How to Throw a Crawfish Boil

As most of you probably know, here in the Deep South we like to throw these little get togethers called the Crawfish Boil. With free flowing beer, zesty drinks and a feast fit for the king of Mardi Gras, this outdoor party is always a blast.


Louisiana is world renowned for its famous festivals, including Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras, but it’s crawfish season that really gets our good times rolling. Festivals like the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival and Tulane University’s “Crawfest” are famous in their own right, especially among those that live in or around the Gulf Coast.


While those festivals require half a dozen jazz and brass bands and 18,000 pounds of crawfish, you can still throw an amazing crawfish boil of your own at home with just a little preplanning and a whole lot of commitment to fun! If you’ve never thrown a Louisiana Crawfish Boil or just want a refresher on the preparations, here are some quick tips to help you get started during this crawfish season.

How to Throw a Louisiana Crawfish Boil



In addition to the standard outdoor party staples (plates, tables, napkins, and more napkins) these few things are essential for a successful Louisiana Crawfish Boil:


A Large 30-60 quart pot with lid and basket insert


Heavy-duty rubber kitchen style gloves to protect against burns and spices


Outdoor high-pressure propane cooker


Crawfish Boil Ingredients:


Crawfish doesn’t have to be the only thing you serve, but since the name of the party is “crawfish boil” it should be the star ingredient. If you throw a potluck style boil, your guests can bring sides like salad, while you focus on these essential ingredients for the pot:


Cajun Seafood Boil spice – some good brands include “Louisiana Brand” “Zattarains”, and “Tony Cacheres” and will say “Seafood Boil” on the package.


Corn on the cob, cut in fourths


Small red, yellow or purple new potatoes


Lots of heads of garlic




Andouille or Smoked sausage


Live crawfish


Head on Shrimp (optional)


Asparagus (optional)




Keep these last few things in mind as you are about to throw your crawfish boil:


Order at least two to three pounds of live crawfish per guest.


Store the crawfish in a cool place like the garage until you are ready to start cooking.


Store live crawfish on ice, but make sure the temperature stays between 36–46°F and frequently drain water as the ice melts.


Allow the crawfish to return to room temperature just before boiling.


Add the spices first, letting them boil in water for several minutes before adding your other ingredients. This allows the spices to blend completely in the water and crawfish.


Crawfish only need five minutes to cook, so add longer cooking ingredients like corn, onion and potatoes first. Let the whole mixture soak for 20-30 minutes after the heat is turned off, so that everything gets a good soak.


Use newspaper to cover your tables for easy cleanup.