Boiling Crawfish

Crawfish Boil Recipe for 20 mixed-crowd:

80 pounds of live crawfish          * (crawfish per person guideline see below)
16 ounces ground cayenne pepper 
6 pounds (boxes) of salt --(not counting salt for purging) 

          editor's note: 
Please note that a lot of crab  boils these days have already salt in them. 
 I normally use only 1/2 pound of salt per boil, when using pre-prepared (pre-packaged) Crab boil

2 (8 ounce) bottles liquid crab boil
water as needed to fill 1/3 of a 60 qt. pot
optional vegetables, fruits, and seasoning: i.e. corn, sweet potatoes, oranges
7 pounds small red potatoes (egg size)
1 1/2 pounds small whole onions, or large onions cut in half
12 med. cloves garlic-chopped
6 lemons-halved
3 (3 ounce) bags of crab boil-do not tear bag
1 cup margarine 

Pour crawfish from sack into washtub and wash by filling the tub with water two or three times with garden hose. To clean crawfish further, you may want to purge them by pouring salt into the tub filled with crawfish and water, allowing crawfish to be in salted water for 20 - 30 minutes. Remove and discard dead crawfish and debris.
You may want to refill washtub and rinse crawfish again.
Fill pot to 1/3 full of water. Add half of seasonings (for first of 2 --40 lbs. boil). Bring seasoned water to a boil. Add vegetable, cook until potato slides easily off a knife. Remove vegetables and set aside. Add half of crawfish, about 40 lbs. and 1/2 cup margarine, which makes crawfish easier to peel: stir, cover pot,...return to boil and then cook 3 -5 minutes. Remove crawfish promptly. DO NOT OVERCOOK, OR CRAWFISH WILL BE HARD TO PEEL. Serve steaming crawfish with vegetables directly onto table covered with newspaper. Yield: 20 servings.

Recipe from "Down The Bayou" cookbook -see our cookbook selections in the ONLINE STORE
by Bennie R. Collins
Larose, Louisiana 

Pssst ! Don't forget to order da beer.

Crawfish per person guideline:

It is very hard to estimate but here are some guidelines that have helped me through the years.
A lot of it will have to do with the other items being offered,
i.e. hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.

In Louisiana: (or Lousiana crowd)
All men:  5 - 5.5 lbs per person
Men / women / children: 3.75 lbs per person.

Outside of Louisiana:
All men:  4 - 5 lbs per person
Men / women / children: 3.5 lbs per person.


Transporting the Crawfish:

Crawfish season is from late February to mid-May. You must keep the live Crawfish fresh and healthy. Keep them in a cool place and out of the heat. Your garage is the perfect spot until you're ready to boil.

When you receive your sacks of crawfish, simply take your sack of crawfish, hose them down, and place them back in a cooler (or the box the sacks arrived in) with a bag of ice. Do not take the crawfish out of the sack, leave them in the sack and hose the entire sack with fresh water.

If you use ice, be sure to drain them frequently. DO NOT let them sit in cold water for a long time or they will die! Keep live crawfish at 36 to 46 degrees F. for approximately 3 days with wet burlap sacks, towels, etc. on top. Let crawfish return to room temperature before using. Do not leave the crawfish outside if the temperature is freezing level or below!

When traveling with crawfish, a few of them will die naturally due to stress of being moved, etc.



Getting the Crawfish Ready:

Purging Crawfish:  

The cardinal rule is to purge and thoroughly wash the crawfish before boiling them. Pour the sack of live crawfish in a plastic children's pool, large tub, or a large ice chest.

Pour one (1) 26-ounce box salt over the top of the crawfish. Add water to just cover the crawfish.
Gently stir with a large paddle to mix the salt and the water. Stir for 3 minutes, then rinse crawfish.
NOTE: some people skip adding salt....just wash them.