In South Louisiana, most kids grow up learning how to boil crawfish! For many others who don't grow up with this boiling tradition, the idea of being in charge of a crawfish boil is quite scary.
I want to ease those minds though, it's really not as scary as it seems - as long as you follow the basics I'm going to give you some tips that will help you through your first 'crawfish boil' - and after that you will never look back. It really is a crowd-pleaser, something to pull out when you want to get everyone together!
How To Cook Crawfish
- Live Crawfish - you will need to purchase the live crawdads (Louisiana's pet name for crawfish) right before you plan to have your crawfish boil. Plan for about 5lb per person. On average people eat 3-5lb each.
- A pot big enough to boil crawfish - you'll need 2 quarts of liquid for every pound of crawfish. You'll also need a propane bottle and a burner to sit the crawfish pot on.
- Ice chests big enough to hold crawfish and vegetables.
- Paddle for stirring the pot. It is also handy for wedging the basket when removing the pot and draining the boiled crawfish.
- Seasoning and vegetables - vegetables are a personal preference. Typically you'll see corn, carrots, potatoes and mushrooms - Sausage can be added (not during lent though - crawfish season always coincides with lent!)
- Traditionally the boiled crawfish are served on trays (as shown below) so make sure to have enough to go around - you'll also need somewhere for your guests to dump their peelings as they're 'pinching the tails and sucking the heads' - this is a funny famous Louisiana saying! By preparing like this you will be ensuring the best crawfish boil ever.
- Some little extras that might get forgotten about - little bowls for dip
- Napkins - it does get messy
- Plenty of drinks - with the seasoning in your crawfish boil people are going to be thirsty!
Crawfish Boil Recipe:
- Live crawfish, 1 sack (+/-40lb)
- Red Potatoes, 3lb
- Onions, 3lb
- Garlic, 6 bulbs
- Carrots, 3lb
- Whole Corn, 3lb
- Whole Mushrooms, 16oz
- Smoked Sausage, 3lb
- Crab Boil Seasoning, 10 cups (Zatarains)
- Lemon shrimp & crab boil, 8 oz bottle (Zatarains)
- Garlic & onion shrimp & crab boil, 8 oz bottle (Zatarains)
- Lemons, 2 whole
- Orange, 1 whole
- Mayonnaise, 2 cups
- Ketchup, ½ cup
- Thousand Island Dressing, ½ cup
- Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp
- Onion Powder, 1 tbsp
- Garlic Powder, 1 tbsp
- Cajun Seasoning, 1 tbsp (Tony Cachere's)
- Soak live crawfish in water for about ½ hour, removing dead crawfish. Drain and soak again for a further ½ hour.
- Bring large pot of water to boil.
- While crawfish are soaking prepare vegetables - chop carrots into long pieces. Cut onions in half. Chop sausage into long pieces.
- Add 2 cups of crab boil to water.
- Put potatoes, garlic, onions, carrots and sausage into basket and drop into the water. Boil for 10 minutes. Add corn and mushrooms and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Take vegetables out and put into ice chest to keep warm.
- Add another 8 cups of crab boil to the water and the two bottles of liquid crab boil, to boil the crawfish in.
- Dump crawfish into basket (that the veggies were in) and when the water is back boiling drop the crawfish.
- Cook crawfish for 4 minutes (timed once the water gets to boiling point again).
- Turn off heat and allow crawfish to soak in the pot for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove crawfish.
- Serve immediately with vegetables and seafood dip.
It takes about 7 pounds of live crawfish to produce 1 pound of peeled tails.
You do have to be concerned about cholesterol. Crawfish tend to be higher in cholesterol than most other shellfish. And what you put in the pot can add to the mix.
Nutritional information below does not include the vegetables.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1 bls
Amount Per Serving Calories 2028Total Fat 132gSaturated Fat 32gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 88gCholesterol 251mgSodium 3766mgCarbohydrates 161gFiber 24gSugar 48gProtein 62g
Of course, a crawfish boil is very flexible. I always try to tone down the seasoning for the kids - the more you boil crawfish the better you will become and you'll figure out the right combination of seasoning for you.
In this crawfish boil recipe we cook our crawfish for 24 minutes. There is a cleaning period as well as a soaking time to add to this.
How to cook crawfish can have many answers. Depends on the family, there are a lot of variations, mostly in the seasoning. For the most part the crawfish boil recipe, or should I say the boiling time for the crawfish will always be the same. Look in the recipe card above for the "The Cagle Family's" crawfish boil recipe.
You'll always need a pretty big pot. The crawfish boil almost always happens outside so you'll need a burner too. The crawfish boil pot tends to be around 100qt in size and you can pick them up from Academy Sports and Outdoors.
There are so many things you can cook with leftover crawfish. I love to make a crawfish etouffee (check out my recipe here) it's a classic in the South. I also love to make crawfish omelets. If you haven't tried this you are missing out! Some good green onions, peppers and cheese - it's a delicious breakfast! We also make Crawfish stew.
Do you have questions or want to share your 'crawfish boil' tips? We would love to hear them. Please comment below.
Did you see this Deer Chili recipe?