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America's Test Kitchen 7x17

Summer Cooking

We tackle the best way to grill delicate shrimp as well as chicken destined to be served cold for a picnic.

Grilling imparts a smoky dimension to foods that is just about impossible to replicate indoors. So it’s no wonder that once the weather turns warm, we’re eager to get our favorites foods like steaks and burgers onto the grill. But delicate foods, such as shrimp, are trickier to cook over the grill’s intense, dry heat. We wanted to find the best way to grill shrimp so that it’s tender, moist, and flavorful, not dry and rubbery. And we wanted to do so without grilling shrimp in their shells. It’s true that the shells act as a protective barrier, but peeling shells at the table is cumbersome and messy, not to mention that with the discarded shells, the flavorful spice rub is also lost. Warm weather isn’t always about cooking outdoors—it’s about eating outdoors too. Cold barbecued chicken is a classic whether you’re planning a picnic or packing for a road trip. But once chilled, the meat can become very dry and the skin, once thin and crisp, can turn tough and flabby. We wanted to solve these problems and turn out moist chicken with spicy flavor and to boot, we wanted to make it easier to eat, so we didn’t have to use a knife and fork or rely on a wad of napkins to wipe our hands of sticky barbecue sauce.


Charcoal-Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Gas-Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Spicy Lemon-Garlic Sauce for Shrimp Skewers

Fresh Tomato Sauce with Feta and Olives for Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Charmoula Sauce for Shrimp Skewers

Spice-Rubbed Picnic Chicken

Broiled Shrimp Skewers

Tasting Lab:

Supermarket Veggie Burgers


Equipment Center: Skewers

Science Desk: Salting: Better Than Brining?

America’s Test Kitchen: 7×17
Apr. 28, 2007

America's Test Kitchen season 7