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Honey and Butter: Great for Biscuits, Better for Browning Shrimp

By Annie Petito Published

Here’s how we used science to brown shrimp in a flash.

We love using the broiler to cook shrimp: The method requires no flipping or fussing, and a whole trayful cooks through in just five minutes. The only problem? The shrimp cook through so quickly that they emerge from the oven pallid, without any flavorful, rich char. To attain beautiful spotty-browning, our shrimp needed some help—enter, honey and butter.

Melted butter helps shrimp to bronze because it contains milk solids, which brown readily beneath the broiler. Honey too has quick-browning superpowers thanks to the rapidly-caramelizing fructose it contains. Together, these ingredients catalyze the color development almost immediately.

Here’s how the method works:

  1. Mix 1 part honey to 4 parts butter, then microwave until the butter is melted.
  2. Add any desired mix-ins or flavorings to the butter mixture: Think chile powder and cayenne, garlic and red pepper flakes, or paprika, cumin, and coriander.
  3. Coat the shrimp thoroughly in the mixture, paying special attention to the ragged edges where they’d been deveined, so that those ridges will crisp.

The result? Briny-sweet, juicy shrimp with toasty bits of char, perfect for topping salads, incorporating into grain bowls, or serving alongside crusty bread or pasta for dinner. Click below for our three broiled shrimp recipes.

Recipe Garlicky Broiled Shrimp

For tender, succulent, spotty-brown shrimp, let your broiler do the work.

Recipe Hot Honey Broiled Shrimp

For tender, succulent, spotty-brown shrimp, let your broiler do the work.

Recipe Smoky Broiled Shrimp

For tender, succulent, spotty-brown shrimp, let your broiler do the work.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.