We lived all over the country and have purchased 13 different homes from coast to coast. However, we spent several years in Wisconsin living near Madison and Green Bay. Just North of Green Bay is a place called Door County. It’s a great place for a getaway and loaded with retreats. There is where we learned to do crab boils the right way. I adopted the recipes and adjusted them to include other seafood.
Since moving to Kentucky we have done several seafood boils. Kentucky folks who have never had a seafood boil seem to get a big kick out of the process and flavor, and amazingly I just discovered a hole in my large pot I have had for many years. Time to go shopping.
You can of course do this on your stove with a large pot but if you are having 8 or more people you’ll need a larger boiling pot and outdoor propane burner to accommodate all the ingredients, and of course the crab legs. There are many available, with burners and baskets that are inserted in the pot for easy removal of the boiled food, available online or at sporting goods stores which specialize in outdoor cooking, smoking, etc.
This may look like a hard recipe to deal with. In truth it’s one of the easiest “one pot” full meal recipes you can imagine, and if you ever want to have a big group of say 25 people, you’ll be happy you decided to do a crab boil and double this recipe with a 75 quart or larger pot! You can of course substitute or use other seafood. Lobster tails, clams, mussels, etc., are all great add ins.
We suggest a minimum 30 quart pot for this listed recipe and here is our recipe for a special outdoor dining experience with some delicious seafood. In truth, I love the flavor of the sausage, corn, onions and potatoes when cooked this way, as much as the seafood.
3/4 Cup Old Bay Seasoning per Every 6 quarts of Water
1 Crab Boil Bag
5 Pounds Small Red New Potatoes
3 (16 ounce) Packages Smoked Andouille Sausage Cut into 1 Inch Pieces (Yes use Andouille! It add a zip to the water and other ingredients.)
8 Cleaned Ears of Fresh Corn
1 Stick Butter
5 Pounds Crab Legs
4 Pounds “Raw” Peeled and Deveined Shrimp
3 Lemons Cut in Half
5 Yellow Onions Quartered
8 Fresh Uncut Garlic Cloves
A Large Table Covered with Newspapers
- Defrost any frozen seafood such as crab legs or shrimp.
- Cover a large table outside with a few layers of newspaper.
- If desired, prepare bowls of drawn butter, cocktail sauce or ketchup. (It’s not necessary because the seafood is well seasoned by the crab boil bag, Old Bay and the butter contained in the cooking water.)
- Cut the sausage, onions, lemons.
- Prepare the garlic cloves and corn, which I always break in half since it’s easier to eat that way.
- Fill the pot only to 50% of capacity with water.
- Heat the pot of water to a boiling point.
- Add the Old Bay and the crab boil bag.
- Then add the lemons, garlic, and onions.
- Bring back to a boil.
- Add potatoes and sausage.
- Cook covered for 10 minutes.
- Add the corn and crab and the stick of butter. All items do not have to be in the boiling water because they will steam.
- Cook covered for another 14 minutes.
- Add the shrimp. (Lobster tails, clams or mussels can also be added at this time.)
- Cook covered for another 4 to 6 minutes, or just until the shrimp turn pink. The shrimp often just lay on top of the other ingredients and steam. Check them often so the shrimp are just done and never over cooked. (If you added other seafood items mentioned, a 4 ounce lobster tail takes about 5 minutes, clams should open in 4 -9 minutes, and mussels should open in about 3 minutes. Throw away any unopened clams or mussels.)
- If all items are in an inserted metal basket, carefully lift out the basket “and use two people to do this” and not get burned by the hot water. Then empty basket contents carefully on the newspapers, which are there to soak up any liquid.
- Lay tongs on the table, grab your plates and favorite beer, and attack! Haha.