Cedar Plank Shrimp are infused with smokey, sweet, garlicky flavors! This easy shrimp recipe only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish and always impresses. Just don’t forget to soak the cedar plank first!
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Wood adds amazing flavors to grilled food! Whether it’s wood chips added to coals or grilling meats on a cedar plank, wood is used in various recipes to enhance the flavor of whatever it’s cooking in the best way. Smoked infused fish and shrimp has an amazing subtle flavor, and the aroma that will fill your backyard is downright drool-worthy.
Cooking shrimp on a cedar plank is pretty much my favorite way to cook it because it’s so easy! Also, the flavor of the wood is subtle enough not to interfere with flavors of whatever sauce or seasoning that’s used. Instead, it adds a little smokiness and enhances all of the other flavors.
Did I mention just how easy it is to grill on a cedar plank? As long as you can remember to soak the plank for a couple of hours first, you are golden. Shrimp takes only a few minutes to cook on the cedar plank and always comes out so juicy and full of flavor. And in addition to great flavor, the cedar plank also protects the shrimp from direct heat so they’re harder to overcook.
Shrimp – You can use frozen shrimp if you’d like. Just sure you let them fully thaw in the refrigerator prior to using.
Brown Sugar – The subtle sweetness that this gives the shrimp is SO good! If you’re all out of brown sugar, you can always make your own by combining 1 cup of white sugar with 1 TBSP of molasses.
Garlic – Make sure you’re using fresh pressed garlic cloves and nothing pre-minced for the best flavor.
Lime Juice – Of course, fresh lime juice is always best! It has the best flavor and acidity.
Salt – I recommend using coarse or flaky sea salt, not iodized.
See the recipe card below for the full list of ingredients and instructions.
How to Make Cedar Plank Shrimp
Soak the planks. Place the cedar planks into a large roasting pan (1). Add enough water to fully submerge the planks and place something on top of the planks to keep them submerged. Soak the planks in water for 1-2 hours.
Prepare the shrimp. Peel and devein the shrimp if needed. Place the shrimp in a bowl and mix it with sugar, lime juice, pressed garlic, and salt (1).
Prepare the planks. Place soaked cedar planks on the grill and leave them for about 10 minutes to heat through (2).
Place the shrimp on the plank. Drain excess liquid off of the shrimp and place them on the hot cedar planks (3). Try not to overcrowd them.
Cook the shrimp. Close the grill lid and let it cook. Smaller shrimp will take about 4 minutes on each side and jumbo shrimp will take about 6 minutes on each side. Shrimp are done when pink and completely opaque (4).
PRO TIP: Try not to open the grill lid too much besides flipping the shrimp.
How Long to Cook Shrimp
Cooking time for shrimp varies based on size and if you keep shells on or not. Of course, jumbo shrimp will take a bit longer to cook than smaller shrimp, and shrimp in shells will take longer than shrimp without shells.
The rule of thumb is that shrimp are done when they turn pink and opaque.
Grilled on a cedar plank, smaller shrimp will take about 4 minutes on each side and jumbo shrimp will take about 6 minutes of each side. If you will be leaving the shells on, add another 2-4 minutes to cooking time. You are looking for pink color on and inside the shell.
PRO TIP: If deciding to leave the shells on, the shrimp will not be cleaned out. Personally, I always prefer to clean out the shrimp and devein it, but some people prefer not to. Just remember, if shrimp is not cleaned out, it’s stomach and the content will stay in the shrimp you eat.
Yes! The most important step is to soak the cedar plank before grilling on it. Most cedar planks will have instructions that state that it needs to be soaked for at least 30 minutes. Even though a minimum 30 minutes is recommended, I recommend soaking it for 1-2 hours. I noticed a little more burning when it’s only been soaked for 30 minutes.
There are so many options! Check out some of my favorite shrimp recipes like Cajun Shrimp, Tropical Shrimp and Lemon Pepper Shrimp for some inspiration. Really, most seasoning blends taste great with shrimp cooked on a cedar plank.
Make sure to choose the right cedar plank. When buying the planks, get the the ones that are meant for cooking food. You can most likely find them in the grilling section of the grocery store. Choose cedar or alder wood plank to cook seafood because of their mild flavor.
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Cedar Plank Shrimp Recipe
- 1 lb shrimp
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 garlic cloves pressed
- 1 lime juice only
- about 2 cedar planks depending on size
- Place cedar planks into a roasting pan big enough to easily fit the planks. Add water to cover the cedar planks completely and place something on top of the planks to keep it submerged.
- Soak cedar planks in water for 1-2 hours.
- Start preparing the coals and grill about 20 minutes before you’re ready to cook.
- Peel and devein shrimp if needed. Place shrimp in a bowl and mix it with sugar, lime juice, pressed garlic, and salt.
- Place soaked cedar planks on the grill and leave them for about 10 minutes to heat through.
- Drain off excess liquid off the shrimp and place shrimp on the hot cedar planks, try not to overcrowd them.
- Close the grill lid and let it cook. Smaller shrimp will take about 4 minutes on each side and jumbo shrimp will take about 6 minutes on each side. Try not to open the grill lid too much besides flipping the shrimp. Shrimp are done when pink and completely opaque.