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The Ultimate Guide to Seafood Boils

Cajun seafood boil with crawfish, potatoes, corn, and sausage

Summer is the perfect season for a seafood boil. The succulent flavors of shrimp, lobster, clams, crabs, potatoes and more come together to create a crave-worthy meal that’s perfect for sharing with family and friends.

If you want to make a cajun seafood boil this summer, we have some tips and tricks that can help.

How to Make a Seafood Boil

A quick online search will show you dozens of seafood boil recipes, all with slight variations. That’s because a seafood boil is completely customizable to your tastes! Many people follow a loose recipe and change up ingredients depending on what’s available or what they’re craving that day.

Seafood Boil Ingredients

While the ingredients of seafood boil are up to you, these are some typical ingredients you will find in this dish:

  • Lobster tails
  • Crab claws
  • Shrimp
  • Clams, mussels, or other shellfish
  • Corn on the cob
  • Potatoes
  • Andouille sausage

You can even use pieces of firm fish in your seafood boil - it’s really up to whatever you’re craving!

Seafood Boil Seasonings

While the seafood is truly the star of a seafood boil, the seasonings are equally important. Many people opt for Old Bay seasonings along with minced garlic and red pepper flakes for some added heat. These cajun flavors really bring the seafood, corn, and potatoes to life.

Then there’s the seafood sauce. This is the good stuff that your seafood will simmer in and you’ll want to sop up like a dipping sauce with a piece of crusty bread once you’re finished devouring your meal. You can find many seafood boil sauce recipes online that use staple ingredients like lemon juice, bay leaves, and garlic butter or you can find a premade seafood sauce in stores.

How to Boil Seafood

When making a seafood boil, it’s important to time things correctly. That’s because different types of seafood all have different cooking times. If you were to put everything into the pot together, you could have a mix of undercooked and overcooked seafood - and no one wants that!

Here is a general rule of thumb when it comes to the order of boiling seafood:

  • First: Lobster, since it takes the longest to cook, 8-12 minutes
  • Next: Clams, Mussels, and any other shellfish since they take upwards of 10 minutes to cook
  • Then: add in Crab next if it’s pre-cooked; if it’s raw add it first because it can take 20 minutes to cook thoroughly
  • Last: Shrimp, which take about 2-3 minutes to cook

Make sure to bring your seafood sauce to a boil before adding in your other ingredients. If you’re using potatoes and corn, you can add the potatoes first to allow them to boil for five minutes before adding the corn, and then add the corn on the cob in after the shellfish.

Of course, cook times can vary depending on if you’re using fresh or frozen seafood and pre-cooked or raw ingredients. When cooking with frozen seafood, it’s best to let it thaw before use to ensure it cooks evenly.

Hungry yet? Get all the seafood you need for a delicious seafood boil delivered directly to your door with North Coast Seafoods. Shop our selection of fresh and frozen seafood online today!