How to Cook Shrimp in an Air Fryer: A Step-by-Step Guide

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shrimp cooked and ready to eat
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Cooking shrimp in an air fryer is a great way to get perfectly cooked, juicy seafood with minimal effort. Whether you’re new to cooking or a seasoned chef, the convenience of using an air fryer can make preparing delicious meals easier than ever before. But how do you cook shrimp in an air fryer?

In this blog post, we’ll explore all the tips and tricks for getting your perfect plate of succulent shrimp every time – from prepping them correctly to serving suggestions that will take your meal to another level. Learn how easy it is to cook amazing-tasting shrimp in an air fryer.

Table of Contents:

Preparing the Shrimp

Selecting the Right Shrimp:

When it comes to air frying shrimp, size matters. Smaller shrimp will cook more quickly and evenly than larger ones, so select a variety that is no bigger than 31/35 (31-35 pieces) per pound. Look for fresh or frozen wild-caught shrimp with firm shells and bright eyes. If you can’t find them at your local grocery store, consider ordering from a lobster and seafood mail delivery company for premium quality ingredients delivered right to your door.

Cleaning and Deveining the Shrimp:

Before marinating the shrimp, they must first be cleaned and deveined. Start by removing dirt or debris from the shells using a small brush or damp cloth. To remove the vein, use a paring knife to make an incision along its length on one side of each shrimp before rinsing under cold running water until all traces of blood are gone. Pat dry with paper towels before proceeding with marinating them in whatever sauce you prefer.

Marinating the Shrimp:

Marinating adds flavor while also helping keep moisture locked in during cooking, resulting in juicy, succulent bites every time. Mix together some olive oil or melted butter, garlic powder/minced garlic cloves, salt/pepper, and other spices like paprika or chili flakes if desired to give the shrimp an extra kick of flavor before adding lemon juice and letting them marinate.

Add freshly squeezed lemon juice before adding your prepared shrimp into this mixture and let sit covered in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or overnight if possible. When ready, proceed with the air frying instructions below.

Preparing the shrimp is an important step in ensuring that your air-fried dish turns out perfect. To ensure a delicious meal, it’s time to move on to cooking the shrimp in an air fryer.

Key Takeaway: To ensure perfectly cooked shrimp every time, select small wild-caught varieties no bigger than 31/35 per pound. Clean and devein them before marinating them in olive oil (or butter), garlic powder, minced cloves, salt pepper, or other spices with lemon juice for at least 15 minutes to lock in moisture during cooking. Now you’re ready to air fry.

Cooking the Shrimp in an Air Fryer

Air frying is an excellent way to cook shrimp quickly and easily. Preheating the air fryer ensures that your shrimp will be cooked evenly and perfectly every time. Set the temperature as recommended by your manual and let it heat up for around 5 minutes before adding any food. Once heated, place the shrimp into the basket of your air fryer, making sure not to overcrowd it so it can cook evenly. Adjusting the settings of heat and duration will vary based on the type and quantity of shrimp being cooked. For larger batches, increase heat and cooking time.

Finally, serve some delicious air-fried shrimp dishes like salads and slaws, rice dishes, or appetizers and snacks – all made easy with this versatile kitchen appliance.

Preparing shrimp in an air fryer can be a speedy and effortless route to generating scrumptious, crispy seafood. For those looking for ideas on how to serve the shrimp after it’s cooked, the next part provides some great suggestions.

Serving Suggestions for Air Fried Shrimp

Air-fried shrimp is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy seafood. Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or dinner or just an appetizer to share with friends, air-fried shrimp is the perfect option. Here are some of our favorite serving suggestions that pair perfectly with air-fried shrimp:

Salads and Slaws:

Salads and slaws make great accompaniments to air-fried shrimp. For something light, try tossing together a simple salad of mixed greens topped with crumbled feta cheese, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and your favorite dressing. Or add some crunchy texture by topping it off with crispy wonton strips. For something heartier, mix up a classic coleslaw made from shredded cabbage tossed in a mayonnaise-based dressing. Add diced apples for sweetness, or serve it alongside your favorite barbecue dish for added flavor.

Rice Dishes:

Rice dishes are always popular when served alongside air-fried shrimp. A tasty combination would be steamed jasmine rice paired with stir-fried vegetables like carrots and snow peas – don’t forget to season it all with soy sauce or teriyaki sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try making sushi rolls filled with cooked crabmeat (or imitation crab) along with avocado slices and cream cheese – this makes an impressive presentation that will definitely wow your guests.

Air-fried shrimp makes an excellent appetizer as well. To make homemade popcorn shrimp, start by coating raw peeled shrimps in egg whites, then dip them into seasoned flour before deep frying them until golden brown. Serve these hot out of the fryer as finger food at parties or game nights. Alternatively, you can use cooked frozen popcorn shrimp instead if time isn’t on your side – simply defrost them overnight, then warm through in the oven before serving as usual.

Cooking shrimp in an air fryer can be a cinch, allowing you to enjoy seafood easily. With the right tips and tricks, you’ll have perfectly cooked air-fried shrimp every time.

Key Takeaway: Air-fried shrimp is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy seafood. It can be served as part of salads, slaws, or rice dishes; alternatively, it makes an excellent appetizer, such as homemade popcorn shrimp or pre-cooked frozen shrimps warmed in the oven.

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Air Fried Shrimp Every Time

For best results, select shrimp on the smaller side when shopping for ingredients to ensure even cooking and faster cook times. Shrimp that are too large will take longer to cook and may not be as evenly cooked. Smaller shrimp cook more quickly and evenly, so look for smaller sizes when shopping.

Another important factor in achieving perfectly cooked air-fried shrimp is avoiding overcrowding the basket. When you cram too many pieces into the air fryer, they will need more space to crisp up on all sides. To ensure even cooking, only fill up about two-thirds of your basket with shrimp.

Finally, remember to experiment with different seasonings. Try various seasonings like fresh herbs, spices, citrus juices, hot sauces, and honey mustard to add flavor. Be mindful of the amount of oil used in an oil-based marinade before air frying shrimp, as too much can lead to potential flare-ups while cooking. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to achieve perfectly cooked air-fried shrimp every time.

Air Frying Shrimps FAQs

How long do you heat shrimp in the air fryer?

Shrimp can be cooked in an air fryer quickly and easily. For pre-cooked shrimp, reduce the time to 3-5 minutes at 400F. For frozen or large shrimp, increase it by 1 minute per side. If you are using pre-cooked shrimp, reduce the time by 2 minutes. Remember to shake the basket halfway through so that all sides cook evenly.

What is the best temperature to cook shrimp?

For optimal results, shrimp should be cooked at 375F to prevent it from becoming rubbery or tough. It’s also important to monitor the cooking time, as overcooking can lead to dry and flavorless shrimp. Ensure that the frozen shrimp is thawed before cooking for the best outcomes.

How long does it take to cook raw shrimp?

Shrimp can be cooked in a matter of minutes. Shrimp generally require a brief cooking time, with boiling/steaming taking 3-4 minutes and sautéing/stir-frying just 1-2 minutes; however, they should be cooked through to ensure their ideal texture and flavor. It is important to ensure that shrimp are fully cooked before consuming; they should turn pinkish-white with an opaque center. Overcooking can lead to a rubbery texture and loss of flavor.


With just a few simple steps and helpful tips, you can be sure your shrimp will come out perfectly cooked every time. For best results, ensure the shrimp is fresh or frozen and thawed completely before cooking. Now go ahead and enjoy your tasty air-fried shrimp dish!

Try Maine Lobster House for all your seafood needs! Our air fryer shrimp recipes make it easy to cook delicious, healthy meals in no time.