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How to Cook Crawfish / crawdads

Updated on September 27, 2012

Crawdads (or crayfish/crawfish) are great for eating and taste great if you know how to cook them properly. When I was a little girl my parents would always have these huge crawfish boils every year. They would invite a bunch of their friends over and have a good time.

The crawdads were very spicy but they were so good. It’s been years since my parents have been together, and there hasn’t been a crawdad boil since. However, I hope one day I’ll be able to have one again with my parents.

Things you'll need before you start cooking

You'll need these to cook with:
Needed ingredients:
More foods:
A large boiling pot and basket strainer to go inside
1 bottle of shrimp/crab boil
Garlic, potatoes, Corn
Outdoor propane cooker
3 ounces of cayenne pepper
Mushrooms, salt
Large Tub and a stirring tool
1 bottle of your favorte hot sauce
onions cut in half
The above ingredients are what are normally used for a 30 - 35 pound sack of crawdads. Also, alot of people cook crawdads in different ways. You can always use more or less of the ingredients above, and can add something that I haven't mentioned. It

Cleaning them up …

You might hear people say that you should pour salt on the crawdads to make them regurgitate any mud or anything like that, but this will do you no good. Some people just put the crawfish in an aerated water bath and leave them in it overnight, or for 24 hours.

After doing that you can put all of the crawdads in a strainer basket and then put the basket inside the pot and rinse them off to get any remaining dirt off of their bodies.


Starting the boil…

-Fill the large pot about half way full of fresh water, place on the outdoor propane cooker, and start the fire. Place the lid on top and wait until boiling. This is where you would start adding things like your bottle of shrimp and crab boil. Let the water soak up the boil for a little bit.

-Drop in any onions, potatoes, or garlic you might be using into the pot now and let it sit for a bit. Keep an eye on the potatoes, when they are nearly done (not too done, because remember they will be cooked alittle longer) add any corn or mushrooms. We never used mushrooms but we did use some corn.

-Once the vegetables are fully cooked, take them out with the strainer and place them in the clean tub.

-Place any remaining spice you might have into the water and continue to boil it. You’ll then place the crawdads inside the basket, and then the basket back inside the pot while the water is still boiling. After putting them inside the basket, wait for the water to return to a rolling boil, when this happens set a timer for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes are up, cut the heat. Let the crawfish soak for a little while before removing.

-You can then pour the crawfish into the chest and pour more seasoning on it (if you have any remaining) and mix well. You may want to lay the crawdads out across the table, on top of newspapers or plastic trays, or you can leave them inside the chest. We leave them inside the chest.

Note: This recipe may differ than that of what other people do. There are many ways to cook crawdads and you may like one way more than another, but this is the way that my parents would cook it, and the way I’m used to it being made.

Eating the crawfish….

Now that you’ve cooked the crawdads, you’ve got to eat them. If you’ve never had them before you might be curious how you actually eat them.

It’s really simple actually, you start by grabbing a hold of the head and the tail, and with a twist you snap off the tail from the body. You’ll then need to peel the shell off, if you’ve ever peeled a shrimp you’ll know what I’m talking about, it’s a lot like that. You just pull the meat out and eat it!

Some people don’t do this, because they think its gross, but you can drink the juices that are inside the body of the crawdad. If the pinchers are big enough, they will also have juice inside that you can drink. It’s very spicy and very delicious.

Music is kinda creepy, but this at least explains how to eat crawdads, visually.


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    • CZCZCZ profile image


      6 years ago from Oregon

      mmm tasty looks great!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Missa, A crawdad boil is so much fun! My father grew up in Florida, traveled widely throughout the Southern States, and visited Arkansas quite a bit. Your recipe is similar to what he liked, but he always added both corn and mushrooms!

      Do you know about the recipe capsule? While you're writing and before the hub is released, there's a list of capsules -- such as map and quiz -- on the upper right side of the page. The advantage to using the cooking capsule is that it organizes your information and permits readers to give you stars -- and I'd give you every single one of the maximum five.

      Respectfully, and with a big welcome to HubPages and with many thanks for a delicious recipe which calls up childhood memories, Derdriu

    • missa72542 profile imageAUTHOR

      Melissa White 

      6 years ago from Arkansas

      haha. I just wish I was a little more experienced on cooking them and could provide my readers with more of a variety on how to cook them. But I just know the way my parents cooked them, lol.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well now all I have to do is find crawfish in Washington state...and you are right, the music on that video is creepy. LOL Great hub !


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