How to Throw a Proper Crawfish Boil
Looking to arrange a big get-together with your family and friends? Have a hankering for seafood? If so, you should consider throwing a traditional crawfish boil.
Originating in Louisiana, crawfish boils are now growing in popularity throughout the rest of the United States. Not only do they result in delicious seafood, but they also give us a chance to get together and have a great time.
Interested in throwing a crawfish boil of your own? Need a little help making it a success? This article has you covered!
Find a place to buy quality crawfish
You can find crawfish in a number of places. Not only can you buy them from online retailers, but from superstores and local markets as well. The only problem with these crawfish is that they are often frozen; In other words, they are of low quality.
While frozen crawfish are edible, they are far from great. In truth, the only way you can get the best of the best is by buying them live. As such, you need to seek out a local seller like Crab Dynasty in Maryland. Regardless of where you live, there is bound to be a live crawfish seller in your general area. Many of these sellers will ship your order on the day of your choice, ensuring that they are as fresh as possible for the big event.
Make note, crawfish are most bountiful during the spring months, starting in March and ending toward the end of June. While you might be able to get them during other parts of the year, these months are the best times to shoot for.
Figure out how many crawfish you need
You have found a reputable crawfish seller. Now you need to figure out just how much crawfish you need. This will require a bit of math.
Generally speaking, it is recommended that you buy 3 pounds of crawfish per guest. However, if your guests are particularly big eaters, you are going to want to err on the side of caution. In other words, you are going to want to order 4 or 5 pounds per person as opposed to 3.
So, make a guest list, tally up the names, take appetites into account and multiply total numbers by between 3 and 5. Remember: it is best not to disappoint anyone. You are better off ordering more crawfish than not enough.
Find a good recipe
While you certainly have the option to eat boiled crawfish plain, you probably won’t be overjoyed with the results. As such, you need to find a good crawfish recipe.
There are crawfish boil recipes all over the internet. However, for your reference, we are going to provide you with this one from allrecipes.com. Not only does it stay true to traditional Louisiana crawfish boils, but it is darn tasty as well.
Ingredients needed for this recipe include bay leaves, garlic, crab boil seasoning, salt, pepper, lemons, oranges, artichokes, potatoes, onions, baby corn, green beans, mushrooms, smoked sausages and, of course, crawfish. You can find specifics by clicking on the link above.
Buy the necessary equipment
There is a variety of equipment needed to facilitate a crawfish boil. You need to get your hands on it prior to your event.
First, you need a large boiling pot. This should have a lid and should be able to accommodate as much crawfish as you have to boil. You should also get your hands on a wire basket that can be lowered into the pot, as it will enable you to pull out boiled crawfish with safety and ease.
Odds are, you will be having your boil outside. As such, you will want to buy a propane heater. To run this heater, you will also need a tank filled with propane. Make sure it is full, as you don’t want to run out of gas in the middle of the event.
Some other items that you will need include a large tub filled with ice, a long stirring device and serving trays. To keep up with Louisiana traditions, you will also want to get your hands on a batch of old newspapers.
Find a suitable boil master
You have obtained the necessary equipment. You have placed your order for crawfish. Now, you need to figure out who will be overseeing this operation; You need to choose a suitable boil master.
Ideally, you will choose someone with a bit of experience. That being said, it doesn’t take a genius to throw ingredients into a pot and stir them around. If you wish, you could even choose yourself.
Note, however, that you don’t want all hands on deck. The last thing you want is for ingredients to get doubled up on a batch of crawfish that costs hundreds of dollars. What starts as teamwork can end up ruining the whole event.
Choose your boil master and stick with them. There are plenty of alternative responsibilities to delegate to others.
Find some side dishes
While the crawfish will undoubtedly be the centerpieces of your event, you don’t want them to be the only food. You have to give your guests a few side dishes as well.
The question you might have is what side dishes are best for a crawfish boil? There are numerous options, including everything from gumbo to jambalaya to maque choux to red beans and more. If you want, you could even stray from the cajun theme (though it would eliminate some of the charms, doncha think?).
Set up the sauces
Crawfish taste great on their own. However, most people like to douse them in a bit of sauce. As such, you need to keep an array of sauces available to your many guests.
Some popular crawfish sauces include remoulade, hot sauce and cocktail sauce. However, there is no reason to stop there. If you like something different, or if you know your guests would appreciate something different, you might as well throw it on the table.
Buy appropriate drinks
As with all meals, crawfish boils necessitate beverages. You don’t want to get all of your ingredients ready only to realize that you have nothing to wash them down.
All types of drinks are acceptable at a crawfish boil. However, some popular selections include beer, wine and lemonade. And remember, if you are going to have your boil in the boiling sun, water will be imperative.
To keep drinks cool throughout the event, you are advised to buy a large tub. Fill this tub with ice just prior to the event, and it should work to keep your beverages cold for the duration.
Prepare the venue
Whether you rent a local hangout or host the boil in your backyard, you are going to have to do some things to prepare it. You want to provide your guests with a good experience, after all.
The big thing is to have a table that is big enough to accommodate both your crawfish and your guests. Depending on the size of your boil, this could necessitate that you push a few tables together. Once you have your tables set up, you need to cover them newspaper. These newspapers will serve as grease catchers for your boiled crawfish, all the while providing your event with that special creole flavor.
You should also establish a dedicated boiling area, preferably away from the rest of the get-together. After all, you don’t want anyone to get burned.
Apart from this, you wll want to set up some chairs, some coolers filled with drinks and maybe some music. Oh, and be sure to have napkins or paper towels ready.
Teach the masses
For many individuals, a crawfish boil will be a foreign concept. As such, you might need to teach your guests the ropes. In other words, you might need to show them how to eat crawfish.
Make yourself familiar with the process so that you can give detailed instructions to those who are unfamiliar. Not only should you show them how to tear the crawfish apart, but you should also show them which parts of the crawfish are meant to be eaten. Not comfortable in your ability to eat crawfish? Find someone who is and have them teach your guests instead.
Get to eatin’
Once everybody has been educated, it is time to start eating. Dump that pot of boiling crawfish onto your newspaper-covered table and dig in. But allow everything to cool off first, of course; You don’t want anyone to get hurt.
And don’t worry about making a mess. That is part of the fun!
As long as you follow the steps reviewed above, you are bound to throw a great crawfish boil. In fact, if you play your cards right, it could be — dare way say? — the crawfish boil of the year!