A to Z Guide – How to Defrost Shrimps in the Microwave


Quick Answer: How to Defrost Shrimp in a Microwave?

To thaw shrimps in a microwave, place the shrimps in a microwave-safe bowl filled with cold water and then microwave it in defrost mode for 15 seconds, check the shrimps, and repeat the process after 30 seconds until the shrimps are defrosted. Cook immediately and serve.

This is the complete guide on how to defrost shrimps in a microwave safely and easily in your home.

We have put together the best tips and techniques suggested by food experts and professional chefs all around the globe. Let us begin with the process.

How to Prepare Shrimp for Microwaving?

Preparing the shrimps doesn’t require much time and effort. All you have to do is to get them ready for microwaving.

Take the shrimp out of the freezer a couple of minutes before cooking the dish. Open the packaging and place the shrimps in a microwave-safe bowl and fill it with cold water.

This way the shrimps won’t get cooked from the heat.

How to Defrost Shrimps in a Microwave?

How to Defrost Shrimps in a Microwave?

Prep Time: 1 minute
Active Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 2 minutes

To defrost shrimp, place them in a microwave-safe bowl filled with cold water.

Microwave it in defrosts mode in short intervals of 15 seconds, leaving 30 seconds between each interval.

Repeat this until the shrimps are defrosted.


  • Chilled water
  • Microwave safe bowl


  • Plastic wrap to cover


    1. Setting the microwave - Put the bowl prepared before in the microwave and set it in defrost mode for 30 seconds.

    2. Defrosting in the microwave – Defrost it in intervals of 30 seconds leaving a gap of 15 seconds in between for the shrimps to get cooled a bit. Repeat until the shrimps are defrosted.

      Take it out if the water gets heated and resume again after a couple of seconds.

    3. Check for overcooking - Check the shrimp after every interval to prevent overcooking.

      One way to know if the shrimps are defrosted is to look at the opaqueness of the shrimps. Defrosted shrimps are more transparent than frozen ones.

    4. Cook right after - Once they are defrosted, cook immediately.


Temperature: Use default defrost settings in the microwave

Tips to Remember While Defrosting Shrimp in a Microwave

Defrosting shrimps in a microwave can be tricky. Here are a few tips that you can keep in mind to make the process simple and get the best results.

  • Always use low (30%) power levels to prevent overcooking. The defrost mode in any microwave lowers the power levels automatically.
  • Check for water released from the shrimps during regular intervals. This water might cook the shrimps.
  • Don’t let the water get hot as this might again overcook them.
  • Use constant temperature to defrost, preferably 4 degree Celsius and below.
  • Microwave the shrimps for shorter periods.
  • Cook the shrimps immediately to prevent bacterial growth.

Alternate Ways to Defrost Shrimp

The best and safest option would be to use the cold water thawing method. Simply, place the frozen shrimps in a Ziploc bag and then let the bag sit in cold water for 15-20 minutes. Place a lid or cover the bowl and wait for it to get thawed.

This method ensures no water or bacteria thereby get into the shrimps. Also, this method is safer than microwaving and relatively faster than overnight defrosting.

How to Store Shrimp Defrosted in a Microwave?

Generally, it is not advised to store shrimp defrosted in a microwave. It should be cooked right after. But the shrimps can be cooked and stored again.

However, nowadays most shrimps available are IQF (Individually Quick Frozen), so you can just take the right amount of shrimps you need and then put the rest back in the freezer.

So, you might not need to defrost all the prawns and restore them.

Is It Safe to Defrost Shrimps in a Microwave?

Yes, it is safe to defrost shrimp in a microwave. In fact, defrosting using microwave helps to keep the nutritional content intact.

But, it is also very important to use the right technique to prevent bacterial growth.

One of the major food safety concerns while using a microwave is uneven thawing of food.

The shrimps may be thawed from outside but still frozen inside. This can be taken care of by cooking the food immediately.

Never microwave the frozen food in its store packaging, use a bowl filled with cold water, as the water can ensure even cooking of food.

Much depends on how you store the frozen shrimps. Never store the shrimps without freezing them.

Shrimps should be kept in a well-closed container. Never keep the shrimps out of the freezer for more than 2 hours.

Is It Okay to Refreeze Defrosted Shrimp?

Yes, it is okay to refreeze defrosted meat but only after cooking. Defrosted shrimp should not be refrozen without cooking.

Microwaving increases temperature which can activate the inactive microbes in the frozen food.

When the temperature rises to 5-60 degrees Celsius, the bacteria begin to grow and proliferate.

Cooking the food immediately kills the bacteria and the food can be stored then.

However, the whole process of cooking and refreezing must be done with 2 hours. And the food must be completely cooled before refreezing.

How to Defrost Cooked Shrimps in the Microwave?

You can defrost cooked shrimps in the same way as raw ones. Nuke it for 15-30 seconds with a few minutes break and then continue the process, until they are defrosted.

Often leftovers can be frozen and saved for later use. However, defrosting shrimps repeatedly can spoil their taste and leave them mushy.

Cooking breaks down cells and the water inside the meat expands leaving behind a mush.


Can we thaw Shrimp in hot water?

Thawing shrimps in warm water is not recommended because it can defrost it unevenly and since shrimps are highly perishable foods, they can get spoilt easily.

Is it necessary to thaw shrimps before cooking?

Shrimps can be cooked without thawing if it is already cleaned and deveined, as it might be hard to devein frozen shrimps. Frozen shrimp is better for poaching and boiling.

Grilling or sautéing might require you to thaw them, as the marinade might not stick or it may splatter due to the thin layer of ice.

How long does it take to defrost shrimp in a microwave?

It can take around a minute to defrost shrimp in the microwave in short intervals of 15 seconds. This is by far the quickest option.

How long can frozen cooked shrimps stay in the freezer?

Cooked shrimps can be stored in the freezer for about 3-4 days with proper storage.

How to store frozen cooked shrimps?

It is ideal to store them well wrapped in aluminum foil or airtight containers or freezer bags leaving a headspace of ¼ inch.

Bottom Line

We hope we got you covered about defrosting shrimps in a microwave. If you have any other ways of defrosting shrimps, feel free to comment below.

Share this with your friends and family, who would enjoy a good shrimp meal just like you.

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About Nancy Miller

Nancy is a foodie by heart and loves experimenting with food. She likes to experiment not only as part of academics but also as a cook at home, sometimes she does not get the desired outcome of these experiments though! But that doesn't stop her from trying more out-of-the-box things. When Nancy entered college, it became clear to her that food was going to be an important part of her life.

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