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The Secret to Perfecting the Southern Shrimp Boil

The most important thing about preparing a shrimp boil is getting it right. And because shrimp can go from raw to overcooked and rubbery in seconds, there’s little room for error.

In New Orleans, where I’m from, everybody and their brother has their own special approach to shrimp boils. The real trick is controlling your heat – both in terms of temperature and spice. You need enough heat (or energy) to keep the water as close to the boiling point as possible so that when you add the shrimp and spice to the boil, it “soaks in” and gives off that great Creole flavor this dish is known for.

The large volume of water that is needed for a boil requires a lot of energy to cook the shrimp properly. You can’t just put a pot of water on the stovetop and crank the heat on high. This is a low-energy source that won’t give you enough of the powerful heat you need. This can result in shrimp that is almost impossible to peel and eat.

In the South, it is common to see boil rigs complete with a large pot on top of a big propane burner outside in the backyard. The burners are so powerful, they sound like rocket engines that you can hear from a block away. Now these can emit some serious BTUs!

This degree of energy capacity is one of the unique benefits of a Groen steam jacketed kettle. The vacuum pressure produced in the kettle increases the energy of the kettle so that it can bring the water to a violent boil. Think of it as a SUPER POT. It brings liquids to boil faster and more powerful than any stovetop and is capable of cooking large quantities of food in a single batch! And with the new precision, IPX6 water tight controls for Groen steam-jacketed kettles, clean-up is easier and safer than ever!

And when foodservice operators are looking for effective methods of cooking large quantities of seafood like shrimp, they often find the kettle to be one of the best solutions offering consistent quality. Whether you are a quick service operation using a kettle to pre-cook shrimp for pastas, salads or sandwiches, or preparing large buffet-style boiled shrimp for the masses, you can get it right every time with a Groen steam jacketed kettle.

Groen offers an incredible line of steam jacketed kettles to fit any kitchen – from the tiny 3-quart tabletop model to the 150-gallon behemoth. Every Groen kettle is expertly crafted and features a thick reinforced rim, fully-welded pour lip and polished mirror-like finish. In addition to looking great, these kettles are incredibly dependable and last for years.

Chef Steve D’Angelo
Unified Brands Corporate Chef
sdangelo@unifiedbrands.net

 

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