How to do a Seafood Boil at Home
If you are craving heat, cooking up a Louisiana-style seafood boil will make you feel like you’re in New Orleans! A seafood boil is a quick and easy meal that’s packed with flavor. Shellfish, sausage, potatoes, and sweet corn are boiled together then tossed in a spicy butter mixture for the perfect Cajun meal.
Tips for Making Seafood Boil
You can substitute any of shellfish in this recipe for another. While this recipe calls for lobster tails, crawfish are used in traditional New Orleans seafood boils. We prefer New England’s Maine lobster.
To prevent your shrimp from overcooking, it’s best to use jumbo shrimp (16-20 count). Using these plump, large shrimp will also make your seafood boil more authentic. Fresh sweet corn tastes especially delicious with the buttery Cajun seasoning. You can choose to use any type of corn or potatoes that you prefer. The best sausage for a seafood boil is either Kielbasa or Andouille sausage. (Andouille tends to have more heat.)
Remember that seafood cooks quickly! To prevent your shellfish from overcooking, be sure to stay in the kitchen and keep an eye on the pot. Once the shrimp curl up into a C-shape, they are done.
After you’ve cooked the clams, be sure to throw out any that haven’t opened. (If you substitute mussels for clams, follow these same instructions to prevent foodborne illness.)
Louisiana Seafood Boil
- 2 lemons divided use
- 1 pound small Yukon gold potatoes halved
- 4 ears corn on the cob, cut into 3-4 inch pieces
- 3 lobster tails
- 1 pound clams scrubbed
- 1 pound crab legs
- 1 pound smoked sausage cut into 1 inch pieces (kielbasa or andouille)
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined (leave tails on)
- ½ c unsalted butter
- 2 heads garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
- Seasoning Ingredients
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 4 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Cut 1 lemon into quarters. Then cut the other into smaller wedges and reserve them for garnish.
Fill a large stockpot half way full of water (about 14-16 cups). Bring the water to a boil. Then add in the lemon wedges and potatoes. Cook for 8 minutes.
While the water is boiling, place the butter in a skillet. Melt over medium heat. Then stir in the minced garlic. Sauté for 1 minute (do not brown it). Then stir in the Louisiana hot sauce and seafood boil seasoning. Once all the seasonings are mixed in well, turn off the heat and set aside.
Add the shellfish, corn, and sausage to the stockpot gradually based on cook time. The lobster tail should go in first since it needs to cook for 8 to 12 minutes. Once it’s been in the water for 3 minutes, add the clams, crab, and corn which all need to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the shrimp and sausage in last when you just have 2 to 3 minutes to go.
Once the seafood is cooked, remove the pot from the heat and drain the water. Then toss the seafood mixture in the spicy butter. Serve immediately. (Seafood tastes best when it’s fresh.)
This delicious seafood meal is so filling, you don’t even need a side dish! If you are craving a side dish, a light green salad or coleslaw pair well with it along with a slice of cornbread.
Stop by City Fish Market to pick up fresh shellfish for your seafood boil! We have the best selection of live Maine Lobsters and domestic shellfish at our seafood counter in Wethersfield, CT.
Let us know in the comments how your seafood boil turned out!