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Honey and Butter: Great for Biscuits, Better for Browning Shrimp

Here’s how we used science to brown shrimp in a flash.
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Published Feb. 24, 2022.

We love using the broiler to cook shrimp: The method requires no flipping or fussing, and a whole trayful cooks through in just five minutes. The only problem? The shrimp cook through so quickly that they emerge from the oven pallid, without any flavorful, rich char. To attain beautiful spotty-browning, our shrimp needed some help—enter, honey and butter.

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Melted butter helps shrimp to bronze because it contains milk solids, which brown readily beneath the broiler. Honey too has quick-browning superpowers thanks to the rapidly-caramelizing fructose it contains. Together, these ingredients catalyze the color development almost immediately.

Here’s how the method works:

  1. Mix 1 part honey to 4 parts butter, then microwave until the butter is melted.
  2. Add any desired mix-ins or flavorings to the butter mixture: Think chile powder and cayenne, garlic and red pepper flakes, or paprika, cumin, and coriander.
  3. Coat the shrimp thoroughly in the mixture, paying special attention to the ragged edges where they’d been deveined, so that those ridges will crisp.

The result? Briny-sweet, juicy shrimp with toasty bits of char, perfect for topping salads, incorporating into grain bowls, or serving alongside crusty bread or pasta for dinner. Click below for our three broiled shrimp recipes.

Recipe

Garlicky Broiled Shrimp

For tender, succulent, spotty-brown shrimp, let your broiler do the work.
Get the Recipe
Recipe

Hot Honey Broiled Shrimp

For tender, succulent, spotty-brown shrimp, let your broiler do the work.
Get the Recipe
Recipe

Smoky Broiled Shrimp

For tender, succulent, spotty-brown shrimp, let your broiler do the work.
Get the Recipe

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