Shrimp is a wonderfully versatile ingredient and goes in all kinds of dishes. This smoked Caribbean jerk spiced shrimp is especially good. Once you know how to make jerk seasoning you can make BBQ shrimp on a Traeger grill or pellet grill quickly and easily. Sweet and spicy shrimp pair will all kinds of sides and the flavour of this dish is unbeatable. This smoked jerk shrimp recipe will become a summer favourite!
The smoke adds an amazing aroma while the jerk seasoning adds so much wonderful flavour. Once you have the best wood for smoking shrimp and the necessary ingredients you can make a smoked jerk shrimp recipe.
I love shrimp! There are literally hundreds of amazing shrimp recipes out there and I’m working my way through them. Jerk shrimp though is certainly a favourite of mine. I’m pretty sure Bubba Blue from Forrest Gump also couldn’t get enough of it.
How to Make Jerk Seasoning
A major element in smoked Caribbean jerk spiced shrimp is the seasoning mixture. The spices in the mixture are cayenne pepper, peppercorns, allspice, cumin, and red pepper flakes. The herbs are thyme and parsley. And then you need onion and garlic powders, sugar, salt, and lime.
This combination gives your BBQ shrimp on a Traeger grill incredible flavour. Jerk seasoning can be used on shrimp, pork, chicken, tofu, and other proteins. It’s also nice on fish, especially cod, salmon and tilapia. Try it on chicken wings!
A little of this Jamaican seasoning goes a long way and it’s so tasty. This versatile spice blend adds complexity, heat and dimension to many dishes. Feel free to double or triple the jerk seasoning ingredients since it will keep for a couple of years in an airtight container in your spice rack.
Best Shrimp for a Smoked Jerk Shrimp Recipe
It’s good to have a few guidelines for this recipe even though it’s very easy. I like making smoked Caribbean jerk spiced shrimp with medium or large shrimp. The smaller ones tend to cook too fast and they’re trickier to peel afterwards.
Jumbo shrimp are really good and juicy. The do take a little longer to cook though so allow for that.
Use shell-on shrimp to lock in more flavour. You can get deveined shell-on shrimp or devein your own by cutting down the lower back and pulling out the black gastrointestinal tract. You don’t want to leave that in there.
How to Prepare the Smoker for a Smoked Jerk Shrimp Recipe
This smoked shrimp recipe is a relatively simple recipe for the grill. You need to get the smoker up to 450 degrees F or thereabouts before adding the shrimp. It will take about 15 minutes to get hot enough. That’s a guideline if you’re making Traeger shrimp aka shrimp on your Traeger grill but grills and smokers do vary.
What’s the Best Wood for Smoking Shrimp?
Some of the lighter woods are great for smoking meats such as brisket or ribs because they take a long time. If you use a lighter wood here though you’ll find it’s not the best wood for smoking shrimp. The reason is this is a quick recipe. The shrimp are only on the grill for about 15 minutes and for the first 10 they are wrapped in foil.
I would advise either hickory or pecan. Either of those will give the shrimp an incredible smoky taste. Looking for a stronger smoky aroma and taste? Then you can reduce the temperature down to 180 degrees F and give the shrimp half an hour.
Shrimp are easy to overcook but they are more forgiving than you might think. When I think the smoked Caribbean jerk spiced shrimp are ready, I suggest cutting one in half to check.
In Jamaica, jerk shrimp are often cooked over fresh green wood such as that from the pimento tree. This is not only a tree native to the Caribbean but also where allspice grows (and they’re in the recipe). The laurel tree, or sweetwood as it’s known in the West Indies, is another option. You probably won’t find either at Loblaw or Safeway, so perhaps opt for pecan or hickory instead.
What to Serve with Sweet and Spicy Shrimp
Smoked Caribbean jerk spiced shrimp pairs well with contrasting foods. Take homemade potato salad, for instance. This cool, creamy side dish would contrast beautifully. Looking for Caribbean ideas?
Then consider coconut rice, roasted potatoes or even baguette bread slices. A simple tossed salad always goes well with sweet and spicy shrimp. This smoked Caribbean jerk spiced shrimp recipe is always a winning dish.
Smoked Caribbean Jerk Spiced Shrimp Recipe
Smoked Caribbean Jerk Spiced Shrimp
- 2 Lbs shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1/4 Cup olive oil
- 3 limes
- Cut limes into wedges. From one wedge, zest and juice the lime.
- Set smoker to 450* and preheat for 15 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine jerk seasonings. Add shrimp (shell on) and drizzle olive oil and lime juice over the top. Toss to coat.
- Place shrimp into a foil packet in a single layer. Add lime wedges and seal. Place into the smoker and cook for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Then, open the top of the foil packet and smoke for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from the smoker and garnish with fresh cilantro.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
It’s quick and easy to make and the smoky element is just amazing. Once you know how to smoke shrimp you can make this smoked shrimp whenever you want. Garnish it with fresh cilantro just before serving.
Let me know if you try out these smoked Caribbean jerk spiced shrimp recipe. You can make this BBQ shrimp on a Traeger grill or other pellet grill in less than 30 minutes. It is easy to make jerk seasoning at home and grill up with sweet and spicy shrimp.
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Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.