Enjoy this quick and easy steamed shrimp recipe using old bay seasoning and beer. The perfect appetizer dish for parties, on game day, or with drinks by the pool.
Seafood wasn't always readily available growing up in Pittsburgh. However, my husband grew up near the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. He knows what it takes to make great steamed shrimp. So when we go to the beach, he takes center stage, making lots of steamed shrimp Maryland style for everyone to enjoy poolside, with a cocktail.
Peel and Eat Shrimp Style
These are sometimes called "Peel and Eat" shrimp. That's because they are made in the shell and served that way. While peeling the shells take some time it's often part of the experience, slowing you down and enjoying conversation while you eat. Also, in my opinion, leaving the shells on keeps them tender, prevents the shrimp from drying out, and tastes much better.
What kind of shrimp do you use to make steamed shrimp?
I like to use raw deveined fresh shrimp with shells on. Also, I prefer jumbo or large shrimp. However, medium or even smaller would work. Their flavor is just as good but would be a little more work to shell and eat. I would not use cooked shrimp because they would end up being too tough.
Can you steam frozen shrimp?
Yes. Make sure to thoroughly defrost and dry them well so they don't lose their firm texture and get soggy.
How long does it take to steam shrimp?
The truth is that they are super easy to make. All he does is bring beer and old bay seasoning to a boil, in which he then steams the shrimp, for about 5 minutes, until they have a nice pink color.
He does use a crab pot steamer, but any large pot would do in a pinch.
We serve the shrimp with lemons and homemade cocktail sauce.
Homemade cocktail sauce for steamed shrimp
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup horseradish
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- pinch of salt and black pepper
Store bought cocktail sauce works just as well.
However, the shrimp are pretty tasty on their own. You don't even need sauce.
More Delicious Shrimp Recipes
Quick & Easy Steamed Shrimp
- 3 pounds large or jumbo shrimp
- 2 -12 ounces bottles of beer
- 1/2 cup Old Bay seasoning
- Place beer and seasoning in the bottom of a steamer on high heat.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add shrimp to the steamer basket, stir and cover with a lid.
- Steam for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp turn a pink to red color.
- Cool and serve in a large bowl with cocktail sauce and lemon wedges on the side.
Do you keep your already steamed shrimp in the leftover beer/old bay they were cooked in or store them without this liquid?
Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Faye, I usually store them in an air-tight container without the liquid. They may get soggy if you store them in the liquid.
Being a PA girl ( who has lived in the South for nearly 20 years) I was tickled to see your recipe as this is how I make our shrimp…I probably add more Old Bay and I add mustard seed but the basics are there. Absolutely one of my favorite foods. As a child in York PA this was a special treat; as an adult it’s a regular treat. When I see it in a restaurant with no or little seasoning I want to scream! Made me smile and brought back lots of memories. Peace.
Cindy, that's so nice to hear and I agree, so much better than plain steamed shrimp. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!
Are the Shrimp steamed or are they placed IN the beer and butter like a boil?
Ryan, we call it steamed shrimp but in reality, some of the shrimp is in the beer and some is on top so I can see how you would think of it as a boil. I guess it's a combination of the two.
Can you use the vinegar instead of beer when steaming these like when boiling them in the other recipe
Tami, I haven't done it but my husband, the shrimp steamer, says yes you can. I might try cider vinegar for extra flavor if you have it.