Sweet, Spicy and Smoky Grilled Shrimp

Sweet, Spicy & Smoky Grilled Shrimp

Laurel Tilton
This is by far my favorite shrimp I have ever cooked. It goes great with pretty much everything, and can be served at any temperature. This is the perfect summer party recipe and is really easy to make in large batches. The flavors are guaranteed to wow your guests. For the honey glaze, try using a local honey, such as Waid's in Interlaken!
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 6 servings


  • Grill
  • cold smoking gun



  • 1 batch brine see below
  • 1 bag large frozen shrimp 2 pounds, or approximately 60 shrimp
  • Fruitwood chips such as Applewood, for smoking
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Canola oil to coat
  • 1 batch cayenne honey glaze see below


  • 3 tablespoons Kosher salt I prefer Diamond Crystal
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice
  • 1 quart boiling water

Cayenne Honey Glaze:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder



  • Prepare the brine.
  • While the brine is cooling, thaw the shrimp in a colander under cold running water.
  • When the shrimp is thawed, put the shrimp in the brine and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • After brining, rinse the shrimp and place in a bowl.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and insert the hose of a smoking gun a few inches into the bowl, being sure to tighten the plastic back around it.
  • Fill the smoker with wood chips and light it. Smoke the shrimp for 30 to 45 minutes, refilling the wood chips when needed.
  • Prepare the cayenne honey glaze.
  • While the shrimp is still smoking, prepare your grill and get it nice and hot. Shrimp cook quickly, so you can use a relatively high setting to get nice grill marks.
  • Season the shrimp with a generous sprinkle salt and pepper, and toss in canola oil, making sure to coat all of the shrimp
  • Place all of the shrimp into the honey glaze and give it a thorough coating. Let sit in the glaze for 5 minutes to let it marinate a little.
  • Place the shrimp on the grill, only cooking as many at a time as you can handle. This shrimp can be served at any temperature, so if you want to make several batches and chill them, then that works well also.
  • The shrimp is done when they start to curl up into little shrimp circles, have good grill marks, and are pink and no longer translucent and gray.
  • Serve with other grilled foods, on a salad or pasta, or chill and serve with your favorite cocktail sauce.


  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix all ingredients except water together until well-blended.
  • Add the boiling water to the bowl and whisk until all of the spices have dissolved.
  • Pour into a wide dish and cool to room temperature completely (the wide dish helps it cool faster).

Cayenne Honey Glaze:

  • Put all ingredients into a small saucepan, whisk thoroughly, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the glaze boils it is done. Let it cool to nearly room temperature before using to coat the shrimp.
Keyword grilled, Shrimp, smoky, Spicy, Sweet

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