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Crayfish Boil Recipe

Crayfish Boil Recipe

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When in Scandinavia... This delicious recipe is the Nordic version of a lobster boil that will leave you full and satisfied.


  • 5 quarts water
  • One 12-ounce beer, preferably a Scandinavian beer like Carlsberg
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 sprigs of crown dill
  • 8 pounds live crayfish


In a large stockpot, bring the water, beer, sea salt, brown sugar, and 2 sprigs of crown dill to a boil. Boil the crayfish in batches of 3-4 at a time. Cook for 2-4 minutes or until bright red. Using a slotted spoon, remove the crayfish and allow them to cool. Remove the dill, and cool the boiling mixture. In a clean bowl, add the cooled crayfish and liquid mixture, plus the remaining dill. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or ideally overnight.

Serve the crayfish in a large bowl with a ladle or two of the liquid mixture. I also suggest serving the crayfish with buttered and toasted white bread, fresh lemon wedges, and aioli on the side.

Crawfish Boil

Crawfish boil is one of the most popular crawfish recipes in summer month. It is an iconic Lousiana Cajun delicacy just like seafood boil and shrimp boil.

When they are in season, friends and family gather around to feast on a big pot of crawfish (or crayfish) boiled in a spice mix broth during spring and summer months.

In this crawfish recipe, I will teach you how to make New Orleans crawfish boil with step-by-step photos.

For the easier version that you can make without having to order anything online, I have the info for you here. This crawfish boil recipe uses fully-cooked frozen crawfish, which are available at many grocery stores in the US. Go and ask at your fish section to find out what their availability is like near you. If you can&rsquot get your hands on the frozen crawfish, you can try ordering the fresh from the links below, or try this easy shrimp boil, since shrimp are much easier to get ahold of.

There&rsquos no need to do anything ahead of time to prep the fully-cooked frozen crawfish. They just go for a quick dunk in simmering water with the potatoes, corn, onions, lemon, andouille sausage, and the flavors of Old Bay Seasoning. That quick dunk defrosts the crawfish and heats them through, while seasoning them a little bit in the flavorful liquid.

When everything&rsquos ready, drain off the liquid and then either serve from the pot, or tip the pot onto a table lined with newspaper.

Cook's Notes:

You need a very large pot for this. I use a turkey fryer! You can also divide into 2 stockpots (or half the recipe). The water level will rise when you add the ingredients so keep this in mind as you fill. I fill mine about halfway.

You should be able to smell the broth with plenty of salt and spice. taste and add Old Bay(R) and kosher salt accordingly. You want the broth to be strong so some of the flavor can penetrate and get absorbed by the potatoes and sausage.

A lot of people will want to skimp out on the littleneck clams, but trust me, don't, as they add a lot of flavor and have a very pleasant taste. Buy them the day you plan to use them and keep them in a bowl of ice open as so that they don't die (don't allow the grocery store clerk to seal the bag!)

I also keep some of the boiling liquid as it is great to pour over the shrimp as you eat.

Bloody Mary Recipe

There are varying accounts as to the origins of the Bloody Mary, but for sure it is one of the standout drinks of the South. In New Orleans, amateur and professional bartenders alike all have their own precious method to mixing the perfect Bloody Mary recipe. For most, the process is almost like alchemy – taking a few basic, simple ingredients and turning them into an intoxicating elixir as if by magic or voodoo. Hailed as the perfect breakfast drink, hangover cure, a stand alone salad, and a must have for brunch, this Creole Bloody Mary Recipe is a great base upon which to build your own signature version.

Some variations to keep in mind while building your signature Bloody Mary:

New Orleans style – extra spicy with a kick of cayenne and Tabasco
Zesty – add a shot of pickle juice, pickled okra and spicy green beans
Salad – add fresh celery, stuffed olives, okra, green beans and lime
Refreshing – lime juice, and a shot of beer
Warming – A few tablespoons beef broth, and a shot of worcestire sauce.

Basic Creole Bloody Mary Recipe

1 cup vodka
3-1/2 cups chilled tomato or low sodium v8 juice
2 Tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4-6 dashes of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Celery salt (or kosher salt) and black pepper
For garnish: celery stalks and lime slices

Mix together all ingredients except vegetables in a pitcher or shaker. Drink can be shaken or stirred, but make sure the mixture is well blended. If you like, you can prepare the tomato juice mixer up to two days ahead, and add the vodka and garnish when serving. Pour into tall glass over ice, and garnish with celery and lime. It is also common to use spicy pickled green beans or pickled okra if available.

The Best Southern Crawfish Boil Recipe

In the south, we don’t play around with our seasoning, and this crawfish boil is no exception. A spicy, crazy mess of a feast that is made for sharing.

Crawfish boils are definitely a “come sit for a while, take a load off” kind of food that is meant to be savored and shared along with great conversation and cold brews.

Flavored with cajun goodness, crawfish are paired together with mini ears of corn, red Idaho Potatoes, and if you’re up for it, steamed artichokes to dip into a fiery dipping sauce.

Other dinner recipes to try:

What are Crawfish?

Crawfish are a freshwater shellfish that is considered a Louisiana delicacy. They live in the mud, are larger than shrimp, and definitely a good bit smaller than a lobster.

How to purge (clean) crawfish

It is essential to make sure that your crawfish (a.k.a. crayfish, crawdads … mudbugs) are purged before cooking them.

When buying crawfish, you have to ask for live crawfish, and being that those little fellas live in the mud, they will need to be purged (or cleaned) first. I found this article to be helpful for directions on purging crawdads. I only recommend using the freshwater method in this article. I do not recommend the salt method, so don’t waste your salt.

What do you put in a crawfish boil?


  • Seasoning for crab, shrimp and crayfish boil
  • 3 – 6 pounds crawfish per person
  • Corn on the cob
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Artichokes, completely optional but a nice addition
  • Andouille sausage, again optional, but wow – so good!
  • RED, I repeat only red Idaho potatoes will do in this feast

For me, my go-to potatoes are Idaho Potatoes, and I’m never without a stash of them in my pantry. (To make sure you are enjoying the best quality potatoes for your recipes, look for the certified grown in Idaho label.) So when I decided it was time for a southern crawfish boil, out came my bag of red Idaho Potatoes!


Gather your ingredients, bring a large pot to a boil and start the broth. Clean or purge the live crawfish.

Follow the order of adding the vegetables into the broth followed by adding in the crawfish.

Set up the table, typically lined with newspaper, crack open the cold beers or drinks of choice.

Once the crawfish are cooked, it’s time to drain and dump it on your newspaper lined table. To eat a crawfish, simply twist the tail off, suck the head to get the spicy flavored broth, and enjoy the succulent meat from the tail.

Satisfyingly delicious, boiled in a distinct spicy quick broth along with other vegetables, and a great way to stretch a meal to feed a crowd. Does this feast sound familiar? Other similar seafood cousins are referred to as seafood or shrimp boil, a one-pot meal, or even a clam bake depending on what part of the country you’re from. No, they’re not all the same, but yes, they are all equally and richly flavored making for a perfect way to enjoy warmer weather with your favorite people.


Pour live crawfish into a washtub or ice chest cover with water. Drain. Repeat 3 to 4 times until crawfish are clean. Drain. Discard any dead crawfish and debris

Mix 8 quarts water, Crab Boil, onion and garlic in large (20-quart) stockpot. Bring to boil on high heat boil 5 minutes. Add potatoes boil 5 minutes. Add crawfish and corn return to boil. Cover and cook 2 minutes

Turn off heat and let stand 20 minutes. Add about 6 to 8 cups ice to stockpot let stand 20 minutes to cool. Drain and serve

Crawfish Boil Recipe

Turn your next family gathering into an event with this recipe.

Growing up in New Jersey, I had never seen or heard of a crawfish.

My favorite foods, however, were shrimp and lobster. Image my delight when I discovered the crawfish. It has now become one of my favorite foods. It can be eaten so many ways.

Please try any of the other crawfish recipes found at Cooking New Orleans Style. They are absolutely wonderful. One of my favorite ways to eat crawfish is boiled and one of my favorite times is during a crawfish boil!

Before attempting this recipe, make sure you have invested in the proper pot. A crawfish pot must be large with a basket insert. You will also need a large outdoor high-pressure propane cooker. These can be rented.

Clean crawfish. Crawfish must be kept alive and cleaned thoroughly until you are ready to boil. Soak in cold water for about 10 minutes. Discard any dead crawfish before cooking.

In a very large pot (60-80 gallon fitted with a strainer insert), fill halfway with water.

Bring to boil over a large outdoor burner over high heat.

Squeeze lemons into water and add garlic, celery, bay leaves, crab boil, salt, and peppers to pot.

Cover pot, bring to a boil and let seasonings blend for about 2-4 minutes.

Add potatoes, onions, sausage and corn to basket insert. Let water come back to a boil, cook for about 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Add crawfish, return to a boil, cook for 4 minutes only! Turn off burner, let soak for 20-25 minutes.

Remove basket and let crawfish and vegetables drain.

Dump all the goodies on tables covered with newspapers.

Plan on 2 to 3 pounds of crawfish per person. In my family, the number is closer to 4 pounds.

Use a crawfish boiling pot that contains a basket insert for ease of handling.

Usually 3 pounds per person is good unless you invite a big eater to your crawfish boil party like my dad.

Personally, I can only eat 3 pounds by myself at one sitting. Not my dad, he can eat 10 pounds or more. No kidding!

And, honestly my family always buys a large sack to have leftover crawfish to pick and freeze for recipes like my Fried Soft Shell Crabs with Crawfish Sauce or my Pan-Fried Speckled Trout with Creamy Crawfish Sauce and my favorite Crawfish Pasta Salad . And, don’t forget to check out my Crawfish Balls recipe .

Just so you know if you need to feed 20 people you would need 60 pounds of crawfish. And, you want to make sure you have plenty of sausage, corn, potatoes, and veggies.

Crawfish Boil Recipe

The first thing you do is empty your crawfish in a No. 3 washtub and cover them completely with cold water.

Makes no difference where your crawfish come from (farm pond or swamp), the only thing you must do is wash them.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PURGE CRAWFISH IN SALTWATER! That's an old wives tale. It isn't necessary and it doesn't work! All it does is kill the little critters!

But it is necessary to wash them several times.

I recommend you do at least 4 or 5 washings, dumping the old water after each filling of the tub.In short, you should wash until the water comes out clean.

Then drain off the last rinse completely and get your boiler ready.

In a large pot - 90 to 102 quart is suggested if you plan to boil the entire sack at once - put in enough water to completely cover the crawfish when they are added, and bring it to a rapid boil.

Then, toss in all the ingredients except the corn, potatoes & sausage and boil them for about 15 minutes - you want the flavors to mix and create a seasoned "stock".

Next, drop in the corn on the cob, potatoes and smoked sausage.

You want to put them in before you put in the crawfish (because the crawfish cook quickly, and if you don't pre-cook the "lagniappe", the entire boil won't be finished at the same time).

Let the lagniappe cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

When all the "extras" are three-quarters done, add your crawfish and cover the pot.

The water will stop boiling immediately.So here's how you figure cooking time.Just watch the pot, and when the water comes back to a full boil, time your crawfish for just about "2 minutes", shut off the fire, and remove it from the burner.

Then drop some crushed ice on top of the crawfish, (which will make them sink), and soak the crawfish for about 25 minutes so that they pick up the seasonings.I do suggest you test the seasoning every 5 minutes or so to keep the crawfish from getting too spicy for your taste.


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