Cooking Louisiana  -  Boiled Crawfish
This is a boiled crawfish recipe that I've managed to become comfortable with. I just love boiled crawfish, and enjoy watching others enjoy them too. Boiled Crawfish is similar to Boiled Crabs in the method.

Boiled CrawfishLet me start by explaining that this is a "seasoned water" recipe. I've seen and tasted other recipes where the water is un-seasoned and powdered seasoning is sprinkled on top of the crawfish after they are done. I prefer this one.

This recipe uses approximately 10 gallons of water and will take care of about 80 lbs (2 sacks) of crawfish (two batches using my pot).

Vegetables/Meat (to be eaten with the crawfish)
4 onions cut in half
2 lbs potatoes (small)
3 heads of Garlic
4 ears of fresh corn - (shucked and snapped in half), or, 8 frozen halves
4 cups fresh whole Brussels sprouts (whole frozen will also work)
1 pkg. fresh button mushrooms
1 - 2 lbs smoked sausage cut in 1" pieces(your favorite)
Whole boiling sized okra.
Any other stuff you like...!

Seasonings A
1 - 8oz. bottle (1 cup) of liquid crab boil
1 - box of salt
6 lemons cut in half (zest them if you wish)
6 Oranges cut in half
1 onion cut in quarters
1 head garlic cut in half
20 or so Bay Leaves (optional)

Seasonings B
1 - 8oz. bottle (1 cup) of liquid crab boil
1 1/4 - boxes of salt
2 Tbs. Creole Seasoning
2 Tbs. Onion Powder
2 Tbs. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Black Pepper

1 - cup mayonnaise
3/4 - cup ketchup
2 Tbs. mustard
1/4 - tsp salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. liquid crab boil
Pinch of garlic powder

Taste and adjust as you like....

Before going on here I know you may boil less crawfish, and, use more or less water. The seasoning mixture above is for 10 gallons of water. If you use less water you MUST reduce the amount of seasoning and vice-versa. It's all proportional to the amount of water.

Purge (clean) the crawfish:

Put the whole sack (don't open it) of crawfish in an ice chest and fill with water. Some people add salt some don't; I've done both and saw no significant difference. Let them sit for 15 minutes or so, drain the water, pull the sack out, rinse the ice chest and run some water over the sack while it's outside of the ice chest. Put the sack back in the ice chest and refill. Do this once or twice, or, until the water is mostly clean. Open the sack and dump the crawfish in and refill with water. I used to just dump the bugs in right off the bat but found that using the sacked method makes handling them a whole lot easier. The cleaner the bugs are the better tasting they'll be. DO NOT let the crawfish just sit in the water for an extended period of time. They will deplete the oxygen and will drown (die).


Light the fire under the water while the bugs are purging and add "Seasonings A" squeezing the lemons and oranges, to the water. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the fire a little and let boil for 15 minutes.

Boiled Crawfish While waiting for the water to boil fix the first 4 vegetables and put them in a sack. You can rinse the crawfish sack and use that. After the water boils for 15 minutes put these in and boil for 15 minutes. Add the remainder of the vegetables to the sack and boil another 10 - 15 minutes.
If you use frozen corn put it in the second batch. Once the potatoes are done everything else is done.

Get somebody to start making the dip....

I use the two-part method because if you put all the seasonings in at the beginning the vegetables will pick it up and you wind up with some of it too salty and too spicy. If you like it like that, hey dump it all together. Most kids won't eat the vegetables if they're to spicy. I separate the vegetables because the first batch takes a little longer to cook. If you put it all together it's hard to find the mushrooms and Brussels sprouts because they have disintegrated.


Take the vegetable sack out after the time has passed and add the rest of the seasonings. When the water returns to a boil dump the crawfish in and stir. Bring to a boil and boil for five minutes and shut the fire off. Don't worry, the crawfish will be cooked, and, easy to peel. Not so if overcooked!

Boiled CrawfishAdd a one gallon plastic jug of ice or two two-liter jugs of ice (don't break them apart) and move them around. I keep those in the freezer just for this purpose. Spray the sides of the pot with a light mist from the garden hose a few times every few minutes. The objective is to cool the water down so the crawfish stop cooking, and start soaking up the seasoning. Stir every few minutes until the crawfish sink to the bottom. In about 20 minutes from the time you turned the fire off start tasting. If they're not to your liking let them continue to soak tasting every five minutes. Don't worry, they're not cooking any more. When they're the way you like them set them to drain then remove them from the pot. Let them air cool for several minutes.

If you have a second batch just heat the water and do it again but add no seasoning unless you want to make them spicier.

Boiled CrawfishKeeping the crawfish warm is as easy as dumping them in an ice chest and leaving the lid cracked open for at least 30 minutes. Stir them around or just shake the ice chest side to side every five minutes or so. If you put them in hot and close the lid the heat could buckle the ice chest. After the 30 minutes you can close the ice chest completely and they'll stay warm for quite a while.

Peel what you have left over. A crawfish omelet or crawfish dip the next day just fantastic too!