If you want to learn How to Boil Crawfish, we will be glad to show you how. There are probably a thousand different variations on how to boil crawfish, so we won't claim to know the best way to get the crawfish from the sack to the table. Before you are ready to boil crawfish, you will need to purge the crawfish. If you don't know how to purge crawfish, please click here now.
As you can see in the picture above, small red potatoes and corn on the cob are usually boiled and served with the crawfish. In recent years, people have been adding all sorts of things while boiling crawfish which includes small whole onions, mushrooms and smoked sausage.
If you are planning on having a crawfish boil, you will need to make sure that you will be able to purchase live crawfish. Depending on the weather conditions, you can anticipate being able to buy live crawfish between February and June. It is possible to order crawfish year round on the internet if buying direct from a crawfish farm.
If you order live crawfish online, make sure that you have them shipped overnight. Live crawfish are sold in sacks that generally weigh 30-45 pounds. Make sure that you order the large or the select crawfish. No one likes to eat small crawfish. After you have received your crawfish, you'll want to make sure that you keep them alive. To do so, simply follow these instructions.
Remove the sacks of crawfish from the shipping carton.
Wet the sacks down with a water hose.
If a walk-in cooler is available, stand the sacks in an upright position.
Otherwise, store the sacks in ice chests.
Ice down each ice chest with at least one bag of ice.
Store ice chests in a cool and shady area.
Note: If you use ice chests, make sure that you do not allow the live crawfish to sit in cold water for a long period of time. They will die if you do! Occasionally open the drain on your ice chest and let the cold water drain out. Live crawfish will stay alive for about 3 days at 36° to 46° if properly refrigerated or iced-down. Do not allow a sack of live crawfish to remain outside if the temperature is below 36°.
Hint: If you place a couple of bricks or 2x4s on the bottom of your ice chest, the sack of crawfish will not be resting in cold water when the ice melts.
Remove the crawfish from the ice chest about one hour before purging to let them warm up. Do not let them sit in direct sunlight. Purge the crawfish and get your boiling equipment ready to go.
Place your propane burner in a location that is shielded from the wind.
Connect your hose and adjustable regulator to your propane burner.
Connect your regulator to your propane tank.
Place your crawfish pot on your burner.
Use your garden hose to fill your crawfish pot half-full with water.
Turn on your propane gas and ignite your burner with a butane grill lighter.
Place the basket in the pot.
Add all of the seasonings to the pot of water and cover.
Turn the burner on full blast and bring the water to a boil (approximately 15 minutes).
Dump the vegetables into the pot of water and partially cook.
Dump the crawfish into the water.
Cover your crawfish pot and bring the water back to a rolling boil.
Take the cover off and maintain a rolling boil until the crawfish are cooked.
Note: You are now ready to boil your crawfish which should be based on the particular recipe that you will be using (see Boiling Crawfish Recipes).
At a traditional Cajun crawfish boil, picnic tables are covered with plastic table cloths to protect the wood and then old newspapers are laid out on the tables. The crawfish and vegetables are then dumped directly from the basket onto the newspapers and the guests feast on the crawfish while standing around the picnic tables. When finished, the newspapers are quickly picked up containing the crawfish remains and are thrown in garbage cans lined with heavy plastic liners.
Note: Three saw horses and a sturdy sheet of 4'x8' plywood works even better than a picnic table which can be easily stored in your garage in very little space.