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The Ultimate Seafood Boil Recipe

Dive into our mouthwatering seafood boil recipe. Perfect for gatherings and casual get-togethers, this seafood feast that will have everyone coming back for seconds!

Seafood lovers! Brace yourself for a feast like no other! Our ultimate seafood boil recipe transforms your dining table into a seafood lover’s paradise. 

The key to a remarkable seafood boil lies in the selection of fresh ingredients. From tender shrimp and tender crab legs to fresh corn on the cob and hearty potatoes, our shrimp boil recipe brings together a medley of flavors that will transport you straight to the coast. 

Seafood boils are known for their vibrant flavors, hands-on dining experience, and the sense of celebration they bring to a meal.  

Gather your favorite people and get ready for a seafood boil that will bring you closer than ever before. There’s something magical about the way a seafood boil brings everyone together, creating an atmosphere of warmth, laughter, and togetherness.  

Whether enjoyed at home at a backyard party, at a beach picnic, or at a festive gathering, a seafood boil is a delicious way to indulge in the flavors of the sea and create memorable dining experiences with friends and family.

What is a Steamed Seafood Boil?

A seafood boil involves cooking a variety of seafood, such as shrimp, snow crab legs, crawfish, mussels, clams, and sometimes even vegetables, in a flavorful broth or seasoned water. It is a popular cooking style in coastal regions and is often associated with gatherings, parties, and outdoor feasts.

To create a seafood boil, a large stockpot is filled with water that is typically seasoned with a blend of spices, herbs, and aromatics, such as Old Bay seasoning, Cajun spices, garlic, lemon, and onions, to infuse the seafood with rich flavors.

The ingredients are typically layered based on their cooking times, with heartier items like potatoes and corn added first, followed by shellfish, and finally more delicate seafood like shrimp added towards the end to avoid overcooking.

Once the seafood and ingredients are cooked, they are usually drained and then transferred to a large serving platter or directly onto a table covered with newspaper or butcher paper. The communal dining style allows everyone to gather around, crack shells, peel shrimp, and enjoy the seafood together.

How to Make a Steamed Seafood Boil

Ingredients

  • 1 lb kielbasa, sliced
  • 2 chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 cup old bay seasoning
  • 3 lbs baby red potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 1 1/2-2 lb whole live lobsters
  • 3 dozen little neck clams
  • 6 ears of corn, halved
  • 2 dozen fresh raw shrimp, cleaned

Ingredients

Fill a large stock pot with water and dry white wine. Bring it to a rolling boil.

Add the Old Bay seasoning or your preferred seafood seasoning to the boiling water. Adjust the amount based on your taste preferences and the spiciness level desired.

Toss in the garlic cloves, lemon wedges, and any additional spices you want to incorporate for added flavor.

Add the baby potatoes and cover pot.

Cook them for about 10 minutes until they are just tender.

Add the corn on the cob and sausages to the pot. Cook for another 5 minutes until the corn is cooked through and the sausages are heated.

Gently place the seafood (shrimp, crab legs, crawfish, mussels, etc.) into the pot. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot, and cook each type of seafood separately if needed.

Cook the seafood until it is fully cooked through. The cooking times may vary depending on the type and size of the seafood, so keep a close eye on it. Generally, shrimp will cook in about 2-3 minutes, crab legs in 5-6 minutes, and crawfish in 10-12 minutes.

Once the seafood is cooked, carefully remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a large serving platter or serve your steamed seafood family-style in the center of the table covered with newspaper or butcher paper for easy cleanup. 

Melt some butter in a small saucepan or microwave and serve it alongside the seafood boil as a dipping sauce.

Serve the seafood boil with the boiled potatoes, corn on the cob, sausages, and additional lemon halves for squeezing over the seafood.

steamed seafood boil recipe

Seafood Boil Side Dishes

When hosting a seafood boil, it’s always great to have some delicious side dishes to complement the seafood feast. Here are a few ideas for side dishes that pair well with a seafood boil to make a complete meal. 

steamed seafood boil recipe

Helpful Tips and Tricks for a Seafood Steam Pot

  • Opt for the freshest seafood available to ensure optimal flavor and quality. Visit a reputable seafood market or fishmonger to source your ingredients.
  • Seasoning is Key. Use a combination of spices, herbs, and aromatics to season the boiling liquid. Popular choices include Old Bay seasoning, Cajun or creole seasoning,  garlic, lemon, onions, and bay leaves. Adjust the seasoning to your taste preferences and desired spiciness level.
  • Keep a close eye on the cooking times for each type of seafood to avoid overcooking. Different seafood items require varying times to cook through properly. Remove them from the boiling liquid as soon as they are cooked to preserve their texture and flavor.
  • Check the doneness of shellfish, such as clams or mussels, by ensuring they have opened fully during cooking. Discard any that remain closed after cooking.
  • Enhance the flavors and variety by adding vegetables like corn on the cob, halved onions, halved lemons, or halved garlic bulbs to the boil. They’ll absorb the seasoning and contribute to the overall taste.
  • Provide a selection of dipping sauces like melted butter, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, or aioli to complement the seafood. This allows guests to personalize their flavor experience.
  • Ensure you have a large enough pot or seafood boil bag to accommodate all the ingredients comfortably. A strainer or slotted spoon will come in handy for removing cooked seafood from the boiling liquid.

Seafood Boil FAQ’s 

What is the Best Sausage for a Seafood Boil?

For a seafood boil, I would recommend using a spicy sausage that is flavorful. A good option would be andouille sausage or chorizo. Both of these sausages are packed with flavor and will add spice to your seafood boil. You can also try chicken sausage or chicken andouille sausage.

What types of seafood can I use in a seafood boil?

You can use a variety of seafood in a seafood boil, such as shrimp, king crab legs, crawfish, mussels, clams, and even lobster tails. Feel free to mix and match based on your preferences and availability.

How long should I boil the seafood?

The cooking time will vary depending on the type and size of the seafood. Generally, shrimp cooks in 2-3 minutes, crab legs in 5-6 minutes, crawfish in 10-12 minutes, and clams/mussels in 5-7 minutes. It’s important to cook the seafood until it is fully cooked through, but be careful not to overcook, as it can result in rubbery texture.

What seasonings can I use for the boil?

Popular seasonings for a seafood boil include Old Bay seasoning, Cajun spices, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. However, feel free to experiment with your favorite spices and herbs to create a unique flavor profile.

How do I serve a seafood boil?

A: Seafood boils are often served family-style on a big table covered with newspaper or butcher paper. Once the seafood and ingredients are cooked, they can be poured onto the table or transferred to a large serving platter. Encourage guests to get hands-on, crack shells, and peel shrimp as they enjoy the feast.

Can I make a seafood boil ahead of time?

While it’s best to enjoy a seafood boil immediately after cooking to savor the freshness and flavors, you can pre-cook some ingredients like potatoes and corn and then add them to the boil to reheat just before serving. However, seafood is best cooked and served fresh for optimal taste and texture.

How long to steam seafood?

The time it takes to steam seafood can vary depending on the type and size of the seafood being cooked. Here are some general guidelines:
Shrimp: Small shrimp typically take 3-4 minutes to steam, while larger shrimp may take 5-7 minutes.
Mussels: Steam mussels for about 5-7 minutes, or until their shells open. Discard any mussels that do not open during cooking.
Clams: Clams generally take 7-10 minutes to steam until their shells open. Like mussels, discard any clams that do not open.
Lobster: Steam lobster for about 10-12 minutes per pound. The shells will turn bright red, and the meat should be opaque and firm when done.
Crab Legs: Steam crab legs for 6-8 minutes, or until heated through.

It’s essential to monitor the seafood closely while steaming to avoid overcooking, as seafood can become tough and rubbery if cooked for too long. Additionally, always ensure that seafood reaches a safe internal temperature before consuming.

What size pot do you need for a seafood boil?

The size of the pot you need for a seafood boil depends on the quantity of seafood you plan to cook. Here are some general guidelines:
Small Gatherings: For cooking seafood for 2-4 people, a pot with a capacity of 8-12 quarts should be sufficient.
Medium Gatherings: If cooking for 6-8 people, opt for a pot with a capacity of 16-20 quarts.
Large Gatherings: For larger gatherings of 10 or more people, you’ll need a pot with a capacity of 24 quarts or more.

It’s essential to choose a pot that provides enough room for the seafood to cook evenly without overcrowding. Overcrowding the pot can lead to uneven cooking and may result in seafood that is undercooked or overcooked. Additionally, ensure that the pot is large enough to accommodate any additional ingredients such as vegetables, seasonings, and liquids used in the boil.

Seafood Boil Recipe

Seafood Boil Recipe

Yield: 8
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Dive into our mouthwatering seafood boil recipe. Perfect for gatherings and casual get-togethers, this seafood feast that will have everyone coming back for seconds!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb kielbasa, sliced
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 qts ice water
  • 1 cup old bay
  • 3 lbs red bliss potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 1 1/2-2 lb whole live lobsters
  • 3 dozen little neck clams
  • 6 ears corn, halved
  • 2 dozen shrimp, cleaned

Instructions

      Fill a large stock pot with water and dry white wine. Bring it to a rolling boil.

      Add the Old Bay seasoning or your preferred seafood seasoning to the boiling water. Adjust the amount based on your taste preferences and the spiciness level desired.

      Toss in the garlic cloves, lemon wedges, and any additional spices you want to incorporate for added flavor.

      Add the baby potatoes and cover pot.

      Cook them for about 10 minutes until they are just tender.

      Add the corn on the cob and sausages to the pot. Cook for another 5 minutes until the corn is cooked through and the sausages are heated.

      Gently place the seafood (shrimp, crab legs, crawfish, mussels, etc.) into the pot. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot, and cook each type of seafood separately if needed.

      Cook the seafood until it is fully cooked through. The cooking times may vary depending on the type and size of the seafood, so keep a close eye on it. Generally, shrimp will cook in about 2-3 minutes, crab legs in 5-6 minutes, and crawfish in 10-12 minutes.

      Once the seafood is cooked, carefully remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a large serving platter or serve your steamed seafood family-style in the center of the table covered with newspaper or butcher paper for easy cleanup. 

      Melt some butter in a small saucepan or microwave and serve it alongside the seafood boil as a dipping sauce.

      Serve the seafood boil with the boiled potatoes, corn on the cob, sausages, and additional lemon halves for squeezing over the seafood.

Notes

  • The bigger the shrimp the better. Shrimp shrink as they cook, so I smaller shrimp wouldn't work here. 
  • You can use red or yellow potatoes, or a mix! 
  • No Kielbasa? Use Bratwurst instead. 
  • Definitely use fresh corn, it's worth it! 
  • Since this is a fresh seafood dish, leftovers or making this steamed seafood boil ahead of time doesn't really work to well. 
  • Serve your steamed seafood boil with lemon wedges and butter.
  • I also love having some bread or cheddar biscuits on the side to soak up all of the delicious juices from the boil. 

Did you make this recipe?

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Patricia Witt

Sunday 12th of September 2021

I've got all of my ingredients and I'm ready to get this going.

Al Summers

Wednesday 21st of July 2021

Does the kielbasa and onions stay in the bottom under the steamer or do they get put in with the rest?

momma lew

Thursday 22nd of July 2021

They get put in and mixed with everything else.

LOLO

Saturday 22nd of August 2020

This is a simple and perfect for summer fun eating! Will be steam boiling this today! Thank you Mamma Lew!

June S.

Sunday 19th of October 2014

(Steamed Seafood Boil) Oh, my I don't know how I missed this. I could eat seafood all the time, I really like eating any type of broiled fish-

Carol L

Saturday 11th of October 2014

OMG ! I love seafood all year long. Thanks for sharing this recipe. My daughter is going to love this. Definitely going to try it out. Carol L

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