This Is Alex Guarnaschelli's Trick For Deveining Shrimp Without Removing The Head

Whether or not to devein shrimp is one of those kitchen conversations that keeps cooks divided — you're either team time (and don't care about cosmetics, if it means saving a few minutes behind the counter), or you're team aesthetics (and don't exactly want to serve up an appetizer plate full of digestive tract).

The Spruce Eats notes it's not necessary to devein shrimp, as the vein poses no health risks. Deveining shrimp might be more of a priority in larger pieces of the shellfish, since the dark gray lines are more prominent and take away from the look of a dish, but cooks often ditch the added step when it comes to smaller shrimp. According to The Spruce Eats, deveining a huge batch of smaller shrimp means a sizable commitment — it can take hours of painstakingly extracting each vein with a toothpick to get through a bowl, and that's before cooking. Want to keep the head or tail on the shrimp while deveining? Pencil in an extra fifteen minutes. 

It's admittedly a trade-off. Clean, deveined shrimp makes for a particularly pleasing dish, but since it's not a health risk to keep the digestive tract in, sacrificing that extra prep time may seem silly. Wish the process was easier? That's where "Iron Chef" winner and "Chopped" judge Alex Guarnaschelli comes in.

Kitchen scissors are key to deveining shrimp

With years worth of experience on the Food Network, Alex Guarnaschelli has learned more than a few time-saving tricks to keep up her apron sleeve, and this shrimp hack is no different.

Twitter user @TequilaxRush asked a whole slew of chefs, including Guarnaschelli, how best to devein shrimp while keeping the head and shell intact. Guarnaschelli was quick to share with her Twitter followers how to get the best of both worlds without compromising your precious cooking time, or the appearance of your dish. And whether it's shrimp scampi, tempura, or cocktail, you'll want to listen up. Guarnaschelli wrote, "Gently cut down the spine through the shell with scissors. Extract vein."

Sunny Anderson, Guarnaschelli's co-host on "The Kitchen," shared a similar tip in response. "A sharp knife down the curved side and then remove the poop chute," she wrote. Sounds ... appetizing? Anderson went on to say "you can also ask the fish monger to do it," but between these two Food Network pros, we're willing to give this simple scissor hack a whirl on our own first.