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How to Prepare Live Crawfish

author image Sandra Ketcham
I currently work full-time as a freelance author, both for print and web publications. I am comfortable writing about any topic, and guarantee clear, concise, 100% original content.
How to Prepare Live Crawfish
Close up of live crawfish being prepared for cooking.

Crawfish are considered a delicacy in Louisiana and are popular at family reunions, outdoor barbecues and other social events all over the country. They are more tender than lobster and are highly nutritious. Crawfish are high in calcium, iron, phosphorous, protein and several B vitamins, according to a web page on the University of Minnesota website. Although you can cook crawfish in a variety of ways, the most common method is boiling them with vegetables and potatoes.

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Step 1

Store the live crawfish in cool location, such as a ventilated garage or outside in the shade. Do not remove the crawfish from their storage sack.

Step 2

Purge the crawfish in saltwater just before boiling them. To do this, empty your sack of crawfish into a large plastic or metal bucket and cover them with box salt. Run enough clean water into the bucket to completely submerge the crawfish. Stir the saltwater and crawfish mix for about three minutes with a paddle or large spoon.

Step 3

Remove any floating crawfish from the bucket after three minutes. These crawfish are dead and must be thrown out. Do not add the dead crawfish to your boil.

Step 4

Drain the bucket to enable to crawfish to breathe until you are ready to place them into the boiling water.

Step 5

Fill a 60-gallon metal pot halfway with water and put it over high heat. Season the water with lemon, garlic, pepper or other herbs. Cover the pot and let the water come to a rolling boil.

Step 6

Toss vegetables, such as onions, potatoes or mushrooms, into a wire basket and lower them into your pot. Cook until nearly tender.

Step 7

Add the desired amount of live crawfish to the wire basket, return the water to a rolling boil and boil for about 10 minutes.

Step 8

Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the crawfish continue to cook in the pot for another 15 minutes.

Step 9

Remove the wire basket from the pot and allow the crawfish to drain before serving.

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