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First: Purging Crawfish:

One thing to remember is they call crawfish mud-bugs. The cardinal rule is to purge and thoroughly wash the crawfish before boiling them. Pour the sack of live crawfish in a plastic children’s pool, large tub, or a large ice chest. Pour one (1) 26-ounce box salt over the top of the crawfish. Add water to just cover the crawfish. Gently stir with a large paddle to mix the salt and the water. Stir for 3 minutes, then rinse crawfish. NOTE: some people skip adding salt. 

Be careful not to let them purge too long. You do not want them to be dead when you add them to the boil. Throw away all crawfish that have already died (the dead crawfish should float to the top). You do not, I repeat, DO NOT want to add dead crawfish to the pot.

After purging and cleaning, do not leave the crawfish covered with water, as they need air to stay alive. Keep the crawfish in a cool or shaded area until you’re ready to start cooking.


Original recipe makes 10 servingsChange Servings
  • 2 heads garlic, unpeeled
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 (3 ounce) packages dry crab boil
  • 1 tablespoon liquid shrimp and crab boil seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large oranges, halved
  • 3 large lemons, halved
  • 2 large whole artichokes
  • 15 red potatoes, washed
  • 30 pieces baby corn
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 (16 ounce) packagesmushrooms, cleaned
  • 1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 (16 ounce) packagessmoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 4 pounds live crawfish, rinsed
  • Smoke Sausage
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  1. Fit a large (5 gallon) pot with a strainer insert, and fill half full with water. Add the garlic, bay leaves, dry and liquid crab boil seasonings, salt, pepper, oranges, lemons, artichokes, and potatoes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the corn, onions, mushrooms, and green beans; cook 15 minutes more. Stir in the sausage; cook 5 minutes more. Add the crawfish, return mixture to boil, then simmer until the crawfish shells turn bright red and the tails pull out easily, about 5 minutes. Test for doneness by peeling a crawfish. Be sure not to overcook, or crawfish will become tough.
  2. Remove strainer basket from the pot and drain. Serve crawfish hot, Louisiana-style, spread over a picnic table covered with newspapers.

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