Why You Should Use Vinegar When Boiling Shrimp

Shrimp boils, also called "low country boils," are a Southern state favorite, especially when the shrimp are seasoned with savory spices. Sometimes corn, potatoes, lemon wedges, and sausage are thrown into the mix, making it a real treat. According to All Recipes, the summertime meal gatherings include entertainment such as music, outdoor games, and lots of food, drinks, and fun.

The ingredients are thrown into a large pot and boiled until cooked through. They're then strewn across a large newspaper-covered table for everyone to gather around and eat. It is a casual way to enjoy a delicious yet messy summertime meal.

As far as shrimp go, New in NOLA tells us that apple cider vinegar is their secret to success. They claim that the vinegar makes the shrimp easier to peel, but that's not all. There are a few additional tips to take note of so you can prepare delicious, easy-to-peel boiled shrimp.

Just add vinegar

New in NOLA has experience preparing a shrimp boil or two, and their advice for the best boil is epic. First, they recommend adding enough water to a large pot to cover the shrimp by two inches. Squeeze lemon juice into the pot, drop the lemon rinds in, add the shrimp/crab boil seasonings, and add the apple cider vinegar. Bring the water to a boil, add your shrimp and allow the water to return to boiling. Then, remove the shrimp when they're pink and opaque. Drain and cover the crustaceans with ice. New in NOLA says, overcooking the shrimp will make them tough, so avoid leaving them in hot water for too long.

Why does apple cider vinegar help shrimp to peel more easily? Day Dream Kitchen explains that vinegar helps to loosen the attachment between the shell and the meat of the shrimp. They claim it is not 100 % effective, but it does help.

Vinegar also helps to add flavor to the shrimp. Live Strong says that adding vinegar enhances the taste of shrimp, and Black Tail NYC agrees. The site states that vinegar adds to the flavor of shrimp without adding the acidity that vinegar possesses. It says that any recipe requiring water-boiled shrimp will benefit from a bit of vinegar. So, the next time you host a shrimp boil, reach for the vinegar. Just a splash will do!