Gabriel Woods
Published by Gabriel Woods
Last Updated On: August 22, 2022

I’m a huge seafood lover, and I’ve been cooking seafood boil for years. It’s become a staple part of my diet, especially during summertime when I cook it once a week.

I’ve slowly perfected my go-to recipe over the years until I finally found a winning combo. Today, I’ll share my easy seafood boil recipe with all my tips and tricks, so you can try it out next time you feel like eating this impressive meal.

Recipe Overview

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 6

Ingredients

Close up shot of cooked shrimp
  • 2 lemons
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 12 oz light beer
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 lobster tails
  • 1 oz clams
  • 1 oz crab legs, pre-cooked
  • 1 oz shrimp, peeled
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley for garnish
  • 14 oz smoked sausage
  • 1/4 cup old bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • 1 oz potatoes (best Yukon gold)
  • 4 ears of corn on the cob, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons butte1 oz smoked sausage

Instructions

  1. Thaw king crab legs, shrimp, and lobster tails if frozen. You can thaw in the fridge for about 36 hours. 
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat and add the sausage. Cook until sausage turns brown on all sides.
  3. Cut two lemons into quarters and slice the rest of the lemons into wedges and leave aside for garnish.
  4. Fill a pot with about 16 cups of water. Put the quartered lemons in the water with Old Bay seasoning, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and beer, and bring to a boil.
  5. Put the potatoes in the pot and cook for 8 minutes.
  6. Add lobster tails and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the rest of the seafood (crab and clams) and corn and cook for five more minutes.
  8. Add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.
  9. Drain the seafood from the pot. Leave one cup of the liquid for the broth.
  10. Melt the butter and whisk. Add to the broth cup and pour over the seafood.
  11. Garnish the seafood with salt, pepper, parsley, and lemon wedges, and serve.

Recipe Notes

A person reading recipe notes in a kitchen

Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind when cooking this dish:

  • You can replace salted butter with unsalted and a teaspoon of salt.
  • You can switch up the seafood and use mussels, clams, crabs, and more. Keep in mind that some seafood is less tender than others, so you’ll have to boil it for longer.
  • You can make the boil ahead of time. Prep the seafood and veggies and keep them in the fridge until it’s ready to boil.
  • You can use cajun seasoning if you want to make a spicy boil.
  • You can use frozen seafood. Add it at the end of the cooking time, same as with raw.
  • Seafood leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You can serve the dish in newspapers. Place the seafood boils on top and serve with garlic butter sauce or hot sauce.
  • Use fresh corn on the cob for the best flavor. White, yellow, or bi-color are all fine.
  • You can use red potatoes instead of Yukon gold.
  • Use Andouille sausage if you want some spice.
  • Use chicken broth or seasoned broth instead of water and beer.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 480 kcal
  • Total Carbs: 5g
  • Protein: 45g
  • Fat: 23g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Net Carbs: 22g

How Long to Boil Seafood?

Water being boiled on a black pot

You need to boil seafood at different rates, usually between 2 to 20 minutes, depending on whether you’re cooking lobster, crabs, clams, or shrimp. Here’s how long to cook each kind of seafood for a regular or cajun seafood boil:

  • Lobster — 8 to 12 minutes
  • Crabs — 6 to 8 minutes, or 20 minutes for fresh crab
  • Crab legs — 3 to 5 minutes
  • Clams — 5 to 10 minutes
  • Shrimp — 2 to 3 minutes

Overall, seafood is cooked when it reaches 145 degrees [1].

Note: Other food in the boil takes a different amount of time to cook. The sausage takes about 2 minutes to turn brown. Keep in mind that potatoes need to be cooked longer, while shrimp cooks very fast, so cook separately if needed.

What to Serve With Seafood Boil?

You can serve seafood boil with bread, salad, or veggies. Here’s how:

  • Bread — Garlic bread pairs especially well with the recipe. You can also serve with toasted bread with butter or sourdough bread.
  • Salad — Make a green salad, coleslaw, or potato salad.
  • Veggies — Especially green ones, such as zucchini, asparagus, or green beans. You can roast broccoli and asparagus.

Always serve with fresh lemon juice or lemon wedgies. You can also use cajun seasoning if you want to make the dish spicy, or just use Old Bay butter sauce.

FAQs

What Is Seafood Boil Sauce Made Of?

Seafood boil sauce is made of chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water.

What Supplies Do I Need for a Seafood Boil?

Supplies you need for a seafood boil include a large stock pot and stock pot basket. You can buy a steamer kit containing a stock pot, basket, and other accessories.

Enjoy Your Seafood Boil Recipe

Follow the steps I’ve outlined above to make a delicious seafood boil. Always make sure to use fresh veggies. In case you can only find pre-cooked seafood, make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Be careful with how long you cook your seafood, especially shrimp, as overcooked shrimp is the biggest mistake people make.

If you’re looking for fresh, high-quality seafood, my honest recommendation is ButcherBox. Having tested their delivery boxes for months, I can say that they offer a wide range of sustainably harvested seafood, so you can get various seafood for your boil and rest easy knowing it was caught responsibly.


References:

1. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation

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