Chile-Garlic Shrimp (Gambas Al Ajillo)

Meats like steak and chicken might be the go-tos when it comes to grilling (we totally get that), but we’re also crazy about grilling our seafood. Take shrimp, for instance. It’ll get wonderfully smoky after some time on the grill. For a flavorful lettuce wrap, marinate shrimp with oil, chiles, lemongrass, and ginger and grill on a plancha or cast-iron grill pan. Or try gambas al ajillo, shrimp cooked in olive oil with chiles and garlic. And we’ll never, ever say no to some grilled lobster. When you split a lobster in half, you can grill it using a two-step process—starting it shell-up gives it a nice char, while flipping it over onto the shell lets you finish the cooking gently. Spreading on a compound butter between the steps lets the butter melt down into the lobster, infusing it with flavor. Try it with compound butter made with either cilantro and chiles or garlic and parsley.

Find these dishes and more in our collection of our favorite grilled shrimp and shellfish recipes.

Grilled Lobsters with Vanilla Cream Sauce (Langouste à la Vanille)

Langouste à la vanille is traditionally made with local rock lobster, though any kind of lobster will do for this dish, as will langoustines, shrimp, or even scallops.

Grilled Watermelon, Avocado, and Shrimp Salad

Grilling makes everything better—watermelons get even sweeter from the flames, shrimp gets crisp and plump, and avocado turns deliciously smoky.

Grilled Shrimp Summer Rolls

Juicy mango, buttery avocado, and lightly charred sweet shrimp get packed into rice paper along with crispy cabbage and cucumber for a summer appetizer that hits all the right textural notes. Prep the spicy, tart dipping sauce ahead to give the flavors time to meld.

Grilled Oysters on a Bed of Salt

“You can grill any oyster you’d eat raw,” says John Finger of California’s Hog Island Oyster Co., “but bigger is better, since the longer they cook, the more they shrink.” Rules of thumb: Opt for Pacific over Eastern, and look for 4–5-inch shell size. Have your fishmonger shuck one before you buy; the meat should almost fill the shell.

Grilled Seafood Tower

Besides salt, you can use seaweed or sand to form a bed for any shellfish on the half shell. For a rustic, low-country feel, pile your fish into a multi-tiered galvanized metal server like this one by Benzara.

Chile-Garlic Shrimp (Gambas Al Ajillo)

These shrimp are cooked in a hot cast iron pan with tons of garlic and red Thai chiles.

Grilled Shrimp Lettuce Cups

Iceberg lettuce leaves make great vessels for eating marinated grilled shrimp as a hand-held appetizer. For added kick, drizzle with sweet chile sauce.

Grilled Lobster with Cilantro-Chile Butter

Chiles, lime, and cilantro flavor these grilled lobsters.

Clam Risotto with Grilled Shrimp

Clam juice amplifies this creamy risotto adapted from a dish at Newport, Oregon’s Ocean Bleu @ Gino’s.

Grilled Lobster with Garlic-Parsley Butter

In this recipe, lobster is flash-grilled, then poached in its own shell in a pool of melted garlic-parsley butter.

Grilled Spot Prawns with Finger Lime and Basil

Spot prawns are so sweet and tasty on their own that they only need a simple sauce, making this finger lime dressing a delightful accompaniment. Guests will be licking the shells and their fingers to get more citrusy crunch and pop from the “lime caviar,” and that’s what you want.

Shrimp Satay (Satay Udang)

Ground macadamia nuts enrich this spicy Singaporean-style shrimp satay.

Emirati Grilled Prawns (Rubyan Meshwi)

At Abu Dhabi’s Al Arish restaurant, jumbo prawns are basted in aspicy-sweet ketchup-based sauce before they are grilled.

Grilled King Crab Legs

Sweet king crab legs gain a smoky edge when grilled.