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Since many of us use frozen shrimp, you need to know how to thaw shrimp properly to get the best results with shrimp recipes. Learn all the tips for thawing shrimp quickly and easily for all your favorite recipes!

Frozen Shrimp in a mixing bowl ready for thawing

At supermarkets, you will find frozen shrimp, defrosted shrimp (which have been previously frozen), and “fresh and never frozen shrimp” (which is rare and much more expensive).

Since shrimp is highly perishable and it’s hard to gauge the freshness of defrosted shrimp, many of us prefer to buy frozen shrimp and defrost them at home when needed.

How to Thaw Shrimp

How you thaw frozen shrimp can affect the texture, so it’s important to thaw them properly. There are several methods for thawing shrimp, and you can choose the one that’s best for you:

Method 1: Running Water

  1. Place the frozen shrimp in a colander in the sink.
  2. Let cold tap water run through the shrimp and go down the drain. It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes for the shrimp to be ready.
  3. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels before cooking.

Method 2: Soaking

  1. Place the frozen shrimp in a large bowl.
  2. Add cold water to cover all shrimp. Let them sit for about 10 minutes.How To Thaw Shrimp_Adding Cold Water
  3. Drain the water, and add fresh cold water to cover the shrimp again.
  4. Let them sit for another 15 minutes or so. The shrimp should be thawed but still cold.Frozen shrimp thawing in a bowl of cold water
  5. Drain the water and pat dry the shrimp with paper towels. Then they are ready for cooking.

(Note: Some people prefer to seal the shrimp in a plastic bag before placing them into the water. It’s totally fine, the only thing is that it will take longer to thaw. )

Method 3 – Overnight

  1. Place the shrimp in a container or bowl.
  2. Cover with lid or plastic wrap. Then place in the refrigerator overnight.
  3. The next day, take the shrimp out of the fridge and rinse them with cold water.
  4. Pat dry with paper towels before cooking.

Avoid using hot water or the microwave to thaw frozen shrimp, as the texture will be uneven. The outside of the shrimp may feel defrosted, but the inside will usually still be frozen.

Once thawed, shrimp will only last 1-2 days in the refrigerator according to the USDA. So now it’s time try some delicious shrimp dishes. Enjoy!

More tips for shrimp:

How To Thaw Shrimp_Adding Cold Water
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How to Thaw Frozen Shrimp

Step-by-step instructions for thawing frozen shrimp quickly and easily
Active Time5 mins
Resting Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Author: TipBuzz


  • large mixing bowl (stainless steel or glass)
  • paper towels


  • frozen shrimp any size
  • cold water


  • Place the frozen shrimp in the mixing bowl.
  • Add cold water to cover all the shrimp.
  • Let sit for about 10 minutes. Then drain the water.
  • Add fresh cold water to cover the shrimp again.
  • Let sit for 10-15 minutes more. Then drain.
  • The shrimp should be thawed but still cold. Pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture before using in your recipe.


  • Larger shrimp sizes will require more time to thaw than smaller ones.

Easy shrimp recipes: