How to Boil Crawfish

First, take extreme care when handling hot liquids and spices – this process can be hazardous if directions are not properly followed. You can find 5 pound bags of crawfish crab and shrimp boil at your local grocery center, or you can make your own, with proportions based on your preferences. The boil mix is a combination of cayenne pepper, salt, garlic powder, lemon, onion, and other dried spices.

How to Boil Crawfish

40-45 pounds of crawfish serves 12-15 people


2 sticks butter

4.5 pound bag of Crawfish, Crab and Shrimp Boil

5 pounds of small red, or purple potatoes, cleaned but not peeled

40 to 45 pounds live crawfish, cleaned

24 ears of corn, shucked and cut into halves

2-4 pounds sweet onions, peeled and quartered

12 lemons quartered

5 pounds baby Bella or button mushrooms (optional)

Special Equipment:

20-gallon crawfish pot with basket and lid, or similar pot used for frying turkeys

A lifting hook to lower the basket into the cooking pot

Propane burner

Heavy duty rubber kitchen gloves to protect against burns and spices

Heavy duty apron

2 large ice chests with drain plug


1. Place the cooking pot with its basket on the propane burner and fill with water about halfway or about 11 gallons. There should be just enough liquid to prevent spilling over when the potatoes and corn are added later.

2. Add the 2 sticks of butter and 2/3 of the bag of Crawfish Crab and Shrimp Boil, and the 5 pounds of red or purple potatoes.

3. Cover and bring to a boil.

4. Cook potatoes for 15 minutes and, while the potatoes are cooking, start rinsing your crawfish.

5. Place the sack of crawfish in 1 of the coolers, or, place gently on the ground and hose down the bag until the water runs clear, at least 5 minutes.

6. Pour the live crawfish from the bag into 1 of the empty coolers.

7. With the drain of the cooler open, continue to rinse the crawfish for 5-6 minutes or until the water again runs clear.

8. After the potatoes have cooked for about 15 minutes, add the corn and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.

9. Test a potato for doneness, and continue to cook if needed.

10. Remove the basket and dump the corn and potatoes into 1 of the empty coolers. Close the cooler so as to keep the corn and potatoes warm.

11. Dump the crawfish into the cooking basket and lower the basket into the pot of boiling seasoned water.

12. Bring back to a boil and cook the crawfish for 15 minutes.

13. Turn off the heat and allow the crawfish to simmer in the liquid for an additional 15 minutes.

14. Remove the crawfish and serve with the potatoes and corn. Traditionally, the crawfish is dumped onto a newspaper covered table. Any leftover spice mix can be sprinkled on the crawfish, if desired.

If you have an extra pot, you can additionally cook several pounds of shrimp to serve along with the crawfish. Use about 1 cup of the crawfish boil seasoning to 2 pounds of shrimp.