15 lbs. of live crawfish*
1 box of salt for purging**
5 lbs. of crawfish seasoning, add more for extra spiciness
4 lemons, halved
6 heads of garlic, unpeeled – separated into individual cloves
1 lb. of whole mushrooms
2 lbs. of white onions, peeled and quartered so they will not fall apart
4 lbs. of small red or new potatoes, unpeeled
2 lbs. of whole fresh okra
6 ears of fresh corn on the cob, shucked and broken in halves
2 lbs. of spicy smoked sausage, cut up into large pieces
Dozens of your favorite beer (note: Shiner Bock goes very well with crawfish)
- One large boiling pot (60 to 80 quart). Or you can use a smaller 35 to 50 quart turkey fryer, but you will need to cook multiple smaller batches of crawfish
- Smaller pots to cook a vegetarian boil, if you vegan/vegetarian friends are attending, and the sausage separately (normal stovetop pots work fine)
- Outdoor high-pressure propane cooker
- Large tubs or ice chests (depending on the amount of live crawfish)
- A strainer for stirring and removing the crawfish
- A large outdoor table with plenty of newspapers to line the surface, several rolls of paper towels, and garbage cans
- Start drinking beer
- Fill pots to about 2/3 full of water, add seasoning
- Begin heating the water to a boil, prepare vegetables, sausage and crawfish while waiting
- Crawfish Preparation:
- Remove crawfish from the sacks and place them in your tubs or ice chest.
- Wash crawfish thoroughly with running water, removing any that are crushed. It normally takes 3-5 washes, depending on how dirty they are.
- Optional: Purging – on the final wash, pour salt over the crawfish. Quickly rinse off as overexposure to salt will kill them.
- Once the water is boiling, then add lemons, garlic, onions and potatoes
- After 10-15 minutes, add the rest of the vegetables
- When the water returns to a rolling boil, add the washed crawfish and cover
- Return water to a boil, and boil approximately 1- 2 minutes. Turn off flame and let crawfish soak for 15-20 minutes depending on the amount of spices desired. Stir every five minutes to ensure even cooking. The crawfish will float to the surface when finished cooking.
- In the other pots indoors, add seasoning and boil veggies for the vegetarians and sausage (I cook the sausage separate from the crawfish so the crawfish don’t get coated in pork grease).
- Remove contents of the boil, drain, and dump onto the outdoor table along with the sausage. Sprinkle additional Cajun seasoning on top crawfish from the boil and enjoy!
*Normally plan on 2-3 lbs. a person for the carnivorous, less for the soft hearted, and lots more if you have native Texans or Louisianans attending. The measurement for the other ingredients is what I use per 15 lbs. of crawfish, adjust according to preference.
** This is a controversial method of cleansing crawfish. I normally do not do this as I feel it kills some of the crawfish, but others argue this forces the crawfish to “purge” their bodies because they do not like the salt.
Note: If you live in a location where it is difficult to obtain crawfish, there are several websites where you can order shipped crawfish from Louisiana. I have used LACrawfish the past 5 years and they have always delivered quality crawfish on time.