How to throw a Seafood Boil Party

Learn how to throw a seafood boil party including a recipe for Seafood Boil with Corn and Potatoes

Our summer tradition of having a seafood boil party started when a coworker invited me to his crawfish boil party. Dennis and his roommates bought 100 pounds of crawfish, which they had flown into Denver from Louisiana. They kept the crawfish on ice the bathtub along with a few lobsters some guests had brought with them. Each guest was asked to bring beer and $10 to share in costs.

Preparation for his crawfish boil party was simple. Dennis draped each table in newspaper and placed large baguettes of French bread, butter, salt and pepper shakers, a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce, and a roll of paper towels.

Once a batch of crawfish, potatoes, and corn was done, they would drain the crawfish boil on the lawn and dump the food straight onto the tables. We’d stand around the tables eating, and push the used corn husks and crawfish shells to one side. Once everything was consumed, we’d gather up the dirty newspapers, and throw the whole thing in the trash.

As party went on, the crawfish kept getting hotter and hotter due to the addition of more crawfish boil seasoning. So we just drank more beer to cool off and had a great time.

Equipment needed for your seafood boil party

Planning for a seafood boil party, is easier than you think. You just need some basic equipment that you’ll find other uses for once you have it. We use a Bayou Classic Double Jet Cooker with Hose Guard, which connects to the kind of propane tank you use on a gas grill. We’ve also used the jet cooker for other parties, like our fish fry to heat up the frying oil pot. If you RV camp or have backyard grilling parties, I’m sure you’ll find other uses for the jet cooker.

What equipment do you need for your seafood boil party? We recommend a outdoor propane jet burner with with a flame spreader stand and a 60 quart commercial grade aluminum stockpot with lid and basket. However, you can get away with just a stockpot if you don't have a basket. Just use tongs to get the seafood out of the pot!

We cook up our seafood boil in a big enamel stock pot.  However, I recommend getting a Bayou Classic 60-Quart All-Purpose Aluminum Stockpot with Steam and Boil Basket. Having the basket makes it much easier to lift out your seafood boil and dump it on to a newspaper covered table for your seafood boil party. Since we don’t have a basket, I use tongs to pick out the pieces of seafood, corn and potatoes into a bowl, which is a pain.

Make seafood boil in a Bayou Classic 60-Quart All Purpose Aluminum Stockpot with Steam and Boil BasketBayou Classic 60-Quart All Purpose Aluminum Stockpot with Steam and Boil Basket

Besides using the Bayou Classic Stockpot for your seafood boil party, it can be used to fry a turkey in at Thanksgiving! You can also use it on the stovetop for canning, making a bit batch of freezer soup, steaming lobsters, and making beer. So it’s worth the investment!

Ordering crawfish for your seafood boil party

The manager of your local grocery store may be able to order the crawfish for your depending on what part of the US you live. Or she may have a suggestion of a local seafood place to order your crawfish. Try an Asian or ethnic market with a fresh seafood section. Or order online from a websites like lacrawfish.com.

Plan on ordering about 2 to 3 pounds of crawfish per person. If your friends and family are big crawfish fans (or just big eaters) you may want to order 4 to 5 pounds per person for your seafood boil party.

If you want to use my recipe below with crawfish, substitute the crawfish for the lobster, mussels and clams.

Tips on how to throw a seafood boil party, whether you love lobster, shrimp or want to do a traditional Cajun crawfish boil. Includes a Seafood Boil with Corn and Potatoes recipe that you can tweak to include crawfish, too!

This Mama’s tips for making Seafood Boil with Corn and Potatoes

If you feel ordering crawfish is too much of a hassle – or trying to eat crawfish is! – then just go by my Seafood Boil with Potatoes and Corn recipe below. I’d rather eat lobster than crawfish any day in my seafood boil! If you don’t like clams and mussels, omit them and add more shrimp and lobster!

Learn how to throw a seafood boil party with Old Bay SeasoningOld Bay Seasoning, 1 Pound

So what seafood boil seasoning should you use? I swear by Old Bay. You can also use Old Bay, Hot and eliminate the 2 dried chilies.  However, other people love Louisiana seafood boil seasonings like:

Ask around and see what your friends recommend or what’s used in the crawfish boils at your favorite Cajun style restaurants.

Don’t forget to throw in some spicy Andouille sausage into the seafood boiling pot for those picky kids who don’t like seafood. However, most kids I know will try a shrimp or two after enjoying the spicy potatoes and corn. Yum!

Learn how to throw a seafood boil party including a recipe for Seafood Boil with Corn and Potatoes

Seafood Boil with Corn and Potatoes

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Shrimp Boil with Corn and Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons, halved
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Old Bay seafood seasoning
  • 2 large garlic heads, halved horizontally
  • 6 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 dried chilies
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 16 sprigs fresh thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
  • 1 pound clams
  • 1 pound mussels
  • 2 pounds new red potatoes, unpeeled, halved if large
  • 8 ears fresh corn, shucked and broken in half
  • 2 pounds tail on shrimp, uncooked (frozen is OK)
  • 6 lobster tails, uncooked (frozen is OK)
  • 2 pounds spicy Cajun style Andouille sausage (whole)
  • Butter, salt and pepper, hot sauce and French bread for serving

Directions

  1. Fill a 6 quart stockpot with 4 1/2 quarts of water. Squeeze lemons into water and add rinds. Add bay leaves, seasoning, garlic, onions, chilies, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, and thyme.
  2. Bring water to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes and simmer 12 minutes.
  4. Add corn and simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Add shrimp, lobster, clams, and mussels to pot. Add whole Andouille sausage. Cover, and simmer until lobster is opaque and sausage is cooked through (if not precooked) – about 5 minutes.
  6. If using a steam basket, remove it from the stock pot and serve food right from the basket or dump food onto a newspaper covered table or onto trays. Otherwise, use tongs to pick out the pieces of seafood, corn, sausage, and potatoes into a large bowl.
  7. Serve seafood boil with melted butter and/or hot sauce. Squeeze and spread the cooked garlic on French bread. Serve the corn and potatoes with butter and salt and pepper.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour
Servings: Feeds 6-8 people
  • Serving size: varies

Originally published May 12, 2012. Updated with new pictures.
Table photo credit: Adobe Stock

Bayou Classic SP2 Double Jet Cooker with Hose GuardBayou Classic SP2 Double Jet Cooker with Hose GuardBayou Classic SP40 22-Inch Double Jet Cooker with Hose Guard by Bayou ClassicBayou Classic SP40 22-Inch Double Jet Cooker with Hose Guard by Bayou ClassicSlap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning Seafood Boil 1lbSlap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning Seafood Boil 1lbZatarain's Extra Spicy Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil 63 ozZatarain's Extra Spicy Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil 63 oz

Want to throw a crawfish boil this summer? Here are some tips on how to throw a seafood boil party, whether you love lobster, shrimp, crab or want to do a traditional Louisiana low country crawfish boil. Includes tips on equipment you'll need as well as an Easy Seafood Boil with Corn and Potatoes recipe that you can adjust to include crawfish, too!


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One thought on “How to throw a Seafood Boil Party

  1. Carrie

    This was a fabulous recipe! Our entire family loved it. Great step by step directions and the cook times were dead on!

    Reply

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