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How To Do a Wisconsin Fish Boil

Updated on April 4, 2012

This famous (and delicious) custom began more than 100 years ago when lumberjacks from Scandinavia taught the residents of Door County, Wisconsin this unique cooking technique. Over the years it has evolved into a popular activity, and a great way to feed and entertain guests outdoors. Use the recipe below, and learn how to do a Wisconsin Fish Boil in your neck of the woods.


  • 5 lbs of 1" thick halibut steaks
  • 3 lbs of small red potatoes
  • 1 1/2 lbs of peeled baby carrots
  • 1 1/2 lbs of boiling onions (approx. 24)
  • 3/4 cup of salt
  • 1 recipe of Dijon-Butter Sauce (scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe)
  • 3 gallons of water
  • black pepper (optional)

Equipment Needed For a Fish Boil:

  • a turkey fryer with basket and lid


  1. If frozen, thaw the halibut steaks. Rinse the fish, and pat the steaks dry with a paper towel.
  2. Pour the water into the pot of your turkey fryer. Add the salt, and bring to a boil.
  3. Put the potatoes, boiling onions, and carrots into the basket. Lower the basket into the boiling water carefully. Put the lid on your turkey fryer, and cook the vegetables for 16 minutes.
  4. Next, carefully pull up the basket, and add your halibut steaks. Lower the basket back into the boiling water, and cook for an additional 8-12 minutes (until the halibut flakes easily with a fork).
  5. Serve and Enjoy! Serve this delicious Wisconsin Fish Boil with Dijon-Butter Sauce (recipe below), and season it to taste with fresh ground pepper as desired.

Note: When doing a Wisconsin Fish Boil, follow recommendations and safety precautions listed in the manual that came with your turkey fryer.

Dijon-Butter Sauce Recipe


  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh dill

Directions: In a small saucepan whisk together all of the ingredients until the butter is melted and the sauce is combined.



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      Eugene 2 years ago

      This looks interesting. Nice change of pace for the next time I get the whole family together for a cookout. Just ordered the turkey fryer. Looking forward to the fish boil. Thanks for posting the recipe Barkley.

    • Top Rated Recipes profile image

      Top Rated Recipes 5 years ago

      Wow this sounds like so much fun. I don't have a turkey fryer, but after reading all of your turkey fryer recipes I'm gonna have to pick one up soon. I can't wait to do the fish boil, and the pork chops on a stick sound amazing as well.