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Cajun Crab Boil

When crabs are in season, gather some friends and host a boil with this go-to recipe.

Cooking/Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Serves 6

Crab, Entree

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  • 4 quarts water
  • 2 Tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • Crab Boil, recipe follows (see note)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 dried chile peppers
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 12 fresh crabs
  • 3 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 4 ears corn, shucked and cut into thirds
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 (10 lb.) bag ice
  • Crab Boil
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. dill sprigs
  • 2 Tbsp. whole allspice
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper


1.) In a very large stockpot, bring 4 quarts water, vinegar, Crab Boil, bay leaves, chiles, thyme, garlic, salt, and lemons to a rolling boil over high heat. Add crabs, potatoes, corn, and onions. Return mixture to a rolling boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn heat off, and cover pot for 15 to 20 minutes.

2.) Pour ice into pot. (This helps the crabs absorb the seasonings and prevents them from overcooking.) Let crabs stand in water for at least 1 hour before serving. Crabs can be served warm or completely cooled.

Crab Boil

Makes 1 Satchet

1.) In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. On a large square of cheesecloth or muslin, pile mixture in the center. Bring cloth up and around mixture; secure with kitchen twine like a sachet.


Instead of homemade Crab Boil, you can substitute 1 (3-oz.) package crab boil in a bag, such as Zatarain’s.