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How to Boil Crawfish

We always boil in one pot and soak in another to maximize the flavor and texture of the crawfish. This recipe is for the two-pot technique, check below for one-pot methods.


The Gear

  • You’ll need one burner, two pots, one basket, one paddle or skimmer, one ice chest. Some gloves and a towel will come in handy too


Veggies and Sides First

  • Fill pot 1 two thirds full with water, bring to a simmer with about 3lbs of seasoning (enough for 1 sack of crawfish), stir to dissolve salt

  • Add potatoes and corn to your basket, add basket to pot, stir, bring back to a simmer, turn down the heat and keep it just under a simmer for about 18 min; test with a knife, when tender transfer to an ice chest

  • If you’re adding cauliflower, sausage, asparagus, or other sides you’d add them at the appropriate time while simmering your corn and potatoes

  • Crack the lid of your ice chest to vent steam and prevent overcooking and mashed potatoes


Making the Soak Water

  • Put pot 1 off to the side, add more seasoning and red pepper until it’s too hot and too salty (it should make you cough when you slurp on a taste); stir, let sit uncovered so that the water temp comes down to about 150-170 degF


The Crawfish

  • Fill pot 2 two thirds full with water and bring to a boil; while waiting for it to boil, dump the crawfish into the basket and rinse thoroughly with water hose; no need to add seasoning to pot 2

  • When water is boiling add the basket of crawfish to the pot and bring back to a boil; once it returns to a simmer/boil, boil the bugs for 5 minutes, pushing down on them as they float on top of the water

  • After 5 minutes pull the basket out of the pot, letting it drain for a few seconds, and set it into pot 1 (the 150-170, degree overly seasoned water); slowly the bugs will sink as the shells fill with the seasoned water; after about 5 minutes taste one and see if it’s taken on enough seasoning; soak as long as you want, up to several hours; the 160 deg water is the perfect hot tub for keeping the bugs at the right temp with juice-filled shells

  • If you want more heat or salt shake some seasoning on the bugs when you serve them, but if you get your soak water right there’s no need


Keep it going

  • Keep boiling more crawfish in pot 2 and then soaking in pot 1, remember to add a little more seasoning to the soak water with each batch

  • At the end of the day ask anyone that didn’t help you cook to clean the basket and pots!!


What if I don’t have two pots?!

  • No problem! Just season and soak your crawfish in the same pot, but try to drop the temperature between batches by turning off the heat, spraying the outside of the pot with cool water, and adding ice to the pot. It’s harder to control the seasoning when you add ice, so keep tasting the water.

  • OR- you can use an ice chest as your soak pot. After you boil your veggies in pot 1 and re-season the water, pour that water into a cooler. Leave the lid open or add some ice to bring the water temperature down to that 150-170 degree mark. Then just use your pot to cook the crawfish, and when done cooking, dump the bugs into the seasoned water in the cooler that is acting like the soak pot.

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