Crawfish Boil

Total Time:
1 hr 53 min
1 hr 30 min
23 min

10 to 12 servings

  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole allspice
  • 5 gallons water
  • 1 pound kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  • 6 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 10 pounds live crawfish
  • 3 pounds small red potatoes, cut in 1/2, if larger than 2-inches in diameter
  • 8 ears corn, halved
  • 2 heads garlic, unpeeled, but separated
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Place the peppercorns, coriander, clove, and allspice into a spice grinder and grind for 10 to 15 seconds.

  • Fill a 40-quart pot with 5 gallons of water and add the freshly ground spices, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, thyme, oregano, dry mustard, dill weed, and bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, approximately 40 minutes.

  • Rinse the crawfish thoroughly in the bag in which they arrived to remove excess dirt and mud. Put the crawfish in a large container and fill with cool water. Stir to remove dirt from the crawfish. Transfer small batches of crawfish to a colander and rinse under cool running water. Pick out any debris or dead crawfish. Once all crawfish have been rinsed, discard dirty water, and return the crawfish to the container. Repeat this process 6 to 8 times, or until the water is clear.

  • Once the seasoned water comes to a boil, add the potatoes, corn, garlic, and sausage. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.

  • Add the crawfish, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Drain well and serve immediately.

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4.0 18
This was a very good recipe. The idea of cooking the spices for 40 minutes to get total immersion and the soaking of the crawfish in hot water after a quick boil are good techniques. You don't want to overboil shellfish, but you do want the flavors to soak in. Some who prefer spicier food might want to add a bit more cayenne. My wife loved the flavor which usually means I could use more cayenne.<br /><br />My crawfish were fairly clean exterior and interior which probably means they were handled and treated properly by the supplier. However, for those who still advocate salt water purges here's research from Louisiana State University.<br /><br /><br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tried this recipe for the first time last summer.  Only made 1 1/2 lbs. of crawfish (boil for one) so I've kept the spice blend in a glass jar.  Made it again this past weekend and, once again, it was excellent.  Everything was perfectly cooked!  I'm not a big fan of the heads, so I used them and the tail shells to make a fabulous sherried crawfish bisque with the leftover tail meat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wow. The spice rub was fantastic. It made everything taste fresh and spicy. What made the high rating for me was the cooking method. 10 minutes, 3 minutes, then 10 minutes. I could have never figured that out on my own. I would have overcooked it. They were cooked perfectly. Everyone had a blast. Thanks AB and Food. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Tried this recipe tonight right along side someone using store bought seasonings and was very dissappointed since uit didn'f rrally have any floavoi. I will be making iosme adjustments iin hopes of getting it right. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I really liked this show. I'm from Houma Louisiana. This is the first time I've seen any measurements associated with the magic my family performs. The spice mixture (boil seemed great. Only feedback - the additional vegetables are very important to the final flavor (e.g. potatoes, corn on the cob, onions, lemons, celery It would have been perfect if times and measurements of these were also added. item not reviewed by moderator and published
use this all the time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Spices are perfect; we had our first family crawfish boil and I increased the spices fourfold, but they were right on. I would have thrown on more cayenne if it were just my husband and I, but most of the folks there were firstimers, so we stuck to the recipe. So, between the excitement of seeing 40 pounds of live crawfish in a cooler, to the whole bunch of guys throwing them in the pot, it was perfect! Thank you! item not reviewed by moderator and published
SIL wanted to do a boil (He's been to several). Thanks to AB for a timely presentation and a great recipe. We have now had three 'boils' and each was wonderful. item not reviewed by moderator and published
watch the comments if you are unaware,i agree, a little salty purge is better,too much and you get salt crawfisfh which are nasty. had to stand up for alton but will stick with my recipe,anyway works well just too sophisticated for me item not reviewed by moderator and published
A lot of the other reviews are from people who haven't actually made it. I've made it and it's great. Everyone raves about it, enough so that I am doing another boil tomorrow. I had no issues with keeping them alive in fresh water. I didn't use the bubble rig AB used, but the hose to introduce fresh water and air every 30mins or so. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Look, you had the right idea Alton. Buy American Crawfish is the only way to go. All of your methods were ok in principle (for your non Cajun fans), but way to methodical for a Cajun. The purging for 24 hours? Now who told you to do that? Once you get a sack of crawfish around a few Cajuns, those mudbugs would do well to survive over a couple of hours before hitting the pot! If you get pond raised Crawfish, there should be no sand and very little silt (mud) in their system. You should always purge however and using an ice chest as you did works with a few rinses in fresh water alone. I agree that salt tends to kill off too many before they are ready to boil. I use all of the things you put in the boil, but add a couple of packs of onion soup mix (at the beginning) that you can find (cheaper the better). Also in the pot goes whole onions, mushrooms, "smoked" sausage. Andouille sausage is for the Gumbo pot, not the Crawfish pot my friend. I have also put in carrots, hot dogs, hot tamales (if sealed with rubber bands on each end) and lemon. If you have shrimp, either whole or peeled, get those in after you boil your Crawfish as well. When you build a good boiling mixture you want to get any and all boilable foods that you can in before throwing the mixture away. You should know that the spiced up water makes an excellent "kill everything" that it is poured on, so be careful if you empty your pot in a place that you don't want to kill anything green. A storm drain works nicely. You did a good job with demonstrating how to peel (man I wish that all I had to do is pinch the tail and the meat just pops out) and the all important "Suck da head". For that part alone you become an honorary Cajun...........West Coast branch. Really enjoy your work? make the shows fun. item not reviewed by moderator and published
we just use louisiana crawfish seasoning-into pot of boiling water. Boil 10 to 15 minutes, depending on size of crawfish, turn off heat for 10 minutes,then put in ice chest for 10 minutes and then we eat. We boil about 50 to 60 pounds for 6 to 8 people. Left overs are frozen if there are any. Wash them well so you don't have bait or grass when you are ready to eat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Any one from the south knows that you must purge ur crawfish in salt water before you boil it. We definetly do not time our food... and surely do not suck the meat out of the tails. There is a technique which is very easy... I think you shouldtravel down south to Louisisana for a real crawfish boil. Love the show item not reviewed by moderator and published
We tried your method of "purging" the crawfish, however, many had died during the process. The ones that were alive when we boiled them, many tasted rotten. I will resort to my original purging method from now on. Salted cool water, exchanging several times will rid the crawfish of the mud and muck responsible for bad tasting/smelling crawfish. Folks, you should always purge your crawfish in salty water- it's the only way to successfully have a good tasting batch of crawfish. We are out 60 bucks. Thanks Alton....we will however continue to watch the show...we understand not everyone knows what good crawfish should taste like as not everyone is from the south. Sincerely, Stephanie Bower item not reviewed by moderator and published
Alton loved the show as I do most all of your good eats segments. now the one on boiling crawfish was over the top. Using an aquarium to purge thats innovative. really all that is needed is to rinse in a #3 wash tub a few times to clean the mud off the outside. Some suggest using salt but all that does is kiil the mudbugs sooner rather than later. We usually boil 30 to 40 pounds at a time for four people so you can see why we in LA laughed at only cooking ten pounds. Your seasoning mix is a lot of work there are local companies that make sack size seasoning mixes that take ther work out of seasoning. I was glad to see you use the onions, garlic and lemons those are a must. We really like to eat the onions and garlic. I would like to extend an invite to you if you ever want a typical back yard crawfish boil just com on down to Baton Rouge and my neighbor and I will cook some up for you!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've never had sausage in any crawfish boils I had while I lived in south Louisiana for a decade but it could work. My biggest "complaint" (if you can call it that) is the method used to flush the grit out of the crawfish. Most people that I knew simply poured Morton salt in to the cooler of water that contained the crawfish to cause them to purge themselves. This process was repeated a few times until clean...some people didn't bother with it but the grittiness that is left behind is definitely a turn-off. And I agree, 10 pounds is fine for one person, maybe two but crawfish boils are generally social events in which friends and family are invited over. So while the quantity may seem a bit low to people accustomed to eating them I can understand why Alton went with 10 pounds. Figure about 5-10 pounds per person :) Great show Alton! I was quite surprised to see you do a show on them! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thanks for bringing one of our great dishes to the masses. Just not enough for more than one or two if they are not hungry. What happened to the onion? The garlic is better than the corn or the potatos. Started out hating your show but you have won me over. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i grew up in south west louisisana and have never heard of andouilie in boiled crawfish,smoked sausage yes,but andouilie ,no AND 10 LBS OF CRAWFISH!!!!!!! thats only enought for me,maybe thats enought corn for a sack(40 lbs) but, love the show item not reviewed by moderator and published

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