How To Defrost Shrimp in Microwave: Quick & Safe Method

Categorized as Microwave Cooking
How to Defrost Shrimp in a Microwave

Shrimps are a treat in most parts of the world. They are decadent and delicious, with a number of different cooking methods that yield a variety of tasty results. From grilling to fried, there’s no end to the different flavors that shrimps can offer.

Fresh shrimp can be bought and stored in the freezer for up to six months. When you would like to prepare a meal using such shrimps, you will need to defrost them.

You can easily defrost shrimp in a microwave oven. Defrosting shrimps using a microwave oven is very simple. However, you must follow all safety precautions while defrosting them because microwaves are highly powerful machines that can cause a lot of damage if mishandled.

Can You Defrost Shrimp in the Microwave?

You can defrost shrimp in the microwave. Defrosting shrimps in a microwave oven is simple and takes only a minute at most to complete.

Here’s the short instruction on how to defrost shrimp in a microwave oven.

Place the shrimp that needs to be defrosted in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film, taking care to leave enough room for the steam to circulate. Microwave on the defrost setting in short intervals. Check after every minute to see whether or not it is fully thawed.

Although it looks like an easy process, there is a risk of the shrimp being overcooked or undercooked if you are not careful while defrosting them in the microwave. The key to defrosting shrimps in a microwave is to be mindful of the time and temperature involved. You need to defrost the shrimp as quickly as possible and at as low a temperature as you can.

How Long Does Shrimp Take To Defrost in Microwave?

There are several methods you can employ to defrost shrimps. Traditionally, you would thaw frozen or even fresh shrimp by keeping them submerged in cold water for a few hours.

But today, with the invention of microwave ovens, you can defrost shrimp in a matter of seconds. So how long does it take to defrost shrimps in a microwave?

The defrosting time depends on the weight of the shrimp. A small-sized shrimp will defrost in around thirty seconds, whereas a jumbo-sized shrimp and prawn will need about one minute to be thawed. So you can say that, on average, it takes about thirty seconds to one minute of microwaving a shrimp to defrost it.

How To Defrost Shrimp in a Microwave

Microwave thawing takes less time and is more convenient than conventional thawing methods. If you browse the internet for a few minutes, you will find a number of different methods that can be tried to defrost shrimps in the microwave oven.

Here are two of the best and easy methods that can be employed to defrost shrimps in the microwave.

Method 1 – Defrosting Directly in the Microwave

  1. Remove the shrimp from their freezer and place them in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with a lid or microwavable plastic wrap.
  3. Defrost the shrimps on defrost mode and begin for about thirty seconds to one minute, depending on their weight.
  4. Check the shrimp after each interval. The shrimp is thawed when you can bend it.
  5. Cook the shrimp as per your favorite recipe. Remember that thawed shrimp should be cooked immediately to avoid any chances of bacterial contamination.

Method 2 – Using Water and Microwave

The second method is the fastest but also the trickiest as the method involves using water. If you are not careful, the water may start boiling, and the shrimp may get cooked, which is not what we want.

  1. Get a microwave-safe bowl and fill it with room temperature water.
  2. Place the shrimp in the bowl so that they are submerged in the water.
  3. Cover the bowl with a lid or paper towel.
  4. Defrost the shrimps on defrost mode (or 30% of power) for about thirty seconds to one minute.
  5. Check the shrimp after 30 seconds to make sure they are not cooked. The shrimp is thawed when you can bend it.
  6. If the shrimp is still not thawed completely, you can try increasing the defrosting time by fifteen-second increments.
  7. Cook the thawed shrimps immediately in your favorite recipe.

You can also use the two methods above to defrost cooked shrimps. But there is one thing that you must remember: do not defrost cooked shrimps and then refreeze them more than once. Doing so can damage the texture and quality of the shrimp. And in addition, it puts you at the risk of getting food poisoning.

So make sure you defrost the cooked shrimp only once (if needed) and then use them immediately.

Is it Safe To Defrost Shrimp in a Microwave?

Defrosting shrimp in a microwave oven is 100% safe. The only downside to this method is that you can accidentally overcook the shrimp, so it is important to be mindful of the time and temperature involved.

But once you get the hang of the method, you will find defrosting shrimps in a microwave to be an extremely quick and easy process.

If you want to avoid the risk of overcooking the shrimps, you can simply defrost them in the refrigerator. This is the safest and most convenient method, albeit the time-consuming one.

To defrost shrimp in a refrigerator, all you need is an airtight container. Put the shrimp in the container, place it in a bow in case of liquid seeping out, and let it sit in the refrigerator for between twelve to twenty-four hours.

Is it Wise To Defrost Cooked Shrimps?

As far as nutritional value goes, it is fine to thaw cooked shrimp. The nutritional value of cooked seafood is not significantly different from that of its fresh counterpart.

But while thawing frozen shrimp in the refrigerator is best for retaining its texture and flavor, microwaving them or defrosting them on the counter may slightly alter their appearance and texture.

Related Questions

1. Do I Need To Defrost Shrimp Before Cooking?

This depends on the recipe you are using. If your recipe does not call for thawed shrimp, such as boiling or simmering, then you don’t need to thaw them before cooking. But if your recipe requires thawed shrimp such as a grill or stir-fry, make sure to defrost them before using them.

2. How Long Can Frozen Cooked Shrimp Stay in The Fridge?

If you want to use the cooked shrimp later, you need to store them properly. Use a tightly lidded container and put it in the fridge or freezer. You can expect them to last up to four days in the refrigerator and about six months in the freezer.

3. If I Defrost Shrimp, Can I Refreeze It?

Raw shrimp should not be refrozen since bacteria multiply rapidly at room temperature. If you defrost raw shrimp, use it within four hours for the best quality and safety. Cooked shrimp, on the other hand, can be refrozen again once. However, don’t defrost and refreeze cooked shrimp more than once, as it can put you in danger of contracting food poisoning.

If you’re looking for more tips on microwaving shrimp, be sure to check out my article on reheating shrimp in the microwave. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy way to reheat your leftovers or are just curious about how to do it properly, this article has all the information you need.

By Rosie Elliott

I’m Rosie. I’m a professional chef with experience in Western, Mediterranean, and Italian cuisine. I’ve been cooking for over 15 years, and I have two daughters that keep me busy!