Crawfish Cooking Basics – How Long to Boil Crawfish

Crawfish may look appear quite usual, but, it is both tasty and nutritious. In fact, there are a lot of people who are fond of cooking them.

Crawfish looks just like lobsters, though they are smaller in size. These freshwater crustaceans has low-fat content and can be a decent source of protein as well as vitamins and minerals.


There are different ways of cooking crawfish. But, one of the most popular methods of cooking them is through boiling. That said, there are various things that you need to consider when it comes to boiling crawfish like how long to boil crawfish, how they are prepared before boiling, and the ingredients that you need to cook them with.

Read on to learn more about boiling crawfish and how you can properly cook them.

Last update on 2018-03-17 PST - Details

Tips and Tricks for Cooking Crawfish

How long to Boil Crawfish 1

For those who have yet to try boiling crawfish as well as those who consider themselves seasoned boilers, here are a few tips and tricks that can guide you through boiling crawfish.

1. Make Sure Your Crawfish is clean before Cooking. Cleaning your crawfish before boiling is one the most critical steps in the entire cooking process. Since these crustaceans live in muddy areas, you should make sure that they are cleaned thoroughly before cooking.

As a rule of thumb, you should wash and rinse your crawfish at least four times or until the water that they are sitting in is clear and clean.

2. Never Add Salt to Your Crawfish When Cleaning Them. Adding salt to your crawfish while cleaning is referred to as ‘purging with salt.’ Many people believe that this process clears the poop vein of crawfish. However, this is a just a myth, and the process kills the smaller and the weaker crawfish.

It is important to note that the only way that you can clean these crustacean’s poop vein is to keep them alive for 12 hours, so they can empty their digestive tract.

3. Always Measure the Water to be Used for Boiling. When boiling crawfish, you will probably opt for the more prominent pots. That said, you can easily over-water your pot. If this is the case, you will be diluting your seasoning mixture, which would require you add more spices to make your dish more flavorful.

Ideally, you need about 6 gallons of water in every 35 pounds of crawfish.

4. Be Mindful of Your Boiling Time and Avoid Overcooking Your Crawfish. During the boiling process, you should be mindful of the boiling time to avoid overcooking your crawfish. While everyone does it differently, boiling time should take about 10 minutes to 15 minutes.

It is also important to remember that you cannot un-cook the crawfish if has already been over-cooked. That said, if you do not know how long your crawfish have been boiling, you should give it another minute before turning the heat off. Undercooked crawfish is way better than an overcooked one. When you overcook crawfish, they tend to fall apart when you are peeling them, and the meat can become mushy. 

5. Soak Your Crawfish Properly and Timely. After boiling your crawfish, you will need to soak them. You should not rush the soaking process, as it can make your crawfish meat turn to mush. The soaking process should be done for at least 20 minutes to an hour. Just make sure that you have cooled your water enough. 

6. Reuse Your Boiled Water Mixture for the Second Batch. Yes, you have the option to reuse the first mixture for another batch of crawfish. If are reusing the boiled water, you can simply add half a bag of your preferred seasoning and follow the same cooking process.

However, you should take note that reusing should only be done once, as doing it three times can result in a salty crawfish.

Making a Simple but Flavorful Crawfish Boil

How long to boilt crawfish ready or not

The first thing that you need to do when boiling crawfish is to prepare all the necessary equipment and ingredients that you will use. Here is the list of ingredients that you should prepare.

  • Aluminum Pot
  • Large cooler
  • Seasoning of your choice
  • Live crawfish, cleaned
  • Ice
  • Corn, cut in halves
  • Potatoes, cleaned but unpeeled
  • Unsalted butter, two sticks

So, let’s get started. Here are the steps in making a simple but flavorful crawfish boil

Sep 1: Fill your pot with water, reaching about halfway of the pot. Then, add two sticks of unsalted butter, 2/3 of your preferred seasoning, and the potatoes. Cover the mixture and wait for it to boil for about 15 minutes.

Sep 2: Once the potatoes have cooked, you can add the corn and wait for another 15 minutes. Once done, remove the corn and potatoes and keep it warm in a separate container.

Sep 4: You can also soak your crawfish after cooking them for about 20 minutes. When soaking your crawfish, you have cooled your water enough to prevent your crawfish from turning to mush.

Sep 5: Once this is done, you can remove the crawfish and serve it with the potatoes and corn. You can sprinkle more spices on the crawfish if you like before serving.

Sep 6: Serve and enjoy!

The Bottom Line

How long to boil crawfish

Cooking crawfish is easy, and the process of boiling is straightforward. However, the trick in making the perfect crawfish boil is knowing how long to boil crawfish.

Ideally, you need to boil the crawfish for about 15 minutes. You should avoid overcooking them, as the crawfish meat can turn to mush.

Jessica Blythe

I am so glad that we are meeting on my cooking blog. I passionately enjoy cooking, If you need anything to do with cooking, then this blog is your perfect home away from home. I will be updating everything about cooking that you might be desperate to know about. I will also be sharing my experience, knowledge and research results with everyone who will be willing to read the content on this site. Read more

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