When boiling shrimp, take care to not cook the shrimp for too long, as this makes the shrimp bland and tough. The proper cooking time varies on the size of the shrimp. If you have a pound of shrimp with more than 50 shrimp, they can fully cook in approximately two to three minutes. Larger shrimp, around 30 in a pound, can take longer, from five up to seven minutes.
Fill a pot with enough water to have 1 to 2 inches of water covering the shrimp. You can add spices, vinegar and other ingredients to the water to add flavor to the shrimp. One recipe is 1/2 cup of Old Bay seasoning, 8 cloves of garlic, the juice of 2 lemons, a quartered onion and 6 sprigs of fresh thyme for 1 1/4 pound of shrimp. Another is 1/4 cup of cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and 3 to 4 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning for 1 pound of shrimp.
Shrimp begin to float in the pot when fully cooked. You can check the doneness by cutting one open and inspecting the flesh. A fully cooked shrimp is opaque in the center. Once fully cooked, shock the shrimp to halt any carry-over cooking. Place the shrimp into a colander, and dip the shrimp briefly into a bowl of water and ice.