What Makes Shrimp Hard To Peel?

what makes shrimp hard to peel
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what makes shrimp hard to peel

If you have a thing for seafood, we are certain that you are a big fan of shrimps. This is because shrimps have a perfectly crispy flavor and they are highly nutritious. However, cooking shrimps can be challenging because one mistake can result in shrunk and hard shrimps.

Still, some people ask, “what makes shrimp hard to peel?” To help you with this, we have the information available!

What Makes Shrimp Hard To Peel?

When we are talking about shrimps, they are enriched with fiber-like proteins. So, when these proteins are grilled, boiled, or cooked for a longer time period, it can result in a sticky and rubbery texture. As a result, the meat of the shrimp will be attached to the shell which results in hard to peel shrimps.

That being said, the only thing is that cooking the shrimps for too long makes them hard to peel. If your shrimps have become hard to peel, we have some ways which you can use to save the shrimp. Are you ready for it?

Cold Water

When it comes down to easing the shrimp and softening the peeling, you can put the shrimps in the cold water and make sure they are submerged. This is because submerging the shrimps in cold water will separate the shell and meat which makes them easy to peel. For this purpose, you need to fill up the bowl with cold water and put all the shrimps in it (make sure you use the icy cold water).

Then, place the shrimps for at least thirty minutes and then crack the shells. In addition, you can rub the shells off the meat. Moreover, when it comes down to putting the shrimps in cold water, keep in mind that it can result in little opaque pink color of shrimps. This is important to outline because shrimps get extra pink when they are overcooked. Lastly, this method works for overcooked, grilled, and over-boiled shrimps.

Colander Method

For the most part, people try to defrost the frozen shrimps but it’s not the right choice. In addition, some people even put the frozen shrimps in hot water for making them easy to peel. However, these methods aren’t suitable because they can stick the meat and shell even more. Now, coming to our main point, you can use the colander and add all the shrimps to it.

Once the shrimps are placed in the colander, put it in the fridge for a night, and don’t forget to put the bowl under the colander for catching the dripping water. As a result, the shrimps will be defrosted properly and gently. After one night, we are certain that meat and shell will be separated and you will be able to peel the shrimps. This method is suitable for frozen shrimps as well as fresh shrimps.


Before we tell you more details, let us tell you that this method won’t work for every shrimp recipe and it’s best to use it for boiling shrimps. This is because overboiling the shrimps can result in hard peeling. To fix this issue, you should reduce the temperature and add one tablespoon of vinegar. As a result, you will be able to peel the shrimps easily.

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