How Long to Boil Crawfish?

How Long to Boil Crawfish

Yum, crawfish! My kids like to call them baby lobsters. Even though you can get them any time of the year, they are especially tasty in the summertime! Whenever we go to the beach, we all pick one night to just much on boiled crawfish. The ocean setting, the smell of fresh salt water in the air, really sets the ambiance.

But what if you want to boil crawfish at home and get that same great taste? Well, I have some good news! You can. I know exactly how long to boil crawfish and I’m going to share that with you today!

Read on if you’d like to learn more about how you can boil your own delicious crawfish today!

So, How Long Will it Take to Boil Crawfish?

There are different boiling times depending on whether you have fresh or frozen crawfish and if they are alive or not!

Below are the times that I have used for several years. They work very well for me and my family when we are boiling crawfish.

  • Fresh, Live Crawfish- 3 to 4 minutes
  • Frozen Crawfish (precooked)- 5 minutes

You typically won’t be able to find frozen raw crawfish. I have only ever seen them cooked already!

Where you are located and the time of year may dictate how you are able to get your crawfish. If you live on the coast, you’ll probably find getting live crawfish easier. If it’s wintertime in the Midwest, frozen crawfish might be the only option!

Preparing the Crawfish Boil

The “crawfish boil” is equally as important as the boiling times. HOW you boil crawfish is part of the experience. There are many different crawfish boil seasonings, or you can just make your own.

Some Seasoning of choice are:

  • Old Bay
  • Louisiana Cajun
  • Diced onion
  • Sliced celery
  • Galic heads
  • Bay leaf
  • Other Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Carrot

Of course, you do not have to do a crawfish boil. You can just as easily boil them plain then dip the meat in melted butter.

How to Boil Crawfish Step by Step

Here is a step by step guide that I use every time when boiling crawfish!

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Step 1: Prepare the “crawfish boil.” Fill your pot with water. You should fill it enough so the water can cover the crawfish. Once the water is there, add in your “crawfish boil.” There are many different recipes out there! Here is a basic one you can begin with.

  • 2 gallons of water
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 heads of garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup seasoning of choice (old bay, cajun, or any other crawfish boil seasoning available)

If you are doing a crawfish boil, feel free to skip this step.

Step 2: Wash your crawfish. Whether alive or previously frozen, crawfish are dirty creatures. You’ll need to rinse off any dirt from their shells, by rinsing them under cool running water.

Step 3: Place the crawfish in the water. When the water starts to boil, it’s time to put the crawfish in the water. Use the below guide for your boiling times!

  • Fresh, Live Crawfish– 3 to 4 minutes
  • Frozen Crawfish (precooked)– 5 minutes

Step 4: Reduce the heat. Reduce the heat to a medium heat. Cover the pot and set the timer.

Step 5: Drain the crawfish. Separate the crawfish from the boil, but do not drain the liquid, unless you just used water. I have something special you can use that for!

Step 6: Put the crawfish on ice. The crawfish will continue cooking after being taken out of the water. It’s important not to overcook crawfish or the meat will turn mushy.

Step 7: Peel the crawfish. Because the meat is in the tail, twist and pull the tail off the rest of the body.

Step 8: Eat and Enjoy! There’s a couple ways you can do this. Pour the liquid into separate small bowls. How many people are you preparing for? Make sure each bowl has an equal amount of liquid and vegetable in it. Place the crawfish on a separate little plate. Everyone can enjoy eating the crawfish with the boil. It tastes delicious! The other way to serve it is to pour a little liquid on the crawfish and eat like in a soup. Either way, your boiled crawfish will take fresh out of the water!

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Tips and Tricks for Boiling Crawfish

Here are my best tips for always making sure your boiled crawfish come out delicious and easy to eat, without being too mushy.

  • Do not overboil or overcook. Crawfish do not take long to cook at all because they are so small! Overboiling will turn the meat to much. Follow the recommended times I have provided in this post to avoid that! Also, after they are finished boiling immediately transfer them to ice so they stop cooking.
  • Plan Ahead. Plan for 3 to 5 pounds of crawfish per person. This depends on how much they can eat and what else you prepare with the crawfish. If crawfish is the main meal, go for 5 pounds. If you are going to have a few side dishes, 3 pounds a person should be plenty.
  • When buying frozen or thawed out precooked crawfish, ensure the tail is curled. Here’s a little trick I learned from working in a grocery store. If the tail is curled, the crawfish was cooked was live. If the tail is straight, the crawfish was cook after it’s death. These crawfish are not the best quality. Try to avoid if possible.

In Conclusion

The next time you are craving some crawfish, now you can feel relaxed knowing that you can easily boil them! Just follow the times I have listed in this guide. They are small and very easy to overboil! You may need to bookmark this page so you can reference it at a later time.

Experiment with different crawfish boils and vegetables to get the taste you desire. They will each taste different and unique in their own way. But with practice, you’ll be boiling scrumptious crawfish in no time!