Grilled Shrimp with Chili Lime Butter

It’s another episode of Good Bite, this time our topic was shrimp, which is such a biiig….wiiiide…topic! I continued my lovefest with Dr. BBQ and chose a recipe from one of his cookbooks, Grilled Shrimp with Chili Lime Butter, a seriously easy yet cool-looking recipe because you serve the chili-lime butter in a shot glass! Genius.

Since it is in a shot glass, I wonder if a splash of tequila would be appropriate in the chili-lime butter? Well, if not in the butter, then at least a shot of tequila for the chef BEFORE cooking?

Here’s our roundtable, the lovely Shauna of Gluten Free Girl and Catherine of Weelicious:

Grilled Shrimp with Chili Lime Butter Recipe

for the shrimp
2 cups ice
1 pound, shrimp, deveined
1 tsp. salt
BBQ rub of your choice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water

for the chili-lime butter
1 cup (8 ounces) butter
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons chili powder

1. Fill large bowl with ice. Add shrimp, cover with water, stir in salt. Let shrimp soak for 10 minutes. You can soak bamboo skewers in separate container at this time. Drain shrimp and pat dry. Season shrimp with BBQ rub, or salt and pepper. Skewer shrimp (if you are pan-frying on stove, no need to skewer).

2. Melt butter in microwave or small sauce pan. Whisk in lime juice and chili powder. Season with additional chili powder and salt, as needed. Set aside, keep warm.

3. To cook:
Outdoor grill: Grill shrimp 2-3 minutes per side over medium-high, direct heat.
Broiler: Grill under broiler (6” away from heating element) 2-3 minutes per side.
Stovetop: Heat large frying pan over high heat. Add 1 Tbs. cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add shrimp to pan in single layer, not touching. Saute 2-3 minutes each side. Plate grilled shrimp with warm Chili-Lime Butter.


Win Diane’s Sweet Heat!

Hot topic: tail on or tail off?

So, there was a hot topic that I brought up in the very beginning of the video – so hot and controversial that it got cut out from the main segment for fear of protesting and rioting. I love tail-on shrimp. No, let me be truthful – I love tail-on, shell-on shrimp. Screw table manners, I want to lick, suck, peel and wrestle with my seafood! It’s just part of the family eating process, to eat with my hands and DEVOUR.

It’s also an Asian-thing…and a Southern thing…

Nothing makes me happier than having a big ‘ol pile of shrimp, crawfish, lobster, crabs, etc. and having to work at it! Yes, even at restaurants. BETTER at restaurants cuz I don’t have to clean up!

BUT- I get tons of emails and comments from people asking me, ” Why the seven seas do you leave the tail on the shrimp? You just have to cut the darn thing off anyways!”

Well, you know my answer…I wanna hear…what’s your opinion? Tail on or tail off?

Answer below in a comment and I’ll pick 3 random winners to win a jar of (Sorry! CONTEST OVER!)

Diane’s Sweet Heat Habanero Jams.


I met Diane via Twitter, and she asked me if she could send me some of her habanero jams, Sweet Heat. Hell yeah! Love them spread on crackers with a little cream cheese. Anyways, Diane is from McKinleyville, a small town in Humboldt County, California, where the redwood forest meets the Pacific Ocean. These are all hand-made in small batches. Flavor come in Blackberry Habanero, Blueberry Habanero, Peach Habanero, Raspberry Habanero and Strawberry Habanero.


I love her jams so much that I’m buying these for you guys! Three winners will get a jam of their choice, my treat. I’ll pick winner on July 24th. CONTEST OVER!

UPDATE: The winners of the random drawing are:

LIZZIE LONGNECKER “I swear I’m not lazy, but…. tail off :)

IOWA FOOD GEEK “leave ’em whole! as long as they are fresh and as big as the palm of my hand, I’m a happy happpy woman.”

TNLOCAVORE “Tail-on but I’ll be completely honest. I’m a little squeamish about shrimp with the veins in. It’s trauma from childhood. Shrimp veins are full of shrimp poop, the reason why fig newtons are crunchy are because they have bugs in them and raisins in rice pudding are really big ticks! As much as I try to get past those ideas planted in my impressionable young mind, they still creep me out to this day.”

Congrats! Look for an email from me!

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Comments 44

  1. Kristin

    So, I got a “grill wok” for my birthday, which is not really used like a regular wok, but it makes grilled shrimp so easy because you don’t have to skewer them. And this is a good thing, because people who have been shooting tequila probably don’t need to play with sharp pointed sticks. πŸ™‚ Also I love jelly, especially spicy jelly (there’s one I buy here that’s local called Austin Slow Burn). With the tail on/off issue it depends. If I’m eating shrimp in say… pasta… I want the tail off. If they’re just for eating, definitely TAIL ON.

  2. Scott

    Mmm. Shrimp. I’m going to agree with you, seafood should be worked for. I love tail on shrimp when it’s part of a skewer, or basically any sort of “eat with your hands” occasion. I will de-tail the shrimp, though, if I’m deepfrying them or putting them in pasta.

  3. Anna

    TAIL OFF suits better a formal dinner. Having bits of shrimp flying around is never quite comfortable when you’re dining with your boss!

  4. ATL Amanda

    I prefer the tail on, shell on for the same reasons you do, but my husband says it’s too much work (read: he can’t eat those fast enough) so I usually buy the tail off version.

  5. Jay

    I loved your video and you certainly have to go with tail off. Check out my website ( to see how you make money off of sharing your videos!

  6. Kamran Siddiqi (The Sophisticated Gourmet)

    “Poopy tail shrimp.” Now, she’s got me saying it…

    Anyway, I totally agree with your standpoint on the tail on/ tail off situation. Everyone has their own preference. I personally like the tail on because I too like to get down and dirty with my food (that sounded so wrong on so many levels, but you know what I mean).

    People may seem that it’s savage-like to eat shrimp with your hands, but guess what. Everyone has their own preference. “That’s like saying, why tie your shoes? You’re going to end up taking the laces out anyway…”

    I like the tail on my shrimp and I personally like my shoes tied, regardless what anyone says.

  7. Pat

    Definitely tail-on. Work?? Pick up shrimp apply lips and pull off tail. Simple. and these tail-on shrimp will be absolutely delicious with a dip into Peach Habanero Jam.

    If putting shrimp into a dish such as seafood pasta, I prefer tail-off.

    Eagerly awaiting Steamy Kitchen Cookbook in October!!!

  8. Yvonne V

    Tail on for a recipe like this but if shrimp is going to mixed into the dish I prefer tail off.

  9. Tracy T

    Tail on! I don’t want to slave over it just so others can pop shrimp in their mouths quicker. If I have to shell my shrimp, I’m gonna be the one eating it =^)

  10. Ericak

    Tail on!!! When the shrimp meat is perfectly cooked and the tails are seasoned and crispy… oo la la…

  11. Ellen

    I agree with you-leave everything on and then devour. Your recipe sounds so good that I am going to make it tonight. Thanks again for another good recipe!!

  12. Tina

    Absolutely shell and tail on, unless they will be added to pasta! Working for your food just makes it taste better. Besides, shrimp absorb flavors so easily, I think they are prone to becoming over-seasoned if you remove the shell. I like to taste the shrimp, without being overwhelmed by the seasonings.

  13. Chris

    I say “tail on” because everybody likes to get a little tail.

    What? At least I didn’t say poopy tail! πŸ˜‰

    Love the recipe. I’ve imported it for doing later. I might have to “accidentally” spill a little sriracha in it.

  14. Monky

    Tail on all the way. There is something satisfying about sucking on the tail and savoring all that tasty, salty, shrimpy goodness. And I am totally the stubborn guy who will do everything in my power to eat every remaining morsel of shrimp left in the shell.

  15. Ivy

    Tail on – provides a little more flavor, I think.

    Thank you for the timely recipe. We are picking up a grill this weekend!

  16. Kristina

    Tail-on but I’ll be completely honest. I’m a little squeamish about shrimp with the veins in. It’s trauma from childhood. Shrimp veins are full of shrimp poop, the reason why fig newtons are crunchy are because they have bugs in them and raisins in rice pudding are really big ticks! As much as I try to get past those ideas planted in my impressionable young mind, they still creep me out to this day.

  17. mvmaithai

    I agree with you – definitely tail on, and shells on all the crabs, lobsters, clams, all the shellfish. Perhaps it’s the Asian thing. They know how to eat! The shells keep in all the juicy flavor. Sure you have to work at it, but it’s fun. We eat too fast. Gotta slow down and savor the food…

  18. John

    Being from Buffalo where we love to play with our food (think Wings), full shell on for us marinated in wing sauce of course.

  19. Cynthia A

    I prefer the whole shell and tail if they are served as-is. The meat seems to stay sweeter and juicier, but I do like the shell to be split so that there isn’t too much fighting involved. Finger-licking is great – struggles, not so good. The only exception is if the shrimp are a component to a dish, like in a pasta toss or stir-fry, in which tail-on is preferable because that is easily managed with knife and fork or chopsticks.

    Those jams look delish, thank you for running this contest for us!

  20. Kim

    Man, I get into this debate with my friends and SO all the time. I’m Vietnamese and learned that the shrimp tastes better and is less likely to overcook if you leave the shell on. But they always want the shrimp shelled and with the tails removed. And of course I’m the only one that seems to know how to devein =( Now that I’m typing this, I think I’ve just realized that they’re pretty stinking lazy =(

  21. Kat

    Tail on, shells on for savage devouring, but shells off for pasta, jambalaya, paella, and the like.

    PS: I bet the peach jam would be great with shrimp πŸ™‚

  22. OnigiriFB


    I’m new to your site and have to say I’m really impressed. I’ve already marked quite a few recipes I want to try. Thanks for all the wonderful work.

    Ok, to the real reason for commenting (I REALLY want that jam (^.^) Tail on! I hate seeing poor naked shrimp, how much indignity does a poor shrimp have to take? It’s indecent to leave a shrimp’s butt uncovered! Ok, ok. Enough hyperbole let me explain. I’m Asian so I grew up with shrimp with tail on. Taking the tail off is usually seen as unattractive is the answer I got when I asked about it when I was little. I also have to say I love actually eating the little shelled part left over depending on the recipe. Sometimes this piece becomes quite crunchy and full of umami from the shrimp and/or flavors of the dish. The best is when you make ebi-fry or shrimp tempura that last bit with the batter and shell is extra yummy. Hey, it’s calcium and I need all I can get since I don’t drink milk too often.

    honey, I totally agree with you!!! I crunch through on the shell. esp deep fried shrimp ~jaden

  23. Betsy

    Tail on, shell on. Suck, lick, slurp, tear with your teeth, and keep at it until you’re up to your elbows in juice. That’s the only way to eat shrimp. The flavors seep right through the shell, so nothing’s lost.

  24. Sandy

    Tail on! Love having a natural handle and just pulling the meat out with my teeth. No need to dirty any silverware.

  25. Cheryl

    Okay, I don’t usually comment but I have to get in on this one…it’s tails ON for me, and I’m thrilled to learn that there are lots of others out there just like me! My daughter had me convinced I’m lazy because I don’t remove them beforehand; but I’m with you, Jaden! It’s WORK to take them off before cooking–and a pointless waste of time, in my opinion–but it’s pure pleasure popping the meat out of the tails while eating. I actually love that sensation, in fact.
    On the other hand, I can’t eat shrimp that still have their LEGS on. Ewwww, that creeps me out just to think about it, and I’ve felt that way since a little girl. So shells off but tails on, and I’ll be very happy, thank you!.
    And speaking of happy, this recipe looks great; can’t wait to try it. I’ve only just stumbled on your site, BTW, and LOVE it (also love your name)! Thanks for all the lovely recipes (especially the no-kneed breads). Can’t wait to dive in.

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