How to Defrost Shrimp in Microwave [Easy Guide]

How to Defrost Shrimp in MicrowaveFew things ruin a meal, like coming across undercooked shrimp. The taste of rubbery shrimp alone is enough to ruin the mood of any dinner party.

While cooking takes time, most other techniques for defrosting shrimp take significantly more effort: either a long wait in cold water or sitting at room temperature for hours.

Luckily, there’s an easier way – defrosting shrimp in a microwave. This method is fast and easy and only requires a few seconds of your time. Here is how to defrost shrimp in microwave.

Remove shrimp from packaging and place in a microwave-safe bowl filled with cold water. Cover your bowl with a paper towel or a lid. Nuke your bowl of shrimp on defrost mode for 30-60 seconds. Check at 15-second intervals with 30-second breaks to avoid overcooking. Repeat this until your shrimp are no longer frozen.

Voila! Your shrimp should be warm and ready to cook in minutes.

In today’s post, we’ll walk you through our tried-and-true method for defrosting shrimp in a microwave and share some tips and tricks. We’ll also address some of the most common concerns surrounding microwaving shrimp.

Let’s get started.

Can You Defrost Shrimp In The Microwave?

How to Defrost Shrimp in MicrowaveNothing beats fresh, wild-caught shrimp, but it can be a challenge to defrost without ruining their texture when frozen.

And like many people, you may not have thought about defrosting shrimp in your microwave. However, if you’re looking for an easy way to defrost shrimp quickly and efficiently, it’s your best bet.

Shrimps are a great addition to any diet. They are high in protein and low in fat and calories. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

However, like most seafood, shrimps are delicate creatures. They’re susceptible to changes in temperature and can be easily overcooked or undercooked. That’s why it’s essential to know how to defrost them properly.

A microwave is one of your best options when you want to defrost shrimp quickly. Moreover, unlike other methods, such as thawing them on ice or running cold water over them, a microwave gives you more control over the process.

For instance, it allows you to control the temperature so you don’t end up cooking your shrimp while trying to defrost them. It also helps preserve the texture and flavor.

So, next time you need to defrost some shrimp, consider using your microwave.

How Long To Thaw Frozen Shrimp in Microwave

How to Defrost Shrimp in MicrowaveAs we’ve mentioned before, shrimps are very sensitive to temperature changes. That’s why the defrosting method you choose is so important. One of the factors that will affect the texture and taste of your shrimp is how long it takes for them to thaw in a microwave.

Typically, defrosting frozen shrimp will take about 30 to 60 seconds. However, the time can vary depending on several factors.

1. Your Microwave Wattage

Generally, higher wattages will lead to faster defrosting times, while lower wattages may require more time. As a general rule of thumb, use 30% power across all microwaves brands and models.

2. The Weight and Size

Big-sized shrimps will take longer to defrost than smaller ones. This is due to their higher water content and larger surface area, resulting in a slower heat transfer rate.

3. The Number of Pieces

If you have a lot of shrimps to defrost, it will take longer to defrost. So, it’s best to defrost them in smaller batches instead of all at once.

How to Defrost Frozen Shrimp in Microwave (Step by Step)

How to Defrost Shrimp in MicrowaveWe’ve all heard the saying, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at how to defrost shrimp in the microwave step by step:


Step 1: Remove Frozen Shrimp from Freezer/Package

The first step is, of course, to remove your frozen shrimp from its original packaging. Carefully pull out each piece of shrimp with a fork. Make sure you don’t accidentally pull out any shells along with them.

Step 2: Place Frozen Shrimp on Microwavable Plate/Bowl

Once you’ve removed all of your shrimp from their original packaging, place them carefully onto a microwavable plate or bowl. If you are using a bowl, make sure it has enough room for all of your shrimp.

Also, leave at least an inch between each piece of shrimp, so they have room to defrost properly.

Step 3: Add Cold Water to Plate/Bowl

After placing your shrimp onto a microwavable plate or bowl, add some cold water. The cold water will disperse heat and help keep your shrimp from overcooking while defrosting.

Step 4: Cover Plate/Bowl with Paper Towel/Lid

After adding some cold water to your plate or bowl, cover it with a paper towel or microwave-safe lid. This will keep your shrimp from drying out while defrosting.

Step 5: Put Plate/Bowl into Microwave

Place it into your microwave once you’ve covered your plate or bowl with a paper towel or microwave-safe lid. Set your microwave on defrost mode or 30% power and nuke for 30-60 seconds.

Check on your shrimp every 10-15 seconds, allowing 30 seconds break between each check. This will ensure that your shrimp don’t overcook while they defrost.

Step 6: Remove Your Plate of Shrimp from the Microwave

One way to tell if you have defrosted shrimp is if they bend. If it does so easily, it’s ready to go. If not, place it back into your microwave for another 30 seconds and check again.

Final Step: Enjoy Your Freshly Defrosted Shrimp

After removing your plate or bowl from your microwave, drain off any excess water and cook instantly. You can enjoy your shrimp plain or in your favorite sauce or dip.

Can You Cook Shrimp in the Microwave?

How to Defrost Shrimp in MicrowaveYes, you can cook shrimp in a microwave. However, shrimps are not very dense and tend to overcook quickly, so it’s best to use low power settings and check on them frequently.

Alternatively, you can cook shrimp by steaming them. If your microwave has a steamer attachment, you can use it to steam shrimp for a healthy meal. This method preserves more of the flavor and texture than boiling.

The USDA advises cooking frozen shrimp to an internal temperature of 120°F. This will kill any bacteria present and ensure that they are safe to eat.

Also, at this temperature, the shrimp has the right texture. It’s not rubbery or tough but is firm enough so it won’t fall apart when you bite into it.

Can You Freeze Shrimp Once Thawed

You should never re-freeze thawed shrimp. This practice can lead to a loss of flavor and texture and foodborne illness from bacteria that thrives in thawed seafood. It’s best to cook frozen shrimp instantly after defrosting.

If you’re unable to cook it right away, place it in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for up to two days. Discard any shrimp left at room temperature for more than two hours.

How Long To Thaw Frozen Shrimp In Fridge?

How to Defrost Shrimp in MicrowaveA fridge is another convenient and safe method to thaw shrimp, but it can take longer than a microwave. Typically, it will take about 12-24 hours to defrost one pound of frozen shrimp in your refrigerator.

However, the time needed may vary depending on the size and number of shrimp you are thawing.

After defrosting, cook your shrimp immediately or store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Doing so helps prevent bacterial growth that could cause food poisoning.

Faqs on How to Defrost Shrimp in the Microwave

1. Is it safe to thaw shrimp in the microwave?

A microwave is one of many ways you can defrost shrimp safely. Moreover, it’s a fast and convenient way to thaw out your frozen seafood. However, make sure you don’t overcook by defrosting for too long or at too high of a temperature.

The time range should be between 30 and 60 seconds with frequent check-ins to avoid over-cooking.

2. Why should you not force thaw shrimp?

If you force thaw your shrimp by running it underwater, the texture will be mushy and rubbery. Your shrimp will absorb water, become saturated, and crumble when cooked. The best way to defrost shrimp safely is using a microwave or refrigerator.

3. Should you defrost shrimp before cooking?

Although you can cook shrimp from frozen, it’s best to thaw them first. Thawed shrimp cook more evenly and are less likely to overcook or dry out. This is especially important if you plan on sautéing your shrimp rather than grilling or frying.

4. Can you thaw frozen shrimp in hot water?

No, hot water will not effectively defrost shrimp. You will compromise the texture of your shrimp, and you may end up with rubbery and unevenly cooked shrimp. You may find that the outer layer is still thawed while the center remains frozen.

5. How long does frozen shrimp take to thaw in cold water?

It will take you 10 minutes to 20 minutes to defrost shrimp in cold water. The exact time it takes depends on the size, weight, and the number of shrimp you’re thawing.

6. What is the best way to thaw frozen shrimp Servsafe?

The safest way to thaw frozen shrimp is by using a microwave, submerging them in cold water, or leaving them in the refrigerator. Do not thaw seafood at room temperature as bacteria can grow and cause food poisoning.

If you decide to use a microwave, cook your shrimp immediately after they have defrosted.

7. How long to defrost cooked shrimp?

Using a microwave will take the same or less time to defrost cooked shrimps as it does raw shrimp. Raw shrimp will require about 30 to 60 seconds of defrosting time, while cooked shrimp will need just 15 to 20 seconds or so.

8. Can I eat thawed shrimp?

Although thawed shrimp are safe to eat, they are not particularly tasty. They have a mushy texture and are flavorless. It’s best to cook thawed shrimp for added flavor.

9. How do you Deshell frozen shrimp?

How to Defrost Shrimp in MicrowaveLet frozen shrimp thaw completely before de-shelling. Use a paring knife to cut through the shell on each side of the shrimp’s head, and then remove it with your fingers. If you don’t want to eat the tail, use scissors to snip it off right behind its eyes.



Defrosting frozen shrimp using a microwave is simple with a surprisingly short wait. Shrimps being sensitive creatures, you will want to defrost them at low temperatures not to cook and damage their texture.

A microwave emerges as an excellent choice for quick and easy defrosting your shrimps. It’s fast, convenient, and doesn’t require special skills or techniques. Ensure that you use the defrost setting on your microwave or set it at 30% power and check every 15 seconds.

When done right, rest assured to have perfectly defrosted shrimps ready for your next meal.

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