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Best Crawfish Boil Recipe

A crawfish boil recipe can be easily found on the internet, but this craw fish boil is a notch above all the others.  Including crawfish casserole recipe, crawfish etouffee recipe and crawfish stew.

An authentic Cajun crawfish boil will delight all – start the tradition this summer, and everyone will be talking about it and planning for next year’s treat.  Honest.  Also works well when you use a big pot for the boil and put it on the fire when you are camping.

Crawfish season is from late February to mid-May.

Tip #1 – Purge the mud dogs!  They are called that for a reason. 

Depending on how many pounds you purchased, you need to put them in water (do NOT use salt).  If they fit in a 5 or 10 gallon bucket, that’s great – do it in that.  Hose them down good if they look clean.

If not, every 2 minutes or so, empty the bucket and add more clean water,  stir and empty until it is clean.  Do NOT leave them in water or they will die.  Crawfish  need air to live.  Place them in in a cool place (like your garage or in the shade) until you are ready for them. 

If they are full of mud (buy from reputable dealer), put them in a small kids plastic pool fill or large pail and use just enough water to cover them. Stir them around.  If they are in a pool, it will not take long for them to purge.  Take them out immediately.

If you have any floaters, please discard.  You do NOT want dead crawfish in your boil.

Tip #2 – How much live crawfish do you need? 

If you are true Cajun dwellers and love crawfish, expect to order 5 to 6 pounds per person.  First time trying it out?  I would order 2 to 3 pounds per person.  Anything in between?  Go with 4 pounds per person. 

When you place your order, have them come either the day before the boil or on the day of the boil so they don’t die.

Tip #3 – I just received the crawfish, now what do I do?

You must keep them alive.  First, hose them down in the bag with fresh water when you receive them.  If you have a cooler or tub, just place them in that with a bag of ice and keep them in your garage.

Keep them in the bag they came in.  Remember, they need air to live and don’t close the lid on the cooler.  Drain your cooler or tub often because if the crawfish sit in that water, they will perish.

Tip #4 – What do I cook them in?

Do you have a turkey fryer with a basket insert and a lid?  This works very well.  If you are cooking for a crowd, have others bring their fryers or you need to purchase (at a minimum), a 60 to 80 gallon stainless steel pot, again with a basket insert and a lid. You will need a paddle or something to stir the pot with.

To give you an idea, this 120 quart stainless steel pot holds 1 bag (36 pounds) of crawfish, plus the vegetables.
Tip #5 – How to serve them?

If you do not read the newspaper, today is the day you just may start.  Have enough newspaper to cover a picnic table several times easily.  One layer of newspaper will not do it.  Paper towels would be handy and you will need salt and pepper shakers.

Crawfish Boil Recipe #MissHomemade

Crawfish Boil Recipe


The Basics:

whole garlic heads, top and bottoms cut off
many large lemons, halved
large onions, quartered
1/2 to 1 cup powdered celery
smoked sausage (or Andouille sausage)
potatoes, unpeeled*
sweet corn, broke in half
40 lbs crawfish (see above for amounts)
butter (for corn and potatoes)

73 oz crawfish boil seasoning (good for 6 gallons of water or refer to label directions)
1 TBS liquid shrimp and crab boil seasoning
mesh bags that produce come in for vegetables, optional
26 oz salt

ice cold beer (to cool down the cook; a must)

*You want to purchase the smaller variety like red or new potatoes or my favorite Yukon gold.  If you are using frozen corn, it will cool down the pot unless you defrost first. 

The amounts certainly depend on how many you are feeding, but the recipe is standard for a large pot.

Optional Additions:

orange, juiced
green beans
hot dogs (for the kids)
bay leaves
raw peanuts (a fun Southern tradition to start)

Fill a very large pot a little over half full of water.  Add the garlic heads, lemons, (orange, celery, bay leaves, and artichokes if using),  crawfish boil seasoning and liquid shrimp and crab boil seasoning.  Bring to a boil (will take at least 15-30 minutes) and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the onions, potatoes, corn (any other vegetables you are using), in a mesh bag (if using) and gently place in the pot.  Add the sausage and bring to a low rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. 

Bring back to a boil and add the crawfish (and shrimp if using).  Bring back to a rolling boil and cook for 7-8 minutes.  Turn off the heat and

Note:  Frozen crawfish does work, just thaw them out before cooking.  If you want, you may use one turkey fryer for the crawfish and shrimp and another for the rest of the ingredients.

Crawfish Boil Side Dishes

Cajun Dirty Rice from Scratch

Cajun Dirty Rice Recipe

2 TBS oil
4 oz ground pork or bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup chicken livers, pureed
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, stem removed, seeded and finely chopped
1 TBS dried oregano
3 cups cooked rice
1/2 bunch scallions, green parts chopped
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat.  When hot, add the pork and pureed chicken livers and cook, stirring, until browned.  Add the salt, pepper, chili powder and stir.  Do not stir constantly because you want the meat to get crusty from sticking to the pan.

Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth and cook until it is evaporated and allow the meat to get brown and crusty from sticking to the pan.

Add the onion, celery, garlic, jalapeno and oregano and cook, stirring, until vegetables are browned and sticking to the pan. 

Add the cooked rice, remaining 1-1/4 cups chicken broth, scallions and parsley.  Stir until liquid is absorbed and the rice is heated through.

Tossed Salad with Comeback Sauce Dressing

Fresh Salad

Easy Comeback Sauce Recipe

This is another crawfish boil recipe that is delicious to dunk the cooked crawfish in or drizzle on a tossed salad with all the fixin’s.

Comeback Sauce for Tossed Salad

2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup ketchup
1 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
4 TBS minced garlic
2 TBS paprika
2 TBS water
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS black pepper
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp salt

Process in blender or food processor.  Chill overnight in the refrigerator for best flavor.  This is a mix between 1000 Island dressing and remoulade sauce.  Great for salad dressing, or dipping onion rings, french fries, fried mushrooms, etc. 

Crawfish Dip

hot sauce, to taste
squeeze fresh lemon juice

Fill 1/2 of the bowl with ketchup.  Start with 1 tablespoon of horseradish, taste and add more if needed.  Next comes the hot sauce.  Taste and adjust as needed.  To finish, just squeeze fresh lemon juice in it, stir and place in the refrigerator until time to use.

Depending on how many you are serving, I would mix up the dip in several bowls and spoons.  Place them strategically on the table that you will be eating on.

Cajun Boil Seasoning Recipes

Note:  The spice amounts depend on how spicy you want the food to be.  Some can take the heat and others can’t.  I would taste the water after it heats up a little and see if it is to your liking.  Cajun folks will use a whole bottle of the liquid seasoning, but I wouldn’t; it is very strong.  Start out with 1/2 cup and go from there. 

I would start out with 1 cup of the dry seasoning, and again after both seasonings have come to a boil – take out a teaspoon full, let cool and taste.  Adjust from there.  Write down the amounts so you have it for the next boil.

Homemade Zatarains Recipe (Shrimp and Crab Boil Seasoning)

4 TBS mustard seed
3 TBS coriander seeds
2 TBS whole allspice
2 TBS dill seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
1 TBS crushed red pepper
8 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients and slightly crush.  Place in a cheesecloth square and tie corners together and throw into the pot.  This will season approximately 5 lbs of shrimp.  Makes 1 cup.

Homemade Cajun Crawfish Seasoning

1 TBS black peppercorns
1 TBS cumin seed
1 TBS celery seed
2 TBS dried thyme
1 TBS dried sage
2 TBS dried basil, divided
2 TBS dried oregano, divided
2 TBS dried parsley, divided
1 TBS dried mustard powder
1 TBS cayenne pepper
1 TBS crushed red pepper flakes
3 TBS Hungarian paprika
1 TBS dried ancho chile powder

Grind all the ingredients and mix together.  The seasoning is ready for use, whether you use it in the boil or when serving.  Double or triple the ingredients and fill several glass salt or pepper shakers and place on the table.

You may also sprinkle food with cayenne pepper too when dumped on the table for more heat.


Any good friend would stay to help you peel those crawfish to make etouffee the next day.

Cajun Crawfish Etouffee #MissHomemade

Cajun Crawfish Etouffee Recipe

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped sweet onion
1 cup celery root, peeled and finely chopped
3 TBS finely chopped green bell pepper
3 TBS finely chopped red bell pepper
1 lb peeled crawfish tails
2 tsp minced garlic
3 bay leaves
1-1/2 TBS flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
3 TBS chopped fresh parsley
3 TBS chopped green onions
serve with cooked white rice

Melt butter in a cast iron pan on medium heat.  Add onion, celery root and bell peppers.  Stir and cook until onion is translucent; approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the crawfish tails, garlic and bay leaves.  Cook, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes or so. 

Whisk flour into the chicken broth and water until smooth.  Add to the crawfish mixture and stir.  Add salt and cayenne pepper.  Taste and add more if needed. 

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture thickens.  Add fresh parsley and green onions.  Stir and cook a couple more minutes.  Serve with white rice.

Difference Between Crawfish and Crayfish


Crayfish has a French origin, it is the mostly referred name across the world, and an English scientist Thomas Huxley coined the name in late 1860s.


Thomas Say, an American zoologist, first introduced the name crawfish in 1817. This name is not very popular across the world but very commonly used among Americans, especially among the Southern states.