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How to BBQ Prawns Perfectly Every Time

When it comes to impressing during barbeque season it is hard to beat big juicy BBQ prawns, this is how to cook them perfectly!

They take mere minutes to cook, look spectacular and taste divine!

Portrait close up image of large BBQ prawns or shrimp with grilled watermelon served on a black plate

BBQ Jumbo Shrimp!

There ain’t nothing like great food for lifting my mood, so a little sun and some, smoke and seafood means that I had a great weekend!

It is easy to be intimidated when it comes to cooking seafood on the BBQ. Don’t be I have you covered!

With ingredients this good there is not a lot you need to do.

In fact, the less you do the better the meal is!

Just like my grilled trout recipe, these prawns rely on a few great ingredients.

Garlic, chilli sauce and lemon are all we add apart from salt and for me, that is all they need.

Portrait image of fresh lemon being squeezed over BBQ prawns or shrimp on a BBQ with watermelon

Buying Prawns for the Grill.

Prawns and shrimp have a bizarre sizing system but when it comes to cooking them on the grill you want big.

The sizing of shrimp or prawns refers to the number per pound.

As a result, the smaller the number the bigger the prawn, ain’t that a doozy?

Just like my Harissa Garlic Prawns these bad boys are sized 8-10 Head on Shell On (HOSO).

The shell adds an aroma and flavour that simply cannot be beaten.

But if you have something smaller then stick them on a skewer (see what I did there). This grilled shrimp recipe is a great example of this.

Portrait image of large BBQ prawns or shrimp with grilled watermelon served on a black plate

To Devein or Not to Devein.

The first thing to say is that the line down the back of a prawn it is not a vein and it is not poop.

It will do you no harm and it has no flavour or texture.

So the removal is right down to you, I do remove them if they are noticeable and I am removing the shell.

If I am not removing the shell then I do not.

To remove the vein from larger shrimp with the shell on you can make a cut down the back.

This kinda spoils the “aesthetic” for me.

As a result, I would make a small cut in along near the head of the prawn where the “vein” usually sits.

Slide in a pin perpendicular to the prawn under where the vein usually is and pull. If there is anything there you can then pull it out.

Square image of large BBQ prawns or shrimp with grilled watermelon served on a black plate
Yield: 2 Servings

Simple BBQ Prawns Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

With ingredients this good it is best to keep things simple so a little Lemon, Chilli and Garlic mixed with a bit of fire is all that is needed to make these BBQ Prawns or Shrimp Sing!


  • 400 g Prawns
  • 1 Thai Birds Eye Chili Pepper
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp oil to coat
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Dice the chilli and garlic as finely as you can.
  2. Mix together the garlic, chilli, salt & pepper and oil and coat the shrimp.
  3. Place the prawns over the direct heat of the coals and cook until pink.
  4. Size 8-10 prawns take 7-10 minutes.
  5. Halfway through the cooking time squeeze over half of the lemon juice then flip.
  6. Cook for the remaining time and squeeze over the remaining juice just before serving.


If using frozen shrimp defrost as quickly as you can, stick in a colander and allow cold water to run over them, they should defrost in 10-15 minutes, this helps maintain the texture of the meat.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 422mgSodium: 2045mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 47g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Tuesday 4th of January 2022

Love to see a video of your deveining technique w/out removing shell and head. Cheers

Brian Jones

Tuesday 4th of January 2022

Hi Kim... I am unable to eat shellfish at the moment so I'm unable to make a video for you, shame really as I am always looking for an excuse to eat prawns ;) But I have been doing some searches and this technique will work, it is not exactly the same as the one I use but it is clear and easy to follow :)


Thursday 2nd of August 2018

It’s been really hot here in the Netherlands the last few weeks and when ever that happens we fire up the bbq. I made your grilled shrimp with watermelon and rocket yesterday and it was fabulous. This one is a keeper. Thank you for the recipe!

Brian Jones

Friday 3rd of August 2018

So glad you enjoyed it :)

Katie Crenshaw | A Fork's Tale

Thursday 2nd of August 2018

This is such a pretty dish for the summer. Pairing the watermelon with the shrimp is brilliant. I am so intrigued how you added the sweet chili sauce to the watermelon for grilling. I can't wait to see what that will taste like.

Brian Jones

Friday 3rd of August 2018

I love watermelon and chili, hell I love chili...


Wednesday 1st of August 2018

Oh, we love grilling here! All summer long, we grill! Easy clean up and great flavor! You can't go wrong! These shrimp look amazing! In the states we have a hard time finding the shrimp with the head on. Ours now are what they call easy peel, they are deheaded, split and veins removed! I love the presentation with the heads! This recipe sounds great with the grilled watermelon! I must give it a try!

Brian Jones

Friday 3rd of August 2018

Most of our shrimp are like that too, which is sad... But on occasions we get big boys like this and the only thing to do is fire up the BBQ and go to town :D


Tuesday 31st of July 2018

Love the photos! Sounds like a great Summer recipe.

Brian Jones

Friday 3rd of August 2018

Thanks Amanada

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