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The Perfect Crawfish Boil

crawfish boil etiquette

To create the perfect crawfish boil you’ll need live crawfish, some vegetables, a pot, burner, propane, a good amount of Fruge’s seasoning, and some good people to share the experience with.

  1. When getting your crawfish, you’ll want to get farm-raised live crawfish and be sure to have enough for everyone (usually about 3-5 pounds per person).
  2. Next you need to think about your sides. The standard is just some potatoes and corn on the cob but you can also have mushrooms, onions, garlic, lemons, artichokes, and some even put cut up hot dogs or sausage in the pot too. The sides may seem simple but they play a large part in the experience and can make or break a boil.
  3. Your equipment should be a large pot, depending on the amount you are planning to boil. A 60 or 80 qt. can boil up to a sack (30 lbs.) at a time. If you are just cooking 10/20 lbs, a 20 quart is fine. You will also need a burner to put the pot on (unless you are doing it on the stove), and some propane so you can actually have a boil.
  4. To ensure that your crawfish taste great you’ll need the right type of seasoning. You have multiple types of seasoning to boil with and it all comes down to what you prefer. Fruge seasoning is a wonderful choice. We took years to come up with the perfect blend. It’s perfect for a layered effect. The more you put on, the spicier it gets, so you can choose how much is perfect for you. Dry seasoning is very useful because you can not only season the water with it but can add seasoning to the crawfish after they are out of the water.
  5. Now, one of the most important parts of the crawfish boil are the people you share it with. With the right group, the boil should be just as fun as when you are eating the crawfish so choose some close friends that you can knock back a beer with a make it a party because nothing says a good time like a crawfish boil.

Now that you know what you will need, lets talk about how to make your food taste the best.

  1. Start by filling the pot a little more than half way and begin heating up the water to cook your sides. For the best results, you can add a little bit of seasoning (about half a pound) but that is your choice and they will still turn out great without it. After you have finished the sides be sure to put them in an ice chest to stay hot while you cook the crawfish.
  2. Before dropping in the crawfish, you’ll want to add some more seasoning (anywhere from 1-3 extra pounds) to the water and then bring the water to a boil. Usually we suggest 1 lb. of seasoning per 10 lbs. of crawfish. Once that water is bubbling, you can add the crawfish.
  3. When cooking the crawdads, you only want to boil about one sack at a time. They should take about 5 minutes and you can take them out when you can see the crawfish floating in the water (pro tip: before removing the crawfish, use a hose and spray water in the pot by dunking the end of the hose in and out of the pot. This will make the crawfish soak up water and be more juicy to eat).
  4. When the crawfish are done, take them out and pour into a large ice chest while someone sprinkles more dry seasoning on them (.5-2 pounds of seasoning) and then close the lid and shake them up a little. Repeat these steps until you are out of crawfish to cook.

Now its time to eat, you can choose to eat with trays or just dump them on the table. Grab from the pile but be sure to have some paper towels nearby because they can be pretty messy. Be sure before you begin to grab a cold beer because you have just pulled off the perfect crawfish boil and you deserve a drink.

Celebrate Father’s Day with a Crawfish Boil!

photo via http://www.flickr.com/photos/xhero

When it comes to celebrating our fathers, there are many ways it can be done; but if you live in a region where crawfish are plentiful, a fun option for everyone is with a Father’s Day crawfish Boil. And if you don’t have access to crawfish where you live we’d be happy to ship some to you!

“A Louisiana Crawfish Boil on Father’s Day?” you might ask. Sure, why not! After all, boiling crawfish is not something that only dads can prepare. True…in most scenarios it is Dad who manages the grill, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider this, to have a rockin’ crawfish boil one only needs a “few key elements.” These are a large pot, a heat source, some crawfish boil seasonings, live crawfish and an assortment of veggies and meats. As you set up for this celebration of Dad, be sure to have dad resting in a comfortable location –complete with the cold beverage of his choosing, some reading material and whatever else you have available to help dad stay relaxed.
When you call the family to the table. Be sure dad is first in line!Real Men Boil Crawfish!
Of course, if you have always depended on Dad to handle the LA crawfish boil, then you may need some basic instructions —and not the ones that begin with, “Dad, can you do fill in the blank.” Click here for some simple directions for making dad a fantastic Cajun crawfish Father’s Day feast.

Hmmm… Celebrating Father’s Day with a crawfish boil sounds like a party that should happen often! If you need help celebrating Father’s Day (or any other event) with a Louisiana crawfish boil, give Cajun Crawfish a call. We would love to be a part of your celebration

6 Tips for the Perfect Memorial Day Crawfish Boil

Memorial Day Crawfish Boil Pot and Paddle

Planning Your Memorial Day Crawfish Boil
Memorial Day is just around the corner and the warm weather party season is officially in high gear. So to get things started off on the right note, why not throw a Memorial Day crawfish boil? After all, a crawfish boil is as American as hot dogs and burgers, only a lot more fun to eat!

Of course, if you have never hosted a crawfish boil then this may sound a bit intimidating. But what exactly is necessary to have a successful Memorial Day crawfish boil? So, glad you asked! Here are some tips for throwing the perfect crawfish boil – no matter where you live.

Memorial Day party, Crawfish and Beer
6 Tips for the Perfect Memorial Day Crawfish Boil
1. Order at least 3 pounds of live crawfish per person who will attend. (Rule of thumb for purchasing food for a Louisiana crawfish boil– 60 pounds of crawfish will feed 15 – 30 guests; 90 pounds should feed 25 -30 guests.)

2. A few days before your Memorial Day crawfish boil, check to see that you have paper products – don’t forget newspaper to line the serving table with, propane for the grill, a large pot (think big – perhaps grandma’s big stew pot!) and an equally large paddle with which to stir the pot. You will also want to order, or reserve the crawfish, so that on Memorial Day, you can just go pick up your crawfish. To keep it truly patriotic, you can even ask for some of the blue and white crawfish, too!

3. On the day before you do your shopping. Be sure to also pick up corn on the cob, potatoes and onions to toss in the boil along with your crawfish seasonings, plenty of beer and lots of ice! You may also want to include watermelon, as a dessert, as the sweetness of the melon is great foil to the spices and heat of the Louisiana crawfish boil seasoning.

4. When your guests begin to arrive for your Memorial Day crawfish boil, you will want to be ready to start cooking. Place that large pot on your bruner, fill it with your seasonings, and of course, a healthy amount of beer and add the potatoes first –these will take the longest time to cook! Now, when it comes to the perfect recipe for the proper Louisiana crawfish boil, there is a wealth of opinions, so be sure to check out our How To Boil Crawfish page to determine what appeals to you.

5. When the cooking is complete, drain the basket and pour down the center of a newspaper lined table or, you can put the food in several Styrofoam containers lined with foil. Then give out a holler, and let everyone know the Memorial Day crawfish boil is ready to devour.

6. Every good party needs some entertainment, so consider having live music or a DJ, plenty of games and places for mingling and dancing.
And there you have it – the steps to planning a perfect Memorial Day crawfish boil. So, whatcha waiting for? Get those invitations out and get ready to have a great Memorial Day crawfish boil!

You can order your live crawfish from us right now!

Nice Piece of Tail

Nice piece of Tail, Crawfish tail

Here at CajunCrawfish.com we love the whole crawfish. We love the color, shape, claws, and we even love their beady little eyes. But if there’s one pat of these Louisiana mudbugs we love the most, its the tail! After all, tails is where the meat is! We love them so much we think their downright sexy. We love crawfish tails, and who doesn’t love a nice piece of tail?

Love the whole crawfish? then click here to order some.

What is the Best Drink to Serve at a Crawfish Boil?

Crawfish and Beer!

Are you planning a crawfish boil for yourself and few of your closest friends? If so, then chances are that you have given some thought to the menu items like Andouille sausage, corn on the cob and potatoes. But, what is the best drink? Ask any number of Louisiana crawfish boil connoisseurs and you will likely discover a common answer – Beer!
When it comes to consuming the tasty, tender LA crawfish, there is nothing that compliments their flavor like a beer! However, the trick is to select a beer that is not too high in alcohol content so that the Cajun crawfish enthusiast doesn’t get tipsy. Nor should you chose a beer that is high in calories, as that makes one full faster. So, what beers should be served at a Louisiana crawfish boil? Here are five specialty beers that would be great choices for your next crawfish boil.

  1. The Black Lotus – With the scent of caramel, the flavor of apple and malty tones, the Black Lotus is an ideal match for an LA crawfish boil. Its light red-brown color and white head pack plenty of flavor while complimenting the succulent taste of the crawfish.
  2. IPA (Indian Pale Ale) – The recommended IPA beer is the Two Hearted Ale by Bell’s Brewing Company. It has a strong citrus taste, floral aroma and hoppy undertones, which create a smooth tasting beer that works as a perfect flavor foil to the spices traditionally used in a Louisiana crawfish boil. If you want a more subtle option, then the Belt Pale Ale by Southern Star Brewing Company is also a hoppy choice for crawfish, as its unique pine taste married with the traditional seasonings of a Cajun crawfish party is the perfect union of flavors.
  3. Czech Pilsner – Pairing this spicy beer with crawfish may seem a bit unorthodox, but many find it to be the ideal match of bitter, tang and spice. Popular Czech pilsners are Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest or the Sierra Nevada Porter.
  4. American Pale Wheat Ale – With a mild flavor and an undertone of clove, this American beer is often accompanied by a lemon, as the essence of the lemon, crawfish and beer lend their subtleties of flavor for a fabulous meal. A particular favorite of this type of beer is the Blue Star Great American Wheat beer by North Coast Brewing Company.
  5. American Pale Lager – This is an especially light beer as it does not contain fillers such as corn and rice but has a stronger malty flavor that works well with the seasonings used in a crawfish boil. If you opt for this type of beer, consider the Session Lager made by Full Sail Brewing Company.

Of course, there is nothing incorrect in opting for a basic beer such as a Bud or Miller Light. In fact, if you are throwing a rather large crawfish boil, you may want to just fill a few coolers with these more basic options and just hold back a few specialty beers for the cook!

So what is your favorite beer to drink with your crawfish? Do you have any tips to share about matching the flavors of your crawfish boil(s) to the types of beer you serve? We would love to hear from you and learn why you think a particular beer is better (or not) with your Louisiana crawfish!

4 Cajun Songs that will put you in the Mood for Crawfish

I’ve never been to a crawfish boil where we didn’t have tunes playing to set the mood.

You can eat crawfish in total silence and they’re still good, but they’re especially good with the right melody in the background. The right song get’s the mood just right for crawfish eating. In fact, it brings out in all of us the “joie de vivre”.

 

Here are some songs to add to your crawfish boil playlist:

 

Kira Viator and Bayou Beat – Rendez-vous des Cajuns

 

Nathan Abshire –  Pine Grove Blues

 

 

The Savoy Family Band – Live

 

Gin Blossoms – Cajun Song (Live at Farm Aid 1994)

 

What songs are on your crawfish boil playlist?

 

More Louisiana Crawfish Festivals

Hundreds of pounds of crawfish
Photo By
Clotee Pridgen Allochuku

Last week we shared the history of some of Louisiana’s most famous crawfish festivals. However, those three are not the only ones is the state. After all, in a state that loves to party, you can be sure that there is always something happening! So, if the three crawfish festivals previously mentioned are not enough for you, then here are a few more opportunities for enjoying the sweet and savory flavors of the Louisiana crawfish.

The Immaculate Conception School Louisiana Crawfish Boil in Marrero, LA is held each year the last Saturday in March. It is the only boiling event registered and sanctioned by the State of Louisiana. As such, its winner is the only person/company that can claim they have the “best boiled crawfish in Louisiana.” Each paid admission gives one the opportunity to sample crawfish, corn, sausage, potatoes, and anything else in the pot from each competing team.
The Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Fest is held each year in mid -April in Lake Charles, LA. The festival has more than 10,000 pounds of crawfish and all the fixins’ that people have come to expect at a Louisiana crawfish boil. There is an admission, but with all the fun, games, food, and music the price is right. The Lake Charles Crawfish Festival is touted as one of the largest indoor/outdoor crawfish festivals in the southwestern part of the state.

The Lafitte Seafood Festival in Jefferson, Louisiana is about more than just crawfish. Here, you will also enjoy shrimp, oysters, and an assortment of fish all prepared to show off the flavors of Louisiana’s heritage and culture. The event is a great way to steep yourself in all the essence of the bayou.

The Crawfish Cook-off in Westwego, LA is held each year in May; there is a charge for patrons 12 and up but those 11 and under are free if attending with an adult. The Crawfish Cook-off is known for its amazing music, dancing, opportunities for family fun, games, and most importantly, its food-especially those dishes that are part of the Crawfish Cook-off! And, if enjoying the food is not enough for you, then there are plenty of opportunities for fishing-whether it is from the riverbank or from the decks of one of the area’s charter boats.

So, whether you are looking for the chance to enjoy fine dining in the bayou or perhaps want the chance to taste the best crawfish and seafood Louisiana has to offer, be sure to check out one of these festivals or perhaps some of the others mentioned in the History of the Louisiana Festivals post. No matter what crawfish festivals you attend, you will find the people to be friendly, the entertainment to be fantastic, and the food to be fabulous!

Crawfish Festivals around the UScrawfish festival plate

When many people think crawfish it is often with thoughts of the Louisiana bayou, Cajun music, and Zydeco semi-imposed in the background. But, Louisiana is not the only state that hosts crawfish festivals. In fact, each year there are dozens of Louisiana-style crawfish festivals held all across the US and even on other continents. However, if you prefer to stay here in the US to enjoy the amazing flavors of the crawfish and assorted dishes, then perhaps you would like to visit some of the crawfish festivals listed here:
The Texas Crawfish and Music Festival – Held each year in Spring, Texas, this is one of the largest and most established crawfish festivals in the South. Guests are entertained by the wide array of bands-zydeco, rock, and country, the mouthwatering crawfish dishes, helicopter rides, and numerous family friendly activities.

The Gulf Coast Zydeco Music and Crawfish Festival – Each year people head to Daphne, Alabama to enjoy Creole dishes like crawfish etouffee, boiled crawfish, an assortment of other crawfish-laden dishes. Do you love to dance? Then be sure to plan some time in your day to take a class with some of the zydeco instructors who will be happy to introduce you to the music and moves of popular Louisiana style melodies.

The Red Head NYC – Each year for 4 weekends in May the elite New York City eatery, the Red Head NYC, hosts a Louisiana-style crawfish boil. Guests are invited to come enjoy the crawfish along with great side dishes such as Andouille, red potatoes, and corn on the cob.

The Rajun Cajun Festival – Experience all the fun of a Louisiana crawfish festival in sunny Orlando, Florida. The Rajun Cajun Festival is held each year in April. With Cajun music and Louisiana cuisine such as crawfish boiled New Orleans style, shrimp head-on Louisiana-style, and black bayou double-dipped fried chicken, you are sure to leave with a happy stomach and a heart and head full of happy memories.

Pensacola Crawfish Festival – In Florida’s panhandle region, there are many opportunities to have fun. One of these is the Pensacola Crawfish Festival held in Batram Park the first weekend in May. The Crawfish Festival is a great place to get a taste of Louisiana without actually being there. In addition to the assorted activities and music, you will also find Cajun delights such as crawfish poboys, crawfish pies, boiled crawfish, and many others.

The Louisiana Swamp Thing and Crawfish Festival – Located in Buda City Park in Buda, Texas, this is just the place to get your fill of all things Cajun and Creole. Bring the family and plan to have a fun and food filled day!

These are but a few of the crawfish festivals held around the country. You can also find crawfish festivals in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Tampa, Birmingham, San Diego, and Kemah, Texas. So, the next time you get a craving for some Louisiana crawfish and don’t want to head to the bayous of Louisiana, perhaps you will want to give one of these a try.

Above right photo by JC. Winkler

Crawfish Festivals: The History of the Parties

Leroy Thomas performs at a Crawfish Festival

Leroy Thomas- The Jewel of the Bayou, performs at a Crawfish Festival

Everyone loves a good party, but few states love to party as much as Louisiana. It seems they have a party or festival season for nearly everything. From Mardi Gras to the Jazzfest, Shrimp Festivals and Cajun Dress Festivals, and nearly anything in between, there seems to always be some kind of party in Louisiana! Currently, the most popular partying happening in Louisiana is the assorted crawfish festivals.

But, have you ever wondered how the Louisiana crawfish festivals got their start? After all, why would anyone look at the lowly mudbug and think, “Hey, let’s have a party to celebrate this creature?” Well, here is brief look at three of the state’s crawfish festivals.

The Louisiana to LA Society Second Line Dancers, crawfish festival

The Crawfish Festival in St. Bernard began in 1975 as a way to show homage to the area’s history. As St. Bernard is the site of the famed Battle of New Orleans, its history alone makes it the perfect place for a party. Every spring, people from everywhere come to enjoy the succulent sweetness of the LA crawfish served in dishes such as crawfish bread, crawfish jambalaya, and crawfish etouffee, which can be found at the festival. While at the festival, guests will have the opportunity to learn about the area’s history while enjoying the town’s bounty and beauty.

The Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival, held the first full week in May, is perhaps the largest and most well known in Louisiana. In fact, the area is known as the “Crawfish Capital of the World.” Since 1958, when the title was given to Breaux Bridge by Speaker of the House Bob Angelle, Breaux Bridge has been celebrating the crawfish through music, dancing, crafts, and of course, mouthwatering crawfish dishes. The title “Crawfish Capital of the World” was suggested as part of the city’s then centennial celebration. Unfortunately, the crawfish did not cooperate that year, and there was a very poor harvest that threatened the newly given title. Consequently, Angelle contacted the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to increase the commercial crawfish farming and to encourage the harvesting of crawfish, and to ultimately expand the crawfish industry. In 1960, the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival was born and soon became one of the city’s largest tourism attractions. In fact, the city’s restaurants were the first around to offer crawfish on their menus, and it was here that the insanely delish crawfish etouffee was created.

Big Pile of Crawfish, at a Crawfish Festival

One thing you can find at Crawfish festivals: Lots of Crawfish!

The Mudbug Madness Festival is held during the last weekend of May in Shreveport, Louisiana began in 1984 when a group of citizens decided they were tired of being compared to Texas and told they were more Texans than Louisianans. The group choose to do this through honoring the crawfish boils – one thing their state is known for. The Shreveport citizens decided that they would make their festival the best and focused their crawfish celebrating around the taste of the crawfish boil. Today, the four-day festival entertains as many as 56,000 people a day and is recognized as one of the Southeast Tourism’s Top 20 Events.

Of course, no Louisiana food festival is complete without the dancing, the parades, the costumes and of course, the live Zydeco music! So, the next time you are looking for a great family event that combines fun, food, and learning, make plans to attend a Louisiana Crawfish Festival—You are sure to love it!

Photos by Clotee Pridgen Allochuku

Crawfish: Is Bigger Better?

Big Crawfish

Dat's a big ol' Mudbug!

Louisiana crawfish are no strangers to a good party. A crawfish boil is often synonymous with winter/spring fun and sliding into summer. Thus, a boiling pot of potatoes, sausage, onions, corn, various seasonings, and a big batch of crawfish is the center of many a good time. However, the question still remains, what size crawfish are the best? Is bigger really better?

Some may argue that it isn’t the size of the crawfish that matters, but what you do with it. These might say that a skilled master boiler is far more important than crawfish size.

Yet, others will debate that. Some say that a smaller crawfish is just too sweet and delicious to pass up. On the other side of the coin, someone will invariably argue that bigger gives you more bang for your buck, and that nothing beats that big, meaty bite of this mighty crustacean.

Generally speaking, someone who is avidly seeking a particular size may, at times, find out that one or the other is more difficult to come by. Bigger is often graded as “select,” yet these need time to grow, and may not always be readily available. Hence, those for the small bites could argue that these sweet little “mudbugs” are the only way to go, for anyone with a love of crawfish.

‘Field Run” is another grading term that one could find regarding live crawfish. These are not necessarily graded for size. Some will be big, and some will be small. In this case, someone of the “bigger is better” mindset might still be inclined use the smallest ones for bait, much to the chagrin of those of his buddies who love those tender-yet-tiny and bite-sized crawfish.

Other sources will use the more standardized number system. This system throws a third option into the mix, with a medium size. This option offers the big crawfish labeled as grade one, with about 12 to 15 in a pound. Medium sizes are graded as number two, and will have about 16 to 20 in a pound. Small, labeled as number three, is the final grade, with upwards of 21 delicious crawfish in a pound.

In the end, the argument you come up against might still be the same. Although, once you are in this debate, you could ask your opponent if quantity might be as big a factor as anything.

Is bigger really better? Could more be better, too? It’s up to you to decide.

Why I Love Crawfish

Crawfish dumping out at a crawfish boil

Crawfish, Crawdads, Mud Bugs. What is it about these beady-eyed Cajun crustaceans that warm our hearts and salivate our mouths come March each year?

Of course, they’re a delicious meat in and of themselves, as well as the perfect complement to an ice cold beer, but even more than being a favorite food, crawfish represent a beloved experience often lost by many in the rush of our modern world. Crawfish bring people together, in a spirit of “come one, come all,” to slow down, eat, and laugh.

The anticipation of that first crawfish boil of the season can be felt in the southern air as spring arrives, signifying warmer weather and good times ahead. All year, we’ve waited expectantly for crawfish season to arrive. Gathering together again around newspaper-covered picnic tables, we celebrate a blend of outdoors, camaraderie, Jimmy Buffett music, and gluttonous feasting. Pounds of salt, spices, and all the lagniappe boil away, while barefooted kids chase each other with bugs in hand. Both young and old gather, friends shoot the breeze over Abita Amber, and the excitement grows as the crawfish marinate. The first batch hits the tables, relinquished to the hungry guests, and it’s finally time to get our hands dirty.

Boiling crawfish

We’re messy, our lips are burning, and yet, we continue on in our rummage through the steamy batches of seafood. With primal sophistication, we devour our sweet Louisiana lobster one by one, sucking the heads and ripping the spicy meat from the tail. Under shade trees, in parks and backyards throughout the South, we celebrate life together over those crustacean-laden tables. Our whole day is dedicated to the important things of life.

Why do us Cajuns love our crawfish? Words can’t adequately explain our passion, as it’s something that must be experienced for oneself. We welcome neighbors and newcomers alike to our festivals and backyards, as long as you eat the critters properly and heed our friendly warning to resist rubbing your eyes. If it were up to us, the whole world would experience a little more crawfish in their lives, and with it, some much needed kindness and cheer.