Can you cook frozen shrimp in boiling water?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you cook frozen shrimp in boiling water?” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook frozen shrimp in boiling water. Moreover, we are going to discuss the proper way to freeze and thaw the shrimp.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you cook frozen shrimp in boiling water?

Yes, you can cook frozen shrimp in boiling water but it takes about 50% more cooking time to thoroughly cook frozen shrimp as compared to the fresh shrimp or the one that has been thawed first. 

It is recommended to thaw the shrimp before cooking them to ensure even cooking but if you are in a hurry, you can also boil frozen shrimp.

To boil shrimp, take a large pot and fill it with water. Leave 1-2 inches at the top of the pot to give water plenty of room to rise when it boils. Now heat the water and once it starts to bubble steadily, add shrimp in it. 

Now add a generous amount of Kosher salt in it and add lemon zest or lemon juice, and peppercorns or cloves. You can also add parsley, thyme, cilantro, etc. in it. Now let it simmer for about 5 minutes (about 2-3 minutes for smaller shrimp while 5 minutes for a larger one).

It is worth mentioning that in the case of frozen shrimp let them simmer for additional 2-3 minutes (so total boiling time for frozen shrimp is about 5-7 minutes depending upon the size of shrimp). Drain the excess water and serve them.

It is worth mentioning that the time it takes to cook shrimp depends upon several factors like the number of shrimp, whether it was frozen or not, the internal temperature to which shrimp are cooked, the way you are going to cook it (roast in the oven, boil in a saucepan or fry in the pan, etc), the storage conditions in which the shrimp were kept, the time for which the shrimp have been stored, humidity and temperature. 

One thing to keep in mind is that you should cook the shrimp thoroughly till their internal temperature reaches about 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the optimum internal temperature of cooked shrimp?

You should cook shrimp till their internal temperature reaches about 145 degrees Fahrenheit which is the optimum core temperature for shrimp.

Can you cook shrimp in the oven?

Yes, you can cook shrimp in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Now take a bowl and add Kosher salt, garlic powder, paprika, crushed black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Mix them and add the shrimp to the bowl and coat them well with this spice mixture.

Take a baking sheet and line the shrimp on it. It is recommended to place shrimp an inch away from each other. 

Place the baking sheet on the upper rack of the preheated oven and let the shrimp cook for about 5-8 minutes or until desired doneness.

It is worth mentioning that you will know your shrimp are done when they turn pink with slight hints of brown at the edges. 

Voila! Your shrimp are ready to serve.

You can read the health benefits of shrimp here.

The proper way to freeze shrimp

You can easily store the shrimp by wrapping them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and afterward putting it in the plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container before storing them in the freezer to protect your shrimp from freezer burns. 

Moreover, to preserve the quality of the shrimp for quite a long time you can opt for vacuum sealing it which is quite effective in prolonging its shelf life.

Vacuum sealing involves the process of putting the shrimp in a plastic zipper bag, removing air from it, and almost sealing the bag with a little space left while lowering it into water. Afterward, press out the bubbles from the bag starting from the bottom of the bag and once you reach the sealed end, you should press the seal closed. 

The reason behind doing vacuum sealing is to ensure that there is minimum air present in the plastic zipper bag with the shrimp. As air has moisture and oxygen in it that favors bacterial growth, so by removing air, shrimp can retain their freshness for a long time.

It is a good practice to divide the shrimp into portions or serving sizes that you generally need. By doing so you will be able to just thaw the number of shrimp that you need while the rest of the shrimp can stay in the freezer untouched. Thus keeping the shrimp in the freezer will increase their shelf life considerably owing to the cool temperature of the freezer that halts the bacterial growth on the shrimp.

The proper way to thaw shrimp

When it comes to thawing the shrimp, there are a couple of ways to do so and you can choose any of them depending upon your choice.

  1. The recommended way to thaw the frozen shrimp is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight and let them thaw there. 
  1. You can thaw the frozen shrimp in a bowl of cold water but you should cook them immediately after thawing. 
  1. If you are thawing the shrimp in the oven or microwave it is recommended to cook them immediately. 

The reason behind cooking the shrimp immediately after thawing them in a cold water bowl or microwave is that when you warm shrimp using these methods, the temperature at the surface of the shrimp gets higher than that of 40 degrees Fahrenheit before the core temperature can become 40 degrees Fahrenheit and it can thaw completely and that’s when the bacteria can start to grow on the surface rapidly.

Therefore it is advised to cook such thawed shrimp immediately until their internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is only by cooking the shrimp properly that we can get rid of the bacteria completely.

Other FAQs about Shrimp  that you may be interested in.

Can you eat brine shrimp?

Can you eat freshwater shrimp?

Can you eat mantis shrimp?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you cook frozen shrimp in boiling water?” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can cook frozen shrimp in boiling water. Moreover, we discussed the proper way to freeze and thaw the shrimp.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.