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Exactly How To Reheat Shrimp – I Test 6 Methods [Pics]

Soft succulent shrimp are delicious – but can you reheat them without turning them into rubber?

I tested six different reheating methods to find out. 

If you’re in a rush, here’s the short answer. 

The best way to reheat shrimp is in a hot water bath. Heat a pot of water to 150°F (65°C). Let the water boil, then allow it to cool a bit. Place the leftover shrimp in the water and allow them to reheat for 2-3 minutes. Optionally swap water for stock for additional flavor.

A note on my experiment

6 portions of shrimp reheated in different ways compared side by side

I sautéed a pan-full of shrimp and left them in the fridge overnight, ready for my experiment the next day.

I then experimented with the following reheating methods:

  • In a hot water bath (great flavor and texture)
  • In the microwave (avoid)
  • In a sauce (preserves the shrimp’s succulent texture)
  • In a steamer (pretty good)
  • In a skillet (the texture was a little firm, but the flavor was great)
  • In the oven (okay, but a little over-cooked)

Heating the shrimp in hot water or broth produces tasty, soft shrimp. 

I’d avoid the microwave unless you really have no other choice because it ruins the shrimp’s texture.

Reheating shrimp in a hot water bath

Heat a pot of water to 150°F (65°C). Let the water boil, then allow it to cool a bit. Place the leftover shrimp in a plastic bag and slip it into the water. Leave the shrimp to warm for 2-3 minutes. You can also use warm stock and put the shrimp straight in without the plastic bag. 

How to reheat shrimp in a hot water bath:

  1. Make a hot water bath of around 150°F (65°C). Or heat some stock.
  2. Place the shrimp directly in the hot liquid, or put them in a plastic bag and submerge this in the water. 
  3. Leave the shrimp to warm for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once they heat through, pat the shrimp dry before serving them.

Avoid using boiling water because it’s too hot and will cook the shrimp. 

If the shrimp are sauced or already flavored in some way, use the plastic bag. Ensure the shrimp are actually submerged in the water rather than just floating on top. 

If you’ve got plain shrimp, I’d use broth to add some flavor.

My verdict

This method worked beautifully.

My shrimp stayed moist and maintained their soft texture.

Reheating shrimp in the microwave

To reheat shrimp in the microwave, place them on a microwave-safe plate with a tablespoon of water or stock. Cover the plate with a damp paper towel. Heat the shrimp at 30% power in 15-second intervals until they warm through. 

Avoid overcooking the shrimp by checking their temperature before heating again.

How to reheat shrimp in the microwave:

  1. Set the microwave to 30% power.
  2. Arrange the shrimp on a microwave-safe plate and sprinkle them with a tablespoon of water or stock.
  3. Cover the shrimp with a damp paper towel or another plate to keep the moisture in.
  4. Heat the shrimp in 15-second intervals until they are warm.

Using a low power setting and short heating intervals will help to reduce the risk of inedible shrimp. 

Let the shrimp rest for 10 seconds before each heating interval. 

This allows the heat to spread evenly throughout the shrimp.

My verdict

I suggest avoiding the microwave if you can.

Shrimp and microwaves don’t mix, and there’s a real risk of ending up with a rubbery mess.

The method worked okay for me, but the shrimp definitely wasn’t as tender as with other methods.

Reheating shrimp in a sauce or dish

To reheat shrimp in a sauce, heat your sauce on the stove or in the microwave. Once the sauce is piping hot, remove it from the heat and add the leftover shrimp, making sure they’re well mixed. Wait a few minutes for the residual heat to warm the shrimp, then serve.

How to reheat shrimp in a sauce:

  1. Heat the sauce or dish until it’s piping hot.
  2. Add the shrimp to the dish, incorporating it well.
  3. Allow the sauce to gently heat the shrimp.
  4. Serve the shrimp after it has warmed for about 3-4 minutes.

The sauce or dish needs to be hot to make sure the shrimp heats through.

If your shrimp are on the large side and the dish isn’t that saucy, consider cutting the shrimp up before adding them to the dish.

I’ve heated shrimp in pasta, eggs, and fried rice before.

My verdict

This reheating method is really good for preserving the shrimp’s texture. 

The shrimp wasn’t overcooked at all. And even if it does end up slightly rubbery, the sauce will help mask this.

Reheating shrimp in a skillet

To reheat shrimp in a skillet, melt a generous portion of butter in a pan on medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, turn the heat down to medium and add the shrimp. Toss the pan to coat the shrimp, then add a splash of water, broth, or wine. Cover the skillet and heat for 1 minute.

How to reheat shrimp in a skillet:

  1. Melt some butter in a pan on medium-high heat.
  2. Turn the heat to medium and add the shrimp (toss the shrimp to evenly coat them with butter).
  3. Add a splash of water to the pan. Or use broth or wine for extra flavor.
  4. Cover the pan with a lid and heat the shrimp for 60 seconds.

You could use oil instead of butter, but I don’t recommend it. 

Butter gives the shrimp a much better flavor.

The extra liquid creates steam which helps keep the shrimp moist and succulent.

Because this method uses relatively high heat, you need to be quick so you don’t overcook the shrimp.

My verdict

This method is good for adding lots of flavor to the shrimp.

You can add some chili, garlic, or other seasonings to the pan along with the butter. 

I found my shrimp was a little tough, but the taste more than made up for it.

Reheating shrimp in a steamer

Set up your steamer and fill the pot with water or stock, bringing it to a boil. Spread the shrimp out in the steamer and steam them for 2-3 minutes with the lid on. Once the shrimp have heated through, take them out of the steamer and pat them dry before serving.

How to reheat shrimp in a steamer:

  1. Set up your steamer.
  2. Fill the pot with water or stock (for added flavor) and bring it to a boil.
  3. Spread the shrimp out in the steamer basket, leaving a little room for the steam to circulate.
  4. Steam the shrimp for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Once hot, pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel before serving.

You can create a makeshift steamer using a pot, a colander, and a lid if you don’t have a purpose-made one.

I prefer to dry the shrimp and season them after they’ve heated through. 

Otherwise, they have a bland, watery taste.

My verdict

The steamer worked pretty well. The shrimp was hot but not too rubbery or overcooked.

One downside is that the steam can wash quite a lot of flavor off the shrimp, so it’s best for plain shrimp.

Reheating shrimp in the oven

To reheat shrimp in an oven, preheat it to 300°F (150°C). Lay the shrimp on a sheet of foil. Fold the foil into a packet and add some butter or stock (or both). Place the shrimp on a wire rack in the oven and heat the shrimp for around 10 minutes.

How to reheat shrimp in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. Spread the shrimp out in a single layer on a sheet of foil.
  3. Wrap the shrimp in a foil packet, adding some butter and stock.
  4. Seal the foil by crimping the edges together.
  5. Place the shrimp on a wire rack in the oven.
  6. Heat them for 10 minutes or until they’re warmed through.

I also added a little lemon juice to the foil packet for flavor.

You can use water if you don’t have any stock (but it’s not as yummy).

Avoid putting too many shrimp in one packet.

I recommend a maximum of 5-6 large shrimp.

If the packets get too crowded, the shrimp won’t heat as evenly or effectively, and the ones squished in the middle can be cold.

My verdict

This method was pretty slow with not much upside.

The shrimp was okay (a little overcooked) but not amazing. The butter gave them a nice flavor.

shrimp reheated in six different vessels

How to store shrimp

Allow the shrimp to cool down slightly before placing them in an airtight container. Store the shrimp in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Make you store the shrimp in the fridge within 2 hours of cooking (1 hour in a humid environment) to prevent harmful bacteria growth.

Can you freeze shrimp?

You can freeze shrimp, but it’s best to only freeze and thaw them once because the quality will degrade with each round of freezing. Flash freeze the shrimp and then put them in a freezer bag before storing them in the freezer for up to a month. 

How to freeze shrimp:

  1. Chill the shrimp in the fridge (so they freeze more quickly).
  2. Place the cold shrimp on a baking tray covered with parchment paper.
  3. Flash freeze the shrimp on the baking tray in the freezer for 1-2 hours.
  4. Transfer the frozen shrimp to a freezer bag and remove the excess air.
  5. Label and date the freezer bag.
  6. Place the freezer bag in the freezer for up to a month.

Removing the air from the freezer bag helps to avoid freezer burn.

If you have a vacuum sealer, this is perfect. 

If not, you can use a straw to suck the air out or dunk the bag in some water before sealing it.

Flash freezing the shrimp first means they won’t stick together in the freezer bag, so you can take a few out at a time.

How to thaw and reheat frozen shrimp

To thaw shrimp, place the frozen shrimp in cold water for around half an hour or leave them in the fridge overnight. They will thaw quickly.  Don’t use hot water because it will damage the shrimp’s texture.

What to do with leftover shrimp

Leftover shrimp are a versatile addition to many meals. 

Here are a few suggestions for using up leftover shrimp:

  • Shrimp salad – Combine your leftover shrimp with some pasta, chopped celery, a chopped red onion, and a sprig of dill. YUM.
  • Shrimp risotto – shrimp, garlic, and lemon risotto. Thank me later.
  • Shrimp pasta – shrimp goes really well with a classic aglio e olio. 
  • Fried rice – shrimp is quite upmarket for fried rice, but it’s a quick and filling meal. 
  • Shrimp Sandwich – mix the shrimp with some mayo and black pepper for a tasty sandwich filling.
  • Shrimp dip – shrimp and cream cheese dip is the perfect addition to game day!

Exactly How To Reheat Shrimp

In this short recipe, I show you the best way to revive and reheat your leftover shrimp.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: All
Keyword: reheat shrimp, shrimp
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 99kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 portion shrimp
  • 1 portion water hot, not boiling

Instructions

  • Make a hot water bath of around 150°F (65°C). Or heat some stock.
  • Place the shrimp directly in the hot liquid, or put them in a plastic bag and submerge this in the water.
  • Leave the shrimp to warm for 2-3 minutes.
  • Once they heat through, pat the shrimp dry before serving them.

Notes

Avoid using boiling water because it’s too hot and will cook the shrimp.
If the shrimp are sauced or already flavored in some way, use the plastic bag. Ensure the shrimp are actually submerged in the water rather than just floating on top.
If you’ve got plain shrimp, I’d use broth to add some flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 100g | Calories: 99kcal

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