Crawfish Boil

this image is of a crawfish boil, with crawfish, corn, onions, potatoes and garlic on a newspaper covered table

This week I’m in Destin, Florida for spring break. Last weekend in preparation for a week on the Gulf, my friends and I had a crawfish boil. I love crawfish, because they’re as close as you can get to fresh seafood in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Eating crawfish is definitely a lot of work, but the memories you make gathered around a newspaper-covered table are priceless. This crawfish season, invite your friends over and dig into a spicy mound of crawfish and veggies. Keep in mind that each person can probably eat 3-5 pounds of crawfish, so depending on the number of guests you have multiply or divide this recipe accordingly.

Did you know that Dermott, Arkansas has a Crawfish Festival every year? This year’s festival is May 17th and 18th.


  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 packet (3 ounces) Zatarain’s Crab Boil spices or 2-1/2 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning,
  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 5 whole heads garlic, halved crosswise
  • 5 small onions, halved
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 5 lbs.  gold potatoes, roughly quartered and scrubbed
  • 8 ears corn, shucked and halved
  • 20 pounds live crawfish rinsed with fresh water  until the water runs clear


1. Fill a very, very large pot with 10 gallons water, leaving plenty of room for all the other ingredients. Bring the water to a boil with the kosher salt, boiling spices, cayenne, garlic, onions and the oil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the potatoes and corn, continue to simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Add the live crawfish now. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.

4. Strain everything from the boiling liquid, preferably using a large colander, which will make it easier to fish out all the good parts (that is, the crawfish and vegetables) from the rest. Dump the good parts that you strained onto a picnic table covered with newspaper.