One Recipe for the Perfect Crawfish Boil


Crawfish in Tyler and East TexasHot, spicy crawfish, potatoes and corn ... boiled to perfection! (Photograph by the author)

Some folks call 'em crayfish, crawdads, or mudbugs, but here in Texas they are simply CRAWFISH, whether they are swamp crawfish, spillway crawfish, or pond crawfish.

We've been catching crawfish all our life, and love the tradition of a long, leisurely crawfish boil in spring!

Crawfish is a key ingredient in many of our favorite dishes and meals ... Crawfish Etouffee, Crawfish Bisque, Crawfish Pie, Fried Crawfish, Crawfish Jambalaya, and of course boiled crawfish.

Our Recipe for the Perfect Crawfish Boil

There are hundreds of recipes for boiling live crawfish, and thousands of variations. We've used one "recipe" for years, for decades actually. We fine tune it sometime, but it goes something like this...

Most live crawfish come in plastic mesh sacks of about 30-40-50 pounds. Crawfish in good health and held under good refrigerated conditions can be stored up to four to five days without excessive mortality.

Texas Size Crawfish ... plump and ready for boiling!Fresh, live Crawfish! (Photograph by the author)

This recipe is for a smaller sack, about 28 pounds of crawfish – we split the bag into 2 batches, each about 14 pounds. Maximum capacity of our boiling pot (40qts) is about 14-15 pounds. Other pots are larger and can accommodate more crawfish. Each person typically can eat about 3-6 pounds of crawfish (with heads-tails).

IMPORTANT NOTE: When starting, remember it can take up to 45 minutes to get first water boiling. Sit back, relax, enjoy the wait time!

Step 1 – Measure the water level

½ bag crawfish into the boiling basket, add water to judge proper water level in pot (about half-way up) … move crawfish to a tub, or ice chest, for purging.

Step 2 – season water, bring to boil

Season water in pot:

•   1 box salt

•   4 bags of 3-oz  Zatarin’s crawfish boil seasoning

•   1 4-oz bottle of Zatarins’ liquid crawfish seasoning

•   4 tablespoons red pepper

•   3 tablespoons black pepper

•   4 lemons

•   2 garlic cloves

•   2 white onions

Let's get the boil started ... Start with Spillway Crawfish, add corn, new potatoes, whole onions, lemons, Zatarain's Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil ... make the hot sauce, add cold beer, and share with good Cajun friends!

Bring water to a boil (may take up to 45 minutes)

Step 3 – purging the crawfish with saltwater (while also doing Step 2)

½ bag crawfish into tub for purging … rinse twice with fresh water, then add water and 1 box salt. Sit for 10 minutes, empty salt water, and rinse crawfish thoroughly. Some people do not purge with salt, but just do a couple thorough rinses with water.

Step 4 – cooking batch #1

Bring to a boil, add potatoes

Bring to boil, then boil 10 minutes

Add crawfish and corn, bring to boil, and boil 5 minutes

Turn off fire, let crawfish sit for 15 minutes

Move crawfish, potatoes and corn to ice-chests to keep warm

Boiled Louisiana crawfish, corn on the cob, and new potatoes, hot out of the boiler

Step 5 – cooking batch #2

Re-season the water …

•   1 box salt

•   4 bags of 3-oz  Zatarin’s crawfish boil seasoning

•   1 4-oz bottle of Zatarins’ liquid crawfish seasoning

•   4 tablespoons red pepper

•   3 tablespoons black pepper

•   4 lemons

•   2 garlic cloves

•   2 white onions

Bring to a boil, and add crawfish

Bring to boil, then boil 5 minutes

Turn off fire, let crawfish sit for 15 minutes

Move contents to ice-chests to keep warm.

Enjoy your boiled crawfish!

 

Where to Buy Crawfish in Tyler

A number of seafood markets and outlets offer live crawfish for sale in Tyler and East Texas during the crawfish season in the spring. Several restaurants and supermarkets such as Brookshires offer boiled crawfish by the pound in season.

Where ever you plan to purchase your live crawfish, always call ahead
for information, pricing, availability, and possible reservations.

In the spring of 2016, we purchased our live crawfish from Wade's Placeon East Main Street in Chandler. We've met Wade, and he runs a great seafood restaurant also, serving crawfish, shrimp, fish, gumbo, hand-cut rib-eye steaks, burgers, salads and much more. Phone 903.849.2729.

We've also been pleased with the live crawfish we've purchased by the sack from Rodney Murphy's Circle M Crawfish in Big Sandy, on Highway 155 just south of U.S. 80. Rodney has been selling crawfish for over 18 years. The facility is also known as "Rodney's", or "the Crawfish Stand". Rodney also operates a restaurant, and its menu includes crawfish, shrimp, alligator, boudin, along with choice steaks and other items. Live music is often featured Thursday-Saturday evenings with a family friendly atmosphere.

If you can't get to one of these outlets, another option is to order live crawfish on the web from one of the other Texas or Louisiana crawfish dealers listed at the bottom of this page.

Order Live Crawfish Online

And today you can order live crawfish online from a number of crawfish farmers and retailers in Louisiana and Texas, and shipped nationwide overnight.

With the advent of the Internet, and shippers such as FedEx, crawfish lovers everywhere can enjoy fresh crawfish delivered to their door at home, or their nearest airport! Listed at the bottom of this page are several leading crawfish farms and live crawfish distributors.

Photos of Texas Crawfish and Texas Crawfish Boils
(all photos by the author)

Let's start with our sack of live crawfish ... usually 30-40-50 pounds
Sack of live crawfish
Texas Size Crawfish ... plump and ready for boiling!
Texas Size Crawfish ... plump and ready for boiling!
Filling up the crawfish pot with water ... let's get the boil underway
Start with about 50 pounds of live Crawfish, add salt, corn on the cob, new potatoes, whole onions, lemons, Zatarain's Crawfish, Shrimp and Crab Boil, red pepper, black pepper, garlic cloves ... make the hot sauce, warm up the buttered French bread, add cold beer, and share with good friends! Filling up the crawfish pot with water ... let's get the boil underway
Boiled, red crawfish, fresh out of the boiling pot
Boiled, red crawfish, fresh out of the boiling pot
Boiled crawfish ... ready to enjoy!
Boiled crawfish ... ready to enjoy!
Crawfish, corn on the cob, potatoes ... let's get peeling!
Crawfish, corn on the cob, potatoes ... let's get peeling!
Spread the newspaper out ... we've got serious eating to do!
Spread the newspaper out ... we've got serious eating to do!

Other Crawfish Suppliers in the East Texas Area

There are a number of crawfish outlets, seafood markets, crawfish farms and caterers selling live and boiled crawfish in East Texas, from Beaumont to Houston to Dallas, and in between. Some offer local delivery, while others provide delivery only in designated metropolitan areas. And some offer pickup only.

NOTE: We have no relationship with these vendors, and do not specifically recommend any one. Their names are provided only as a reference point to begin your crawfish shopping!

There are too many vendors to list, but here are a few to start your crawfish search. We highly recommend you check out each supplier carefully, and contact them personally, to determine their current services, pricing, policies, and guarantees before placing orders.

  • TheCrawfishCompany.com - The Crawfish Company, located in the Houston area. Pickup at metro area locations, and FedEx shipping.
  • TexasCrawfish.com - Southeast Texas Crawfish Farm, located in Hamshire, TX, about 20 miles southwest of Beaumont. Pickup only.
  • CajunCrawfishCo.com - Cajun Crawfish Company, Lewisville-Dallas area. Catering and local sales in the metro area.
  • TexasLiveCrawfish.com - Texas Live Crawfish, Houston and Dallas (Denton) offices and phone numbers. Supplies from Louisiana and Texas crawfish farms.
  • CrawfishTX.com - Critter Runners, Crosby, TX, northeast of Houston. Pickup and delivery.

Ordering Live Crawfish Online from Louisiana-Based Crawfish Outlets

A large number of crawfish outlets, farms and suppliers are located in Louisiana, both for local pickup and online ordering. Listed below is a sample of long-standing dealers offering online crawfish ordering:

Back to the main Tyler Texas Crawfish page


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