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How to Cook Crawfish?


Planning on a big Cajun cookout outdoors? Crawfish can be one of the fun meals you can join outside especially during the spring and summer seasons. Crawfish season usually runs from about late winter to early summer.

That’s why you should take advantage of this season and make it into a fun get together. Add to that grill and barbeques and you’re on your way for a big social gathering even with just your family and/or friends.

Learning how to cook crawfish is so easy. All you need to do is to boil and season and that’s it. It has its own flavor that most people love and enjoy. Just make sure that you use fresh or live crawfish. Never boil frozen crawfish! At the same time, remember that crawfish is small. Thus, one adult can eat about 3-5 pounds of crawfish or even 5-7 pounds for the heavy eater. Live or fresh crawfish are usually sold in onion sacks. One sack sums up to about 35 pounds of crawfish! So for a medium sized group, you can buy 1 or 2, or even 3 sacks if you are all heavy eaters! Now, let’s learn how to cook crawfish.

What you will need:

  1. Live crawfish, 1 sack or 35 pounds
  2. Zatarain’s Shrimp/Crab Boil, you can buy the liquid (4 oz) version or the powdered version (8 sacks)
  3. About two 26 ounces of salt in a box
  4. About 8 ounce of cayenne pepper
  5. 6 lemons cut in half
  6. 1 stick of margarine (optional

Now when boiling crawfish, you can also boil other ingredients with it like small potatoes, onions, corn on the cob pieces, or smoked sausages. So if you want to cook them all together, make sure to grab these side dishes too as you prepare your ingredients for crawfish. Also, make sure to prepare your cocktail sauces such as:

  1. Ketchup
  2. Tabasco hot sauce
  3. Mayonnaise
  4. Horse Radish
  5. Cajun Seasoning Mix (homemade or those bought at the grocery store)

Now what cooking equipment will you need to boil your crawfish outside? Prepare these things for a lovely lunch, afternoon, or early dinner outside with your family:

  1. A 60 to 80 quart pot for boiling. Make sure that it has a strainer insert because you will need it for draining your crawfish. It will be hard to drain the crawfish without one! At the same time, having a strainer will separate your crawfish from other ingredients you want to boil.
  2. You’ll need a propane burner with the adjustable high pressure gas regulator and large jet orifice.
  3. Of course, you’ll need a long table outside that you should cover with newspaper or disposable plastic table cover.

Let’s begin cooking that crawfish!

  1. Using a large tub or basin, dump the live crawfish and wash with a jet of water. Use a paddle to stir the crawfish. Remove the dirt, small fishes, baits, and dead crawfish from the tub.
  2. Next, pour the crawfish into the strainer insert of the pot. It’s ready to be boiled.
  3. Place your pot on the burner and fill it up with enough water such that when the strainer insert that contains the crawfish is added, the water level is still a few inches below the top of the pot. Pour water to about half of the pot.
  4. Turn on the burner full blast. Now if you don’t have on and prefer to boil your crawfish in your kitchen, just turn the heat to high. It needs to be hot enough to boil that much amount of water in about 15 minutes or so.
  5. As the water is heating, add the Zatarain’s shrimp/crab boil, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon, and margarine.
  6. If you are cooking small potatoes that are great with crawfish, add them as well. Also, add in onions, smoked sausage, and corn-on-the cob if you like.
  7. Once the water comes to a boil, add the strainer insert with your crawfish. The water will stop boiling. Now it’s time to cover the pot and turn the regulator to full blast to make sure the water goes back to a rolling boil as quickly as possible.
  8. Once the water comes to a rolling boil again, regulate the burner so that the rolling boil is maintained. Boil for 13 minutes.
  9. After 13 minutes, turn off the burner but don’t open the pot just yet. Let it soak for another 13 minutes.
  10. Next, remove the strainer from the water. Put a board on top of the pot to serve as a rack and rest the strainer on top of it as the crawfish drains.
  11. Once done, cover your table with newspaper and pour the crawfish.
  12. Drain the potatoes and other ingredients you’ve added and place on a serving dish. Have your dipping sauces and spices ready.
  13. Now it’s time to eat.


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