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August 19, 2012
Maryland Style "Old Bay" Grilled Shrimp

Growing up in Maryland I only know of one way to eat shrimp and that involves a pot of boiling vinegar and Old Bay seasoning. It's fantastic. The Old Bay flavor is something spicy and unique and this is what makes steamed shrimp such an amazing side dish around here. For those of you not familiar, Old Bay is a mix of spices that includes mustard, paprika, bay leaf, celery seed, black and red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, mace and salt. That's quite a list!

I've pondered for a while a way to get this same vinegar/Old Bay flavor on the grill. The obvious thing would be to just sprinkle some Old Bay on shrimp and grill it. But that's just not good enough. Check out this method for grilling "MD style" shrimp.

grilled maryland style shrimp


2 T Old Bay Seasoning (plus more for additional seasoning)
1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
Shrimp (6)
Ice cubes
Skewers (wooden, soaked in water for a few minutes)

md style steamed shrimp on the grill

The normal way that I know how to eat shrimp is to boil them in vinegar with Old Bay. Since I wanted to grill my shrimp this time I chose to treat the vinegar old bay solution as a marinade or brine and then season the shrimp and transfer to the grill. Add 1 cup of vinegar to a bowl and mix in 2 T of Old Bay seasoning. Mix well and add in the shrimp (with the shell still on). Add a few ice cubes and let this sit for about 10-20 minutes while you get your grill ready.

a md style grilled shrimp brine

Prepare a medium or medium high heat. When grilling shrimp the general plan is to grill the shrimp over direct heat until the color changes to rich orange. At this time the shrimp is done. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes over medium or medium high heat. When the grill is ready skewer the shrimp and sprinkle some additional Old Bay seasoning all over.

grilling shrimp over direct heat

Put the shrimp over the coals and close the dome. After about 5 minutes and one flip, the shrimp should look like this (below).

md style steamed shrimp with old bay on the grill

Tonight Mrs. Grilling24x7 requested Filet Mignon steaks. I grilled the steaks first over high heat and then when the steaks were done I put the shrimp over the coals. It worked out perfectly because as the steaks were resting the shrimp was cooking. Also, by the time the steaks were finished the grill temperature was about medium high.

md style steamed shrimp and a filet mignon

This was a real winner. The steak was perfect and the shrimp was such a nice addition to the meal. I'm going to start grilling shrimp much more often after figuring out this recipe for grilling "MD style steamed" shrimp with Old Bay! Awesome!

old bay grilled shrimp from maryland

Note: If Old Bay isn't sold in your area of the world you may want to consider googling for "Old Bay Seasoning Recipes" or you could use any spicy creole style seasoning. It won't be the same but it probably would be quite tasty!

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By John Thomas
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