April 14

How to Defrost Shrimp in Microwave? – Learn Here


Author: Gisele Perez
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Shrimps are a very great source of protein, but aside protein, they provide a lot of other nutritional benefits like vitamins and minerals.

Furthermore, shrimps simply taste really nice and including it in your diet every now and then can be a delight.

How do you get them to thaw for immediate use, this article will consider this and why defrosting in a microwave is the best option for you. After reading the article you will know exactly How to Defrost Shrimp in Microwave.

Like every other fresh seafood that hasn’t been prepared or preserved by any other means, they need to be frozen, but what happens when you want some shrimp from your freezer urgently but they are thoroughly frozen?

To answer the question in a few words, shrimps can be defrosted in the microwave by putting them in for 1 minute intervals while making sure the shrimp is not actually heated. That’s the key, once you master that you will always use a microwave for the purpose.

How to Defrost Shrimp in Microwave?

Defrosting shrimp in a microwave is the last option anyone will choose, especially because shrimps are very delicate seafood and don’t require long moments of heat to cook.

By the time you take them out of the microwave, the shrimp might be half-cooked already and not in the best way.

It could get rubbery and tough which might defeat the purpose of the meal you are trying to prepare so how do you do it right and avoid these downsides?

A few raw shrimps

The secret to this method is to ensure that the microwave or the prawns don’t get too hot at all, which means setting the timer to short moments at the lowest possible temperature.

You can monitor your shrimp at 1 minute intervals to ensure that it is being thawed and not cooked.

Make sure the heat is not getting into the prawns and it will thaw just fine in a couple of minutes.

Also ensure that you drain any water comes of the prawns otherwise the water might begin to cook the prawns.

Once the 1 minute you set the timer to is up, strain out the already defrosted water and continue, until the shrimp is totally unfrozen to room temperature.

How To Defrost Shrimps in Microwave
How frozen shrimps should look like

Let us review some very common methods.

Method 1

  1. Get a microwave safe bowl, not necessarily one with a lid, you can substitute the lid with a plastic wrap. Put the shrimp in for 1 minute at 30° first, follow the first method for uncooked shrimp till it is totally defrosted.
  2. Ensure that the shrimp is at room temperature, then reheat.
  3. To reheat perfectly, set the temperature to 100°. The purpose is to get it hot rather than defrost.
  4. Put shrimp in, microwave at 2 minutes intervals to ensure that it is being heated throughout.
  5. When it is perfectly heated, take out the shrimp and serve.

Read more: How to Tell If Plastic is Microwave Safe

Method 2

  1. Put the quantity of shrimp you want to heat in a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Cover with a paper towel or plastic wrap.
  3. Considering the fact that shrimps only take a few minutes to prepare, you don’t want to overheat.
  4. Put the shrimp in the microwave, once it is mostly defrosted
  5. Take out the shrimp and reheat on a stove.

Method 3

  1. Get a microwave safe bowl with a tight lid.
  2. Put in some room temperature water and add in the shrimp,
  3. Set the microwave control to defrost and watch at 1 minute interval till it is thoroughly defrosted
  4. This method is the fastest but also the trickiest, the secret is to not let the water get hot while the shrimps are in.
  5. Once this is achieved, take out the shrimp and prepare your preferred dish.

You can also consider an alternative which is putting the shrimp in a zip lock bag before you put in the microwave safe bowl with water. This ensures that none of the water gets into the shrimps.

Butter Shrimp
Cooked Garlic Butter Shrimp Source: dinner

Is it Safe to Defrost Shrimp in Microwave

There are so many methods you can consider to defrost your shrimp; from keeping it stationery under direct running water to dipping in boiling water to refrigerating. So why is it recommended to defrost with a microwave?

This is because it is faster. The only downside is, this method is very delicate and risky for the shrimp you’re trying to defrost. Once you get the hang of it, it will be preferable to use your microwave to defrost rather than any other method.

Defrosting your shrimp in your microwave is 100% safe. As long as you don’t keep it in for long or use a high temperature.

When you defrost your shrimp in a microwave, try not to defrost for long moments at a time and keep the temperature very low, to preserve the shrimp from getting ruined.

Now that you know how to defrost shrimp in a microwave we are sure this is the method you will be using from now on since it is safe and fast.

Read more: How Much Radiation Does a Microwave Oven Emit

How to Defrost Cooked Shrimp in the Microwave

When you have leftover food from a meal, you should preserve the shrimp by freezing it, and when you are ready to eat later on, you defrost.

So how do you defrost your cooked shrimp?

Defrosting cooked shrimps is similar to defrosting raw shrimps. However, one key thing to note is that you should NOT defrost and refreeze cooked shrimps repeatedly as that can ruin the taste.

Also, take extra care that water does not accumulate and if it does strain it immediately. Water from defrosted cooked shrimps can leach the tasty ingredients out.

Is it Wise to Defrost Cooked Prawns

As far as safety and nutritional value is concerned, it is fine to use a Microwave to defrost cooked prawns.However, it may NOT be wise to REHEAT the prawns in a microwave oven as that would render them soggy.

You will also benefit from storing your cooked prawns properly.

Although shrimps are delicate seafood and can be easily ruined, storing in a tight lidded container and freezing might go a very long way in helping you preserve your shrimp.

The idea is to keep it thoroughly frozen throughout the time it is not in use. And you should not keep it out of the freezer for more than 2 hours or the shrimp might end up getting spoiled.


1. Is it bad to force thaw shrimp?

No, it's not bad to force thaw shrimp. In fact, it's the best way to thaw them quickly. Place the shrimp in a colander and run cold water over them until they're thawed.

2. Should you thaw frozen shrimp before cooking?

No, you don't have to thaw frozen shrimp before cooking, but it will cook more evenly if you do. Frozen shrimp can be cooked right from the freezer, but it will take a little longer.

3. How long can frozen cooked shrimp stay in the fridge?

Cooked shrimp will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator if appropriately refrigerated. Cooked shrimp can be frozen to extend its shelf life further; freeze in closed airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or securely wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.

4. How long to defrost shrimp in microwave?

It takes about 3-4 minutes to defrost shrimp in the microwave. Place the shrimp in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the top. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, or until thawed.

5. Is it OK to defrost shrimp in water?

Yes, that is perfectly OK. If you purchase frozen shrimp, you can defrost it immediately before using it. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, or for a speedier thawing process, remove the shrimp from the packaging, place it in a bowl of cold water, and allow a stream of cold water to stream into the bowl while excess water drains.

About the author

Gisele Perez

When not giving in-home, hands-on cooking classes, or developing recipes, Gisele "cooks" wonderful posts for us. She writes about various topics related to cooking appliances and cooking methods.



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