How to Peel and Devein Shrimp

Save money by peeling and deveining shrimp yourself.

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Peeled and deveined shrimp are easy to find at the store, but they can be a good bit cheaper with the peels on. Save money by doing the work yourself.

Shrimp, Three Ways

There are different ways to peel shrimp: completely peeled, tail-on or head-and-tail-on. Your recipe will tell you what you need.

Peeling Technique

For completely peeled and deveined shrimp, gently twist to remove the head if it's still attached. Then go underneath, where the legs are attached, and dig your thumb under the shell to release. Next, remove the tail with a gentle tug.

Cleaning the Shrimp

Lay the shrimp down and run your paring knife along the back.


Try not to cut too deep, and pull out the thin gray vein. For tail-on shrimp, remove the shell as you did before, but leave the last segment attached, then devein.

Head-On Shrimp

When recipes ask to keep both the head and the tail on, just remove the shell from the middle. Make a shallow cut in the back of the shrimp and pull out the vein.

Ready to Cook

Now you're ready for all kinds of shrimp dishes, and you saved some cash.