Smoked Shrimp on a Pellet Grill {Traeger, Pit Boss, Z Grills Recipe}

I was in the mood for a big bowl of Shrimp and Grits yesterday but wanted to do something to make the dish extraordinarily delicious.  I decided that I would make up an aromatic and spicy lemon butter basting sauce, add it to the shrimp and give them a smoke.

Welcome to my awesome recipe for Smoked Shrimp on a Pellet Grill!

Smoked Shrimp with Cheese Grits

Let me show you exactly how I smoked these shrimp so you can copy the recipe or adjust it to make it your own.

Prepare the Basting Sauce

The key to this whole recipe is in the preparation of the lemon butter basting sauce.  I assembled the ingredients below:

Ingredients for Shrimp Simmer Sauce

The REALLY important ingredients and measurements are for the butter and lemon juice.  Feel free to substitute and adapt the other ingredients to your taste.

  • 1 stick melted butter (1/2 cup)
  • Juice from 1 large lemon (1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 large jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Paul Prudhomme Redfish Magic
  • 1 teaspoon lemongrass paste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste

Combine all of the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, stir well and microwave on High for 45 seconds.

This basting sauce is delicious!

The jalapeno pepper gives the shrimp a nice layer of heat but does not make them stupid spicy.  If you or your family are sensitive to heat then you can omit the jalapenos and it would not mess up the dish.

Simmer Sauce for Shrimp

Prepare the Shrimp for Smoking

I was working with two pounds of 16-20 size frozen shrimp from Costco, peeled and deveined, tail on.

The shrimp were thawed under cold running water then added to a 10×12 inch disposable foil pan.  You could use your wife’s favorite baking dish if you like but she will probably smack you upside the head for getting it dirty in your smoker.

I went ahead and tossed in the lemon quarters that I juiced as well as the half of the jalapeno that I didn’t slice up for the sauce.  I figured they could still add some flavor and made for a more interesting picture!

The shrimp did not all fit in a single layer and were a little crowded in the pan.  I wasn’t really worried about that as I had already planned to give these a stir every now and then while they were smoking.

Two Pounds of Peeled Shrimp

Add the basting sauce to the shrimp and mix well to coat.

Smoke the Shrimp at 225F on Your Pellet Grill

Set your pellet grill to 225F.  I was cooking on my Z Grills pellet grill but this recipe works great on a Traeger, Pit Boss, etc.  I decided to cook the shrimp at 225F to give them a little time to soak up some smoke flavor as this is a fast smoker recipe.

I was burning hickory pellets but I do not believe the choice of wood is particularly critical.

Place the sauced shrimp onto your pellet grill and start cooking!

Pan of Shrimp on a Pellet Grill

I checked on the shrimp about every 20 minutes and gave them a stir to make sure they all got plenty of time to simmer in the butter sauce and soak up the smoke.

It took about one hour and fifteen minutes for the shrimp to finish cooking and they smelled absolutely amazing.

How Do You Know When the Shrimp Are Done?

I smoke shrimp until they reach an internal temperature of 140F.

I have read many threads on cooking forums that say taking shrimp past 130F makes them dry and rubbery but 140F works just fine for me.

Some people literally eyeball it and pull the shrimp when they “look right”.

Call me nuts but I like to use a digital thermometer and measure.

Smoked Shrimp

Serve the Smoked Shrimp with the Pan Sauce

After the shrimp have smoked in a delicious, spicy lemon butter sauce for over an hour they have no choice but to taste amazing.

But here is the trick…

The sauce is just as delicious as the shrimp and you want to take full advantage of the sauce.  This means serving the shrimp along with something that will soak up as much of the sauce as you want to use.

I added the shrimp to some cheese grits along with a ladle full of the pan sauce and it was simply spectacular.  You could also serve this over a bed of rice or toss with some pasta.

Smoked Shrimp with Cheese Grits

Smoked Shrimp on a Pellet Grill

Shrimp are coated in a lemon butter sauce and then smoked at 225F until done.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 375 kcal


  • Pellet Grill


  • 2 lbs Shrimp peeled and deveined
  • Basting Sauce Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp Seafood Seasoning Paul Prudhomme or Old Bay
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp lemongrass paste


  • Combine the basting sauce ingredients and microwave on High for 45 seconds.
  • Add the shrimp to a disposable foil pan.
  • Pour the basting sauce over the shrimp and mix to evenly coat.
  • Set your pellet grill to 225F.
  • Smoke the shrimp for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes.
  • The shrimp are done cooking when an internal temperature of 140F is reached.


Serve the shrimp with grits, rice, pasta or anything else that will soak up as much of the delicious pan sauce as possible.
Keyword Smoked Shrimp