Learn the Best Way to Peel and Devein Your Shrimp



March 3, 2021

If you’ve ever gone to your local grocery store to purchase wild-caught American shrimp or ordered them online, you’ve probably noticed just how many ways shrimp can be sold.

Head-on, headless, peeled and deveined, tails-on: all of them used in different ways for a variety of recipes.

Unless you’re going with shrimp that have been completely peeled and deveined, you’re most likely going to have to do some work yourself when it comes to that department.

If there’s one question we see asked time and time again, it’s this: “What’s the best way to peel and devein shrimp?”

We’re glad you asked!

Whether you’re working with wild-caught American shrimp with everything still on from the head to the tail, or are working with more stripped-down shrimp: here’s what you need to do.

  • If your shrimp still has a head on, grab the head in one hand and the body in the other and gently pinch and twist the head until it smoothly detaches from the body.
  • Next, go underneath the shrimp to where the legs are, dig underneath them using your thumb, and start peeling off the legs and outer shell.
  • To remove the tail, lightly pinch the body in one hand pinching and tugging on the tail with the other: it should slide off easily.
  • To devein a shrimp: take a paring knife and slide it down the shrimp’s back, without cutting too deep. You should then be able to pull out the thin dark vein along the shrimp’s back.

Some other important reminders: if any of your recipes call to leave on certain parts of the shrimp – such as the heads or tails – you can still remove other parts of the shrimp while keeping the necessary parts intact. Also, with any parts of the shrimp that you do peel off – such as the head, shells and/or tails – be sure to save them in a small container: they can be used to cook a mouthwatering shrimp stock!

If you’re looking for a step-by-step explanation, check out this video from Food Network!

How to Peel and Devein Shrimp Like a Pro

Now, you can peel and devein your shrimp with confidence and ease! Put your new skills to use by visiting our Recipes page!