Cooking Crawfish, My Family’s Secret to the Tastiest Boil

Cooking Crawfish, my family’s secret to the tastiest boil

Cooking crawfish is a delicacy in South Louisiana, and everyone has their own secrets; but I believe my technique produces some of the best crawfish around. I am not shy to throwing in new ingredients, however there are steps I refuse to go without. The cool down, the soak, citrus, and pre-cooked potatoes! With crawfish season around the corner, I’m going to share my steps to the perfect boil. Tools necessary to complete this: burner, pot, hose, and a Boil Boss.

Step one:

Wash the damn crawfish! No one wants dirty or grimy crawfish, so hose them off before taking them out the bag. Then remove strainer from the pot, place the crawfish in the strainer, and then hose them off again. I like to put the strainer in a bucket of water, shake, then replace. Repeat this step until the water is clean. 

Step Two:

Start boiling the water, at this step you can add the spices. I like using Zatarains Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil or spice mixtures from local seafood shops. If I’m feeling extra spicy, I’ll add more cayenne pepper. 

Step Three:

Let the water and spice boil, I like it rolling meaning the water is bubbling up. While waiting for it roll, cut up the ingredients of choice. For me it’s, Grapefruit (one of the most important ingredients. Citrus helps separate the meat from the shell and adds that tang flavor that cannot be beat, lemons or oranges work as well. This is an essential), mushrooms, garlic, sausage, celery, brussels sprouts (it’s an amazing vessel for the spice), and onions. Now the potatoes and corn are different, I like to boil the potatoes separately to ensure a full cook then add them during the soak. I like to add the corn during the soak as well to help drop the temperature of the boil. When the pot is rolling, it’s time to add the crawfish and the ingredients (minus corn and potatoes).

Step Four:

Once you add the crawfish and ingredients to the pot, you’ll notice the water stops rolling and the crawfish sink. You want to keep the burner on until the crawfish float up and the water starts to roll again. When it starts really rolling the cooking period is done! The time varies by amount of the crawfish. It never hurts to sample a few crawfish to see if the tail is cooked to perfection. Then kill the burner and prepare for the cool down.

Step Five Boil Boss:

Step five is the longest but the most important process to get the taste/spice. The goal is to bring the temperature of the boil down to where the crawfish stops cooking but remains hot! This is done most effectively by using the boil boss, it is a hula hoop type contraption that sprays water around the side of the pot. This is far superior than the older methods, like dumping ice on the boil, which dilutes the seasoning, or require someone to stand around like an a**hole hosing off the pot. While the boil boss is on, add the pre-cooked potatoes and the corn. The boil boss should stay on for several minutes, the optimal temperature to reach is between 145-160 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, you have reached the soaking period. Personally, I like to soak for an hour, however guests can get quite ancy so 25-40 minutes is no problem. My family modo is the longer you soak the tastier the crawfish! 

Step Six:

Enjoy. Plus, the best drink with crawfish is a crisp Twisted tea. Original or Half and Half. 

Again, the Boil Boss is an essential tool to this process, and I believe it can make anyone’s boil better. For information about the Boil Boss go to

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