This classic Lowcountry shrimp boil recipe is an easy way to prepare fresh shrimp and crawfish. It’s also a great way to feed a crowd. This mouthwatering one-pot meal is ready in less than 30 minutes!
Lowcountry Boil has long been a tradition in the southern United States and is much akin to the shrimp boils, crab boils, and clam boils of the North East and the Cajun crawfish boils of Louisiana.
This seafood boil is most often a combination of fresh local shrimp, spicy andouille sausage, fresh shucked sweet corn, and red-skinned potatoes. It is very easy to prepare for a crowd and can be served on newspaper for easy cleanup.
Crawfish, crab, onion, and lemon are frequent additions to the pot – though not as traditional. The rule of thumb here is the bigger the crowd, the bigger the pot – so with the unofficial start of summer coming this weekend on Memorial Day (US holiday), I wanted to share with you how we kick off the summer here in the Lowcountry.
If you come to Charleston and you might also see this dish called Frogmore Stew, this name is a misnomer as there are no frogs contained in this simple summer dish; nor is it a stew. It’s sometimes also called Beaufort Stew or Beaufort Boil just to keep visitors guessing.
The history behind the alternate names for Lowcountry Boil is disputed and debated amongst the locals. While they discuss- allow me to help myself to a heaping plate. Yum!
Boiling crab has many variations and can be made with the addition of beer in the broth – everyone seems to have their own special spin on this classic Lowcountry meal.
One thing for certain though – no matter how you cook it, with or without beer, with or without crab and crawfish – there won’t be any left! It’s the perfect summer feast that all your guests will enjoy.
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- 1- gallon water
- ½ cup Old Bay seasoning , plus additional for serving [See Note 1]
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves , roughly chopped [See Note 2]
- 1 lemon , cut in half
- 3 pounds baby red potatoes
- 2 pounds mild or hot smoked sausage , cut into 2-inch pieces
- 6 ears fresh corn , cut in half
- 2 pounds unpeeled , medium-size raw shrimp
- 2 pounds fresh crawfish
- Cocktail sauce [See Note 3]
- hot sauce , your favorite, [See Note 4]
- extra lemon wedges
- Bring water, beer, Old Bay, garlic, lemons, bay leaves, ½ tablespoon kosher salt, and garlic to a boil in large stockpot over high heat.
- If necessary, skim foam from top and then add potatoes, cover and cook 10 minutes.
- Add smoked sausage and continue to boil for another 4 minutes.
- Add the shucked corn pieces and boil for 7 more minutes, before adding the shrimp and crawfish.
- Cook shrimp until they just turn pink and begin to curl, about 2-3 minutes.
- Immediately drain cooking liquid and discard lemons and bay leaves. Pour contents of pot into large serving bowl, platter, or on top of a paper-covered table. [See Note 5]
- Sprinkle with additional Old Bay, if desired, and serve with prepared cocktail sauce, Tabasco and plenty of napkins.
- Crab & Shrimp Boiling seasoning may be substituted for the Old Bay seasoning. The other thing to note is that Old Bay is made by McCormick, and McCormick clearly lists gluten. Old Bay Seasoning is gluten-free.
- Prepared chopped or minced garlic (2 tbsp) may be substituted for the whole garlic.
- Cocktail sauce made the traditional way (ketchup, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice) would be gluten-free. The one thing to double-check is the Worcestershire sauce – the biggest brand out there is Lee & Perrins, which does not contain gluten, but generic sauces may so take a moment to read that label!
- Not all hot sauce is gluten-free, be sure to select a gluten Free variety if you are on a gluten-free diet.
- You can dump everything on some newspaper spread over a tabletop or serve it out of an ice chest (without the ice). Food stays hot in the ice chest for longer serving times.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy, and is sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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