Crawfish Boil Recipe

From Crawfish Boil

Any spring social event in Louisiana is most definitely going to be centered around a Crawfish Boil. This is a time to relax with family and friends, enjoy the outdoors, and enjoy the bounty of the season, live Louisiana Crawfish.

The magic behind your boil, in my humble opinion, remains in the hands of two details. Fresh, Lively Crawfish, and your cooking liquid.

Crawfish Boil Recipe

15 lbs Live Louisiana Crawfish
4 Large Spanish Onions, quartered
6 Lemons, halved
4 Heads garlic, halved widthwise
8 Fresh Bay Leaves
3 Bags Crab Boil
1 bunch fresh Thyme
1 Cup Creole Seasoning
1/2 Cup Cayenne, or to taste
1 1/2 lbs Kosher Salt
About 5 Gallons of water, or enough to fill a 30 Quart turkey fryer pot 3/4 full
3 lbs Small Redskin Potatoes
6 Ears of Fresh Corn, shucked, trimmed and cut in half

Bring the water to a boil in a 30 quart Turkey fryer pot with the onions, lemons, garlic, bay leaves, crab boil, cayenne and salt. When the mixture reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer, partially cover and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

From Crawfish Boil

Your crawfish should be picked through for dead ones and placed and washed by first hosing them down, then leaving them in the basket and placing it into a large pot, filling it with water, draining, filling with water, draining, until the remaining water is eventually clean, about 3-4 times. I’m not in the purging with salt camp, I don’t think it does anything more than what I described above.

From Crawfish Boil

While you’re waiting, and this is a very important part of this recipe, drink a few of your favorite ice cold beers and go visit with your company, this is a social event, relax enjoy! Have the washed Redskins waiting in the basket insert nearby and visit. Take advantage of the downtime!

Before adding anything to the pot, taste your cooking liquid! It should taste overly salty and overly spicy. Drink more cold beer, then add your basket insert to the pot with the potatoes. Let cook for 15-20 minutes. After said time has passed add the corn, and cook for about 10 minutes.

From Crawfish Boil

Bring the liquid to a boil and add the live Crawfish.

From Crawfish Boil

Bring the pot back to a boil as quickly as possible, give a good healthy stir and boil for about 5-10 minutes depending on their size.

From Crawfish Boil

Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pot and allow the crawfish to steep in the liquid for 20-30 minutes. The longer they steep, the spicier and more flavorful they will become. When in doubt as to how long to let them steep, pull one out and have a taste! When you’re sure that they are ready, lift the basket and let them drain. When they are well drained dump the contents of the basket onto a picnic table or any outdoor table heavily lined with newspaper.

From Crawfish Boil

Everyone please note, I don’t have any feeling left in my hands from working in the kitchens all these years. The girls were laughing as I was holding the basket with steam blowing off of it, this isn’t a dummy shot, just a big dummy holding a hot pot with bare hands.

From Crawfish Boil

Let your guests belly up to the table and eat until their hearts are content!

Here are some pics from our small but wonderful boil!

From Crawfish Boil
From Crawfish Boil

The full spread, the potatoes and corn take on all of those wonderful flavors. The potatoes especially, the skins dry out and develop that salt crust and the insides take on the spice.

From Crawfish Boil
From Crawfish Boil

Here is my baby girl Anna with her portion.

From Crawfish Boil

Yeah, that was a gag shot, we can’t even get this little one to eat chicken fingers, don’t worry though, I will keep cracking away on her culinary darings.

Thanks again to Charlie and the fine folks from Cajun Grocer for the generous portion of their premium Live Louisiana Crawfish!

This is my brother Brad. We don’t get together as often as we should these days but this boil was the perfect opportunity to do so and we had a wonderful time. Brad actually helps me with all of the technical details on this site and even hosts it for me on his server! He is also responsible for the new layout, which I absolutely love and has inspired me to start posting more often. Thanks for everything Brad!

From Crawfish Boil

Be sure to check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Related Posts:

Crawfish Etouffee Recipe
Live Louisiana Crawfish

19 thoughts on “Crawfish Boil Recipe”

  1. You are awesome! I’m about to admit a true tragedy. Although I’ve had boiled crawfish, I’ve never been to a crawfish boil! I want to go to one sometime. Do you know of any near Austin, Texas?

  2. So, what’s your opinion on successive batches? I’m cooking up two or three sacks with only one pot, so I don’t have time to change out the water and let it reheat, which means we’re using the same seasoned water all day. How much crab boil, salt, and other spices should I add for each batch after the first?

    Denver, Colorado

  3. Dixie Gypsy – That is a shame, but check out the Cajun Foodies link! I feel your pain though, if I want to go to a boil up here in Michigan I have to do it myself.

    Scott – I think it will work out great. I would think that the liquid will only get better with each batch. Just taste the liquid between each sack and adjust as necessary, but I doubt that it will need much, unless of course you need to add more water.

    If not eating the earlier batches right away keep them in a large cooler to keep them hot.

  4. yummy…i’m from new england and we do a lobster bake, but let me tell you that crawfish boil has my mouth watering!!i’ll be back down to month hope to go some resturant and get me a crawfish boil.yumm.

  5. Recipe sounds alot like the one I have used for years, the only thing I can’t get right is pounds per person. What do you suggest? How many pounds of crawfish per person, I am giving a boil next weekend for a friend from Virginia, and I’ve invited about 20 people. Thanks

  6. amanda, I did some boils when I lived in VA, and people didn’t eat quite as many bugs as I’m accustomed to. If you do 3 pounds per person, you’ll probably be doing fine. Whenever I boil in LA or East Texas, I usually do around 4.5 pounds per person due to heavier eaters.

    good luck.

  7. Well my adopted brother, Tommie Meaux just returned from Lafayette, La.
    with 200 pounds of Live Crawfish caught in the Atchafalaya River and we
    will be BOILING them with Zatarain’s Crab & Crawfish Seasoning, New Red
    Potatoes, Onions, fresh Corn on the Cob, and Andouille Sausage. We invited
    about 65 friends and asked them to BYOB and their appetite. Since Tommie
    was already in Louisiana, he decided to also pickup about 60 pounds of
    white (21-25 Count) Shrimp to satisfy those friends who are “Squemish’
    about eating “MUDBUGS” as some people from out of state refer to Crawfish.
    As all of my Cajun friends would say….AAAAAAAAeeeeeee!! we gon’na pass
    a good time this Saturday May 2, 2009.Who cares about a Horse Race when you can have a Crawfish Boil???? This is our 11th ANNUAL CRAWFISH BOIL in
    Clearwater, Florida. Just a good way to stay connected to our Cajun
    and Non-Cajun Friends every year.Now it seems that everybody wants to
    eat CAJUN Delicacies and Crawfish is one of the best.

  8. This looks like a lot of fun! We are having a crawfish boil competition way out here on the Oregon coast next weekend and I am thinking I may enter it just to show some people up…and to eat of course.

  9. Hey there! Thanks for the suggestions. I’m just home from the grocery where I watched the crawfish in the live tank stepping all over one another. Maybe I’ll try a boil at home, since I’m empowered with such a great recipe here. :)

  10. I definitely will try this recipe. There’s just one thing… Your crayfish are big and healthy compared to the ones we get here in PA! I must be shopping in the wrong place.

  11. Should I boil the lemons and vegatables separately? Or put everything in one basket. I normally put the cut lemons in the basket with the live crawfish. I am trying to find the best way to get the lemon flavor in the water.

  12. Alot of people around here, (Texas, uses alot of ground cloves in their boiling liquid. Was wondering if that is common there or other parts of the south? I like them with or without the cloves. The cloves does give it a nice flavor. Jerry

  13. My husband got a bag of live crawfish from a friend…never had it before..want to try your recipe for the boil…what part of the crawfish do we eat….hope this is not considered a silly question, but we donot know.

  14. We just got a turkey fryer and I cannot wait to try out this recipe. Thanks so much!

    Love Anna’s picture!

    I dont have much hope that my preschoolers will eat crawfish but maybe they will try it at some point

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