shrimp and wrapped the bacon around. The skewer goes through catching the bacon to hold it around the shrimp. Push through where the bacon meets, so it stays on tight. The bacon does shrink some more and holds on tight as it cooks. When threading the skewers it’s loose so catch it good with the skewers.

On the Grill

Place the skewers on the grill. When the shrimp starts to turn orange colored, flip them. This only take a very few minutes. The times depends on the size of the shrimp. The color is the best guide. Once you see the color like at restaurants, that’s it. Your shrimp is done. Even with the bacon around there, you can see the ends of the shrimp and the coloring. With the pre cooking on the bacon, it is also a nice brown color. If not precooked, the bacon is a bit anemic when the shrimp are done.

Time to Eat

That’s all it takes to make bacon wrapped grilled shrimp. It really is easy to do, and it cooks up super fast. Have the sides ready ahead, because once the shrimp hits the grill, you’re almost ready to eat.



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