Looking for a crowd-pleasing appetizer that’s both elegant and easy? Bacon-wrapped shrimp is your answer, especially when it’s right off the grill. This classic combination of smoky, crispy bacon and tender, juicy shrimp is a guaranteed hit at any gathering. And the best part? It’s ridiculously easy to make. Read: more time for you to have fun – and not stand around cooking.

Close-up of grilled shrimp skewers wrapped in bacon and topped with sauce, garnished with fresh herbs, and served on a dark plate.

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Bacon-wrapped anything is better, right? But does that also work for seafood recipes? We wanted to know if the delicate texture of shrimp could hold up to the crisp bunch of bacon. Or would the time it took to render the bacon dry out the shrimp and make them tough? Well, it turns out it’s a match made in heaven–just like our bacon-wrapped scallops.  

We perfected this combo through some rather tasty trial and error to ensure you’ll nail the tricky balance of perfectly cooked shrimp and crispy bacon every time. It’s the ultimate crowd-pleasure that sounds oh-so-fancy but is easy enough to whip up so you look like a hero even if the in-laws pop in for an unexpected visit. 

Raw shrimp and uncooked bacon strips placed on parchment paper with two small bowls containing sauce and seasonings, set on a black surface.

Ingredients for grilled bacon-wrapped shrimp

  • Large XL or Jumbo shrimp, thawed, deveined, and peeled, but tails on
  • BBQ spice rub (we recommend Double Smoked from JewCanQue)
  • Bacon – make sure you use regular bacon, not thick-cut, or the bacon won’t cook in time.
  • Barbecue sauce for basting and dipping

Substitutions

  • BBQ Spice Rub: Feel free to use any favorite spice rub that complements shrimp and bacon.
  • Bacon: If regular bacon slices feel too heavy, you can use a lighter smoke flavor bacon for a subtler taste. Check the package when buying to make sure any added flavor isn’t too much for the shrimp.

How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp on the Grill

Grilled Bacon-wrapped shrimp is the ultimate appetizer for any gathering, balancing the flavors and textures that seafood and bacon lovers adore. The secret to grilling shrimp – wrap them in a later of literal fat, in this case, bacon. 

But watch out, bacon can cause flare ups so be sure to see our notes for different types of grills to prevent that from happening. Our step-by-step BBQ bacon-wrapped shrimp recipe makes it easy for each shrimp to be perfectly cooked with crispy bacon outside and juicy, tender shrimp inside.

Prep the Grill:

  • Preheat your grill for medium-high heat, around 400°F and set up for indirect heat. Place a drip pan on the cooler side to manage flare-ups.

Season and Wrap the Shrimp:

  • Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and place them in a large bowl. Toss the shrimp in your BBQ spice rub until lightly coated.
  • Cut each slice of bacon in half and wrap each shrimp with half a strip, securing the bacon by tucking the end underneath.
  • Arrange the bacon-wrapped shrimp in rows of five and skewer them through the center, ensuring they are snug against each other.
Skewers displaying raw shrimp wrapped with slices of bacon, arranged on a dark surface.

Grill the Shrimp:

  • Place the skewers over indirect heat on the grill and close the lid.
  • Grill for 10 minutes, then flip the skewered shrimp with long grilling tongs, brush with barbecue sauce, and continue grilling for another 6 minutes, flipping and basting once more halfway through. The sauce will set, forming a thin glaze over the shrimp as you rotate them. All in all, the shrimp will take about 15-20 minutes to cook. 

Serve:

  • Carefully remove the shrimp from the skewers and arrange them on a platter. Include a bowl for discarded tails and serve with extra BBQ sauce or barbecue aioli for dipping.
Four skewers of seasoned shrimp are being grilled over a charcoal grill.

Girl Carnivore Tips Perfect Grilled Shrimp

  • Soak Wooden Skewers: If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling to prevent burning.
  • Watch the Grill: Keep an eye on the grill as the fat from the bacon can cause flare-ups. Always use grilling safety when manning the grill
  • Basting: Apply barbecue sauce towards the end of cooking to prevent it from burning.

How to Serve Bacon-wrapped Shrimp

Bacon-wrapped shrimp makes an excellent appetizer or side dish for summer barbecues or fancy affairs (NYE, anyone). And they fly off the hors d’oeuvres tray at any wedding. But, they also can be the main dish. Serve them over a fresh salad, grilled vegetables, or over a bed of rice/cauliflower rice. Better yet, pair them with a grilled porterhouse steak for the ultimate surf and turf.

A person's hand holding a piece of grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon over a tray filled with more shrimp and greens on a wooden table.

How to Store Leftovers

If you have leftovers, pass the platter around again These don’t do well when reheated. However, you could wrap them in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container, store them in the fridge overnight, and enjoy them cold.

This bacon-wrapped shrimp recipe is a perfect combination of simplicity and flavor, ideal for any cookout or special occasion. Try it out, and watch it become a new favorite among your family and friends!

A tray of grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon placed on a bed of greens, with metal skewers on the side, on a wooden surface.

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Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

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Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 6
Four skewers of bacon wrapped shrimp are grilling on a barbecue grill.
Indulgent bacon-wrapped shrimp that strikes the perfect balance between crispy, smoky bacon and tender, succulent shrimp right from the grill. This easy-to-follow recipe is all you need to create a show-stopping appetizer that vanishes every time.

Ingredients  

  • 1 lb XL Large shrimp thawed, deviened and peeled. We like ours with the tails still on. XL or Jumbo shrimp are best
  • 2 tbsp bbq spice rub we used Double Smoked from JewCanQue
  • 15 Bacon slices use regular bacon, not thick cut.
  • 1/4 cup Barbecue sauce

Instructions 

Prep the Grill

  • Preheat the grill to 400 degrees F. See our notes below for charcoal, pellet smokers or gas grills. Nestle a drip pan below what will be the cooler side of the grill to help with flare ups.

Wrap and Skewer the Shrimp

  • Meanwhile, toss the shrimp in the bbq spices, lightly coating all sides.
  • Then cut the bacon in half right in the middle.
  • Wrap each one half around each of the shrimp, tucking the edge of the bacon back in under itself.
  • Once all the shrimp have been wrapped in bacon, arrange them in snug rows of 5.
  • Using a grilling skewer, skewer each row of shrimp gently through the center, keeping the shrimp snug against one another.

Grill the Shrimp

  • Place the shrimp skewers on the grill grates, over indirect heat.
  • Close the lid and grill the shrimp for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully open the lid and flip the shrimp skewers using long grilling tongs.
  • The bacon should be almost fully cooked and the shrimp a light pink color.
  • Brush the side facing up with barbecue sauce.
  • Close the lid and cook 3 minutes longer.
  • Using grilling tongs, carefully flip the shrimp again, the bacon will now be almost fully cooked and getting crispy. Baste this side of the shrimp with the bbq sauce.
  • Close the lid, cook 3 minutes longer.

Serve

  • Finally, remove the shrimp from the grill.
  • Carefully remove the grilling skewers and pile the bacon wrapped shrimp onto a platter. Place a small bowl on the platter for discarded tails.
  • Serve with additional barbecue sauce (or our barbecue aioli) for dipping.

Notes

If using wooden or bamboo grilling skewers, be sure to soak them for 30 minutes before using.
Shrimp are cooked when they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, according to the USDA. 
For a Charcoal Grill:
  • Prep your grill for a two-zone fire by arranging lit coals on one side of the grill. Add the drip pan to the other side of the grill. Clean and oil the grill grates and put them in place. Adjust the air vents, place the lid on top, and allow the grill to preheat to around 400 degrees F. 
  • When ready to grill, place the shrimp skewers on the cool side of the grill and cook as instructed. 
  • If using a ceramic grill (Green Egg or Kamado Joe) use the diffuser plates
For a Gas Grill:
  • Prep the shrimp as instructed and preheat your grill for indirect heat. First, allow the grill to preheat with all burners on. Clean and oil the grill grates. Then adjust the heat so that 2 of the 4 or 2 of the 3 burners are off and the grill maintains around 400 degrees F. 
  • When ready to grill, place the bacon-wrapped shrimp on the cooler side of the grill. Use caution, as bacon on a gas grill can easily cause flare-ups. Rotate the shrimp as needed to avoid flare-ups and ensure that they cook evenly.  
For a Pellet Grill:
  • Because bacon drips grease as it cooks, we like to line the bottom tray of the grill with foil to help make easy clean up. 
  • Prep the shrimp as instructed. Because pellet grills often only have one zone, you will preheat the grill for 400 degrees F.
  • When the grill is preheated, place the skewers on the grill and close the lid and cook the shrimp as instructed. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 132mg | Sodium: 915mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 218IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, barbeque
Author: Kita Roberts

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FAQs

How do you pre-cook the bacon?

If you’re worried about the bacon not cooking, you can par-cook it in the oven. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Place aluminum foil on a baking sheet and arrange the bacon strips of bacon over it. Cook the bacon for 5 to7 minutes, until it’s just starting to render, but still quite pliable. 
Pro-tip: if you’re going to pre-cook the bacon, don’t cut it in half, as it will shrimp when it’s cooking. 

How do you keep shrimp moist while grilling?

This one is tricky. Shrimp are delicate and cook quickly on the grill. Our grilled shrimp recipe cooked them hot and fast, so they don’t dry out. But the added layer of the bacon for these grilled shrimp acts as an layer of – literal – fat to keep the shrimp protected and help prevent them from drying out.
Pro Tip: By skewering the shrimp, instead of using toothpicks to cook them individually, we are able to get a more consistent and even cook on all of the shrimp. It also helps to lock the bacon in place, keeping it wrapped snuggly around each shrimp.  

What temp to grill bacon-wrapped shrimp? 

We set our grill for around 400°F when grilling these shrimp and use indirect heat on a two-zone fire to control the fire and cook the shrimp evenly.

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.

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