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Follow the steps below and nothing can go wrong.... Just kidding. Boiling crawfish really is pretty easy. The key is to just stay organized and enjoy it. If you have comments or questions, please contact me at andrew@boilcrawfish.com.

The recipe below is what I use for 30 pound batches of crawfish:

First Batch
Normal Spicey
Enough water to just cover the crawfish
Salt 52 oz. 52 oz.
Zatarain's liquid crab boil 16 oz. 24 oz.
Cayenne Pepper 8 oz. 12 oz.
Lemons 6 6


Additional Batches
Normal Spicey
Enough water to just cover the crawfish
Salt 26 oz. 26 oz.
Zatarain's liquid crab boil 16 oz. 24 oz.
Cayenne Pepper 8 oz. 12 oz.
Lemons 6 6

1. Separate the crawfish into equal batches. It is important that the batches are roughly the same size so that you can keep the desired ratio of water to spices to crawfish. I typically try to split it into 3 batches because I like my crawfish hot. The regular folks can get their fill on the first 2 and I kick the spice up on the last one for me.

2. Rinse the first batch. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 10 repetitions depending on how dirty your crawfish are. To wash them,put all of the crawfish for the first batch into a container that holds water. I use galvanized wash bins, but a cooler would work just as well. Cover the crawfish with water, drain and repeat until the water is clear and the crawfish are clean. The crawfish sack works well as a strainer for keeping the crawfish in the bin and letting the water out. (Some people prefer to just run water through the boil basket for 5 minutes or so. I think using the bins gets them cleaner faster.)

3. Measure the water. Dump the crawfish into the boil basket and put the basket into the pot. Add water to the pot until it just covers the crawfish. The exact level will vary based on how many "extras" (potatoes, corn, etc...) you are going to be adding to each batch. Typically though, the less water you have the better. Take the boil basket out of the pot and put the crawfish back in the bin you used to wash them.

4. Start the fire. Put the lid on the pot and light the burner. Depending on the amount of water you have in the pot, the strength of your burner, etc... it will take from 30 - 60 minutes to get the water boiling the first time.

5. Add the spices. Put the empty boil basket back into the pot. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the salt, crab boil, and cayenne pepper. Squeeze the juice from the lemons into the pot and throw the peels into the pot (make sure that you have the boil basket in the pot before you throw the lemon in or the basket won't sit flat on the bottom of the pot).

6. Add the potatoes. Now that the water is boiling, it's time to add the potatoes. Obviously, the larger the potato, the longer it needs to cook. I cook the small potatoes for 10 minutes and the larger potatoes for 15 minutes. If you are going to cook onions too, throw them in the pot now.

7. Purge the crawfish. The purpose of this step is to clean out the digestive tract of the crawfish. Fill the bin up with enough water to cover the crawfish. Dump a box of salt into the water and let it soak for 3-5 minutes. Dump the water out and rinse again. It is best to wait and do this step just before you add the crawfish to the pot, so do it while the potatoes are cooking.

8. Put the crawfish in the pot. Remove the boil basket from the water and add the crawfish. If you are adding garlic, carrots, sausage, or cauliflower, add it at this point too. Put the basket back into the water, stir it up, put the cover back on and wait for the water to come back to a rolling boil.

9. Kill the fire. When the water comes back to a rolling boil, kill the fire and give everything a good stir. If you are going to add corn, add it now.

10. Let it soak. This is where the flavor and heat comes from. As the crawfish cools, it absorbs the spices from the water. After 15 minutes or so, take a couple of crawfish out and taste them. If you are happy with the flavor and the level of heat, they are done. If they need a little more kick, leave them in for another 5 or 10 minutes.

11. Serve it! Lift the basket out of the water (our cajun stir paddle works great for this) and let the water drain back into the pot. Carry the basket to the table and dump it.

12. Repeat. As tempting as it is to belly up and start eating, if you are doing another batch there is more work to do. Get the fire started again and get that water boiling as soon as possible.

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