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Rajn's Crawfish Boil


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I recommend reading all the way through before starting.  When you start mixing in the vegetables,  the timing gets tricky because they cook at different rates. On the veggies too, have everything at room temperature before you start. Otherwise it affects how long it takes for the water to come back to a boil. I'm certain I'm leaving it some things because I don't really "have a recipe," it's just mostly memory. Which also reminds me,  getting to know your equipment WILL play a factor.  Not every burner acts the same and not every pot acts the same. There will be some trial and error getting everything just to your liking. I'll edit any time I think of anything else.


If you've never boiled crawfish in your pot before,  the first thing you want to know is how much will it hold and how much water you will need. The first mistake anyone makes is overfilling their pot with too much water and then having to do multiple batches because they can't fit everything. A 30 qt pot should handle a 15lb sack of crawfish because I can put two in my 60qt. The best way to get your water level right is to put the crawfish sack in the pot,  fill it with water until it's about 2" above the crawfish, pull the sack out and that's your fill line. Mark that on your stir paddle or on the side of the pot and you'll never have to worry over it again. Keep in mind you'll be adding a lot of other ingredients,  so if your water line is close to the top then you may have to do multiple batches anyway. For a burner,  I recommend using a jet burner. A regular burner will do, but it takes longer to get your pot boiling and there are steps where it's best to bring it back to boiling as quickly as possible.


Next,  purge and purge again. Do not use salt,  salt will kill them prematurely and it really doesn't do anything but flush their gills. Rinse them really well,  let them soak in a tub of fresh water for about 30 minutes,  drain, rinse,  soak again, drain and rinse. If the water is still coming out really dirty then give then a 3rd flush. Use the purge time to set up the pot and to pick out any dead crawfish.


Setting up the pot, make sure you rinsed it out after the water test and fill it to your mark. Turn your fire on as high as it will go and start adding your seasoning. The followng is what I use in my 60 qt, so a 30 qt should be half that. But to be honest, it's all about your taste so the measurements aren't hard-fast rules.


1 4lb canister Cajunland crawfish seasoning

1 16oz Zatarain's liquid crab boil

2 sachets Zatarain's crab seasoning

8 oz celery salt

6 large onions, 5 cut in half, one pureed

4 garlic pods cut in half,  puree a couple of the cloves with the onion

(You don't have to do the puree, I just think it does a better job of seasoning the water)

12 lemons cut in half, squeeze the juice in water before throwing it in

6 oranges cut in half, do same as lemons

2 12 oz jars pickled jalapeños (optional depending on your heat preference)

3-5lb bag of small red potatoes

(will explain the difference at the end)

3lb bag of finger potatoes

(You can choose one or the other for a smaller pot)


Once your pot comes to a rolling boil, lower the fire and maintain the boil for 12 minutes. About the 5 minute mark,  check your seasonings for taste.If you like it more spicy add cayenne. If you want it more salty add salt to taste etc.


After the pot has been boiling 12 minutes, add your sausage (Conecuh if you can get it). Cut the sausage into no longer than 3" pieces. Of your sausage is an inch thick, no longer than 2" cuts.  If you like your boil to be a little less oily then brown the sausage first and pat dry. Some people think the oil helps the meat release from the shell easier. I don't really know if it does, but I've never browned mine first because I like the flavor the fat adds. Also add in at this point whatever vegetables you want.  We usually do  brussel sprouts and mushrooms, but I've had pretty much everything in a boil. Whole green beans do well as does asparagus. Keep in mind any root vegetables you use (carrots,  sweet potato) will need to go in with the potatoes. Let this boil another 10-15 minutes (this is a guess, I usually check the doneness of the potatoes and veggies)? If you're doing corn, make sure it's thawed first and wait 5 minutes before throwing it in.  Corn soaks in a lot of the seasoning and since it doesn't take long to cook it's better to hold it off a little longer.


Once your veggies are done its time to put in the crawfish. Dump in your crawfish,  give it a real good stir, crank the heat as high a it will go and bring it back to a boil.  Once it starts boiling again, set a timer for 3 1/2 minutes then shut the burner off. 


Next you want to stop the cooking process as quickly as possible. Most people dump a bag of ice in and stir it,  but go a step further and stir the pot as someone hits it with a hose. You want to get the water temperature down to about 150 degrees. As long a your crawfish are so floating,  they are still cooking. When the water temp is down,  let them soak another 20-30 minutes and check them for taste starting at about 20 minutes.  The longer they soak,  the more seasoning they will draw in. 


Here's the tip about the potatoes. If you end up with extra. They make awesome potato salad or you can chop them up with some onion and peppers for hash browns in the morning. Kick that up a notch with a crawfish omelet!

Edited by rajncajn
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