It’s a Crawfish Party! Crawfish Boil Recipe and how to host a crawfish boil including Crawfish Dipping Sauce, where to purchase, how much you’ll need per person, and how to store, boil and serve.
A great resource for beginners.
What is a Crawfish Boil?
It’s a seafood boil, or low country boil, like shrimp or crab except with the Southern favorite crawfish.
The meal itself typically consists of crawfish boiled in spicy seafood seasoning with corn, potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and other vegetables.
Crawfish Boil Recipe
They’re messy but yummy. Be prepared for friends you didn’t know you had when you throw a crawfish boil!
When getting your crawfish, you’ll want to get farm-raised live crawfish and be sure to have enough for everyone. A good rule of thumb is to plan for 3 pounds of crawfish per person. Naturally, this number depends on what else you serve and your guests. I find it to be a good estimation.
Ingredients for Crawfish Boil
For the vegetables, the standard are potatoes and corn on the cob but you can also have mushrooms, onions, garlic, lemons, and artichokes. We like to add lemons, onions, potatoes, garlic, corn, Brussels sprouts, sausage, and mushrooms.
We also add a half cup of
Equipment for Crawfish Boil
Your equipment should be a large pot, depending on the amount you are cooking. A 60 or 80 qt. can boil up to 30 pounds at a time. If you are just cooking 10 to 20 pounds, a 20-quart pot is fine. You will also need a burner to put the pot on (unless you are doing it on the stove), and some propane so you can actually have a boil.
Clean the crawfish
The slang term for crawfish is mudbug and if you’re familiar with crawfish you understand why. They’re muddy. Therefore, the very first thing you need to do is clean them.
First, rinse them in the bag that they are in to remove excess dirt. Then, pour the crawfish into a large container (Two large coolers are ideal for this.)and fill it with fresh, cool water. (We do this outside with the garden hose.) Stir the crawfish gently to remove dirt. Dip small batches of crawfish into a colander and rinse under cool running water picking out any debris or dead crawfish as you go. Place the cleaned crawfish into another large container.
You’ll need to clean them multiple times transferring them back and forth between the two large containers.
Once you’ve picked through all the crawfish, discard the dirty water, rinse the container, and return the crawfish to the container. Repeat this process 6 to 8 times, or until the water is clear.
Seasoning your Crawfish
You’ll need to season the water. There are various kinds of seasoning from liquid to dry and it depends on what you like. Naturally, the more seasoning you add and the longer you allow the crawfish to sit in the spice the hotter they’ll be.
Tips for cooking crawfish
- Heat the water to a boil and add spices. You can use crawfish, shrimp, or crab boil seasoning. We like Zatarain’s brand. Furthermore, you’ll want about 5 gallons of water for every 10 pounds of crawfish.
- Add lemons, potatoes, garlic, corn, sausage, mushrooms, and
butter. You want to carefully watch the potatoes and slightly undercook them. You can also add artichokes, green beans, oranges, or any other veggies you want. Or, you can add just the basic corn, potatoes, garlic, and sausage.
- This usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. Remember they’ll continue to cook after the crawfish are added.
Crawfish Boil Recipe: Tips and More
- At this point, add your crawfish. This will make the water temperature drop. Bring the water back up and when the water is just about to boil turn off the heat. (Crawfish cook quickly in 3 to 4 minutes.)
- Add ice to the crawfish to stop the cooking process. I usually add as much ice as the pot will hold, approximately 4 to 5 gallons of ice.
- This is an important step. Allow the crawfish to sit in the water bath to soak in the spices. We shoot for 45 minutes. The longer they sit, the more spices they’ll absorb and the hotter/spicier they’ll be.
- Dump the crawfish out on the table and spread them out so they’ll cool. If you keep them in a container, they’ll continue to cook and get tough.
- It’s nice to have a ‘crawfish table’ like the one pictured below. If you don’t have a crafty friend that can make one you can purchase smaller tables like this one that fit on a large garbage can. The garbage can or trash buckets are key to throwing the shells in.
- Everyone stands around the table and eats.
- Serve with bowls of melted
butterand Crawfish Dipping Sauce if desired. They are delicious without sauce.
What you’ll need for a crawfish boil party
- Large pot
- Propane tank
- Fresh water
- Paper towels
- Crawfish table
- Trash cans
More recipes to enjoy!
- Southern Foods We Can’t Get Enough Of
- Better Hissy Fit Dip
- Crawfish Dipping Sauce
- Crawfish Mac and Cheese
- Texas Trash Pie because an out-of-this-world dessert is always a must!
Crawfish Boil Recipe
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- 30 pounds live crawfish
- 6 to 8 ounces crawfish boil seasoning or crab or shrimp boil seasoning
- ½ cup butter
- 2 heads garlic separated but not peeled
- 2 pounds smoked sausage or andouille, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 16 ounces mushrooms cleaned
- 3 medium lemons quartered
- 3 large onions quartered
- 5 pounds red potatoes cut in half if they're 2" or more diameter
- 2 12-count frozen corn on the cob
- 16 ounces Brussels sprouts
- You can also add artichokes, green beans, oranges
- Heat the water to a boil and add spices. You'll want about 5 gallons of water for each 10 pounds of crawfish.
- Add lemons, potatoes, garlic, corn, sausage, mushrooms and butter. You want to carefully watch the potatoes and slightly undercook them. This usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. Remember they'll continue to cook after the crawfish are added.
- At this point, add your crawfish. This will make the water temperature drop. Bring the water back up and when the water is just about to boil turn off the heat.
- Add ice to the crawfish to stop the cooking process. I usually add as much ice as the pot will hold which is approximately 4 to 5 gallons of ice.
- This is an important step. Allow the crawfish to sit in the water bath to soak in the spices. We shoot for 45 minutes. The longer they sit, the more spices they'll absorb and the hotter/spicier they'll be.
- Serve! Cover a long table with newspaper. Dump the crawfish out on the table and spread them out so they'll cool. Everyone will stand around the table and eat. Have bowls sitting around to collect the shells. Serve with bowls of melted butter and Crawfish Dipping Sauce if desired. However, they are delicious plain.