How to make your own crawfish boil
Making your own crawfish boil, how much better can it get? Being from New Orleans, I am very picky about my crawfish. But I have tasted some really bad crawfish, in the past. The biggest mistake that any first time crawfish boiler can make, is not purging the crawfish before boiling them.
What is purging crawfish? How do you purge crawfish?
Purging is basically cleaning out the insides of the crawfish. I surely do not want to eat what the crawfish has already eaten. Purging crawfish is the way to cleanse the crawfish of all waste.
- 80 quart crawfish pot with a crawfish basket (crawfish cooker)
- 210,000 BTU burner
- 35 inch wooden paddle for stirring
- mesh bag (for all the extras)
- propane tank
- 150 quart ice chest (for purging)
A sack of crawfish is generally between 25 to 35 pounds. I find the best results from boiling about 15 pounds of crawfish at a time.
Submerge each batch of crawfish in an ice chest, that is half full of water, and pour in a box of salt. Allow the crawfish to sit in this water for about 10 minutes. The salt will cause the crawfish to get rid of most of the waste that they currently have in their body. The water in the ice chest will become dark and murky. After 10 minutes, drain the crawfish from the water and rinse them off with a hose.
Prepare your Crawfish Boil:
While your crawfish are purging, you can prep your pot by adding water and seasoning. There are many different variants of seasoning used across the south. Some people like to use Zatarains, others use Louisiana crab and shrimp boil, and recently I have seen a lot of Slap ya Mama seasoning at crawfish boils. And if you are in the New Orleans area try the powdered crawfish seasoning from Castnet Seafood 10826 Hayne Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70127. I tend to experiment with all of these brands, since they seem to be very close in taste. Other things that can be added to your crawfish boil are, sliced lemons, sliced oranges, mushrooms, small red potatoes, garlic cloves, onions, celery, sausage, hot dogs, broccoli, powdered celery, cayenne pepper, liquid crab boil, bell pepper halves, or corn.
How to cook Crawfish:
The one main ingredient that is imperative to a good crawfish boil is leaks. Leaks are huge green onions that secrete an oil that helps in making the boiled crawfish easier to get out of the shell. You need to slice the leaks right above the bulb at a 120 degree angle for the best secretion of leak oils during the crawfish boil.
After the water comes to a boil, dump in the crawfish, and just before it comes back to a boil turn off the burner to let the crawfish soak. Allow the crawfish to soak for about 5 minutes. The last step to a good crawfish boil is pouring in ice to cover the crawfish boil for about 15 minutes. The ice will cause the crawfish to cool down slightly and sink to the bottom to suck up the juice and seasonings. See our article for more info on How to Boil Crawfish.