If you always wanted to try making a perfect octopus dish at home, do not hesitate any more. Cooking octopus is easier than you think and there are many ways to incorporate boiled octopus meat into your meal plan:  salads, pasta, you can even make pickled octopus. You even need to know how to boil octopus for grilling. If you want to learn how to cook octopus so that it stays tender, keep reading the article. You will find a detailed guide on how to boil fresh octopus at home.

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How long does it take to boil octopus?

As always, boiling time depends on many factors: size of the octopus you have decided to boil, are you going to boil it whole or cut into pieces, frozen or fresh. Let’s see how long boiling octopus takes depending on the specified conditions:

  • How long do you boil octopus? If you are boiling a large octopus (around 3 kilos) it can take you up to 60-70 minutes to make it tender; medium sized octopus, as a rule, boils in 30-35 minutes.
  • How long do you boil only octopus tentacles? You need to boil tentacles for 7 to 10 minutes after water reboils.
  • How long do you boil baby octopuses? You should cook baby octopuses for about 5-10 minutes until tender.
  • How long do you boil octopus before grilling? You should boil octopus for grilling until it becomes tender: from 30 to 70 minutes depending on the size.
  • How long do you boil baby octopuses before grilling? You put baby octopuses in a boiling water and let them sit for 1-2 minutes.
  • How long do you boil a frozen octopus? You should boil only small-sized frozen octopuses, if you have a medium or large-sized your first priority is to defrost it and then boil it as the fresh one.

Here you have a quick guide to how long time it will take you to cook octopus. If you want to learn how to do it, keep reading the article.

How to boil octopus in a pot on the stove


The key to a successfully boiling octopus is consistently following our recipe.  Let see how you can cook fresh or defrosted octopus in a pot on the stove.

Boiled Octopus Recipe

Ingredients for the recipe: 1 fresh medium octopus, water for boiling, salt to taste. Type: Seafood recipes Cuisine: Italian Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 35 min Ready in 1 h 05 min Calories: 164 kcal Yield: 4 servings

  • If you have a frozen octopus, first thing to do is to defrost it. Use only refrigerator for thawing (be prepared, it can take you up to 24 hours to defrost a large octopus).
  • Now you need to prepare defrosted/fresh octopus for boiling. Halve the head of the octopus, remove the ink sac and innards, cut out the beak and throw them away, then you rinse it thoroughly under running water.
  • Choose a pot according to the size of octopus you have. Fill it with water and put it on the high heat to boil. There should be enough water to cover octopus for 1-2 cm when it is in.
  • Put carefully prepared octopus into boiling water and wait when water reboils. Lower the heat to medium, cover with the lead and cook until octopus is tender. It can take you from 25 to 70 minutes to cook your octopus until tender (depends on the size of the octopus). You can always taste the meat of octopus for tenderness with a fork or a knife.
  • Add salt 5 minutes before you end cooking. If you want to make octopus meat juicier leave it to cool down in the water it was boiling in but first take the hot pot from the stove.

It is always easier to cook octopuses smaller in size as they come out really tender and they are quicker to cook; if you got a large octopus here is a tip for you: use meat tenderizer to make meat of the octopus tender before boiling.

How to boil frozen baby octopuses?


Have you ever tried pasta with boiled baby octopuses or grilled baby octopuses in teriyaki sauce. Well, if you want to make them, then you need to learn how you can cook baby octopuses first. The great thing that this process is simple and easy.  Moreover, you do not need a lot of time to boil them in the pot on a stove.

  • Take a pot with cold water and put it in the stove to boil on the high heat, add salt when water boils.
  • Carefully transfer frozen baby octopuses into boiling water (you do not need to thaw them beforehand). Wait when water boils again, lower the heat down and cover the pot. Wait for 5-10 minutes for octopuses to get tender.
  • You can leave them in the pot to cool down for 15-20 minutes and then use them in your recipes or take them out from boiling water, put into a bowl with cold water, and let them cool down in such a way.

Here is a great recipe how you can cook crayfish at home.

If you have any advice on how you can boil octopus in an easy and quick way, feel free to leave your comments in the section below. If you liked our article, please share with your friends!

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