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The best tips for making roasted shrimp include using quality ingredients, following a good recipe closely and getting the heat and timing right. Cooking with shrimp, however, is not an exact science, so flexibility is important. An important consideration is the size of the shrimp that are being roasted, because larger shrimp might take much longer to cook.
Among the various methods for roasting shrimp, oven-roasting is the most common. Like all roasting methods, it involves using the proper amount of heat. The best temperature for roasting shrimp generally is 400-500 degrees Fahrenheit (about 200-260 degrees Celsius). Outside of this range, the results can be less predictable.
Knowing one's oven or grill temperature is essential, so using a grill or oven thermometer might be necessary. For roasting shrimp in the oven, when in doubt, one should go with a higher temperature. Also, to prevent the heat from escaping a grill, one should keep the lid shut as much as possible while roasting.
Roasting is defined as cooking over a dry and indirect heat, so it can be difficult in a grill. When roasting over coals or an open fire, one should keep the shrimp fairly close to the heat source. Heat consistency is sometimes a challenge outside, and one should be extra careful not to drop the shrimp.
The cooking time for roast shrimp depends on the size of the shrimp and how well done the cook wants them to be. Generally, roasted shrimp takes about six to 12 minutes to cook. A specific recipe for roasted shrimp that is based on the size of the shrimp can be helpful to avoid over-cooking or under-cooking them. To avoid over-cooking the shrimp, a cook can perform a test run by roasting just one shrimp. If the cook is lacking the extra time for a test run, he or she can sample a roasted shrimp after about six minutes or more to determine how much longer it should be roasted.
A good tip when gathering ingredients is for one to check them off against the recipe that will be used. Preparing shrimp for roasting doesn't have to be complex. All that is really needed is shrimp and a little oil, but a cook might also use salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, wine or other ingredients.
The quality of shrimp can depend on where it is harvested or sold. Fresh or thawed shrimp are always best when they are used the same day that they are purchased. Most markets have only frozen or thawed shrimp, and a person who is looking specifically for one or the other should inquire if he or she is unsure of which type is which.
Fresh shrimp often can be identified because the heads are still attached. Frozen shrimp thaws well and might involve less preparation. A good tip for quickly thawing frozen shrimp is for one to place the frozen shrimp in a bowl of cold water for about 20 minutes, changing the water a couple of times as the shrimp thaws.
Roasted shrimp can be cooked or prepared in many ways, so one's tools might vary. One might use skewers or a roasting spit when roasting outside. When roasting inside, a cook might use a roasting pan, a cazuela, a casserole dish or simply a baking sheet.
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