Boiled crayfish is a delicious treat that is easy to do at home, as the process of cooking is not so difficult at all. Learn how to cook crayfish at home. In the article, I will describe in detail one of the most popular and simple ways in which you can cook fresh crayfish.

If you want to learn How to cook octopus, follow this link.

How long do you cook crawfish?

Boiling crayfish is not a time-consuming process, as it will take you so little time to make such an appetizing dish. Moreover boiling time for crayfish of different sizes stays approximately the same:

  • How long to boil crayfish? The first thing to remember is that you toss crayfish into boiling water. You need to boil crayfish for 10-15 minutes after water returns to boil in a pot (most evident sign – crayfish shells’ color will turn red).
  • How long to boil frozen crawfish? As a rule, frozen crawfish are sold already precooked. That is why it is so much easier to boil them from frozen.  Add frozen crayfish to boiling water on the stove and cook them for several minutes (up to 5 minutes will be enough).

Now, let us see how you prepare crayfish step-by-step to make them juicy, tasty, and flavored.

The best crayfish are the fresh crayfish, if you use frozen ones for the recipe they will turn out a little bit dried out.

How do you boil fresh crawfish on the stove?

Classic crayfish boil recipe


The most important step is the way you clean your crawfish. You need to wash and rinse them thoroughly several times. If you have heavily dirty ones, you should clean them with a brush to take off all the seagrass and sand. You do not need to “purge” crayfish with salt beforehand. It will not help you to clean their veins. The step can only kill not-so-strong and small individuals of crayfish.

Classic crayfish boil recipe

Learn how to make the easiest crayfish boil - a simple recipe with pretty common ingredients!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Dish, Seafood recipe
Cuisine: International
Keyword: crawfish boil seasoning ingredients, easy crawfish boil, homemade crawfish boil, how long to boil crawfish, how to boil crayfish, how to cook crawfish on the stove, simple crawfish recipes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 97kcal


  • 10 medium crawfish
  • 1 l water for boiling
  • salt (1 tablespoon for 3 pounds of crayfish)
  • 3-6 bay leaves
  • 7-10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 halved garlic head
  • 1 quartered onion
  • 1 lemon quartered


  • Take a deep pot, fill it with water (you should have approximately 1 liter of water for 10 medium crayfish), and bring it to a boil.
  • Now you can add seasoning. Here where it gets tricky, as you can customize crayfish seasoning to your taste. So, let us figure out what things to throw in crawfish boil. Following the combination of spices and herbs is the most basic and classic: salt (1 tablespoon for 3 pounds of crayfish), 3-6 bay leaves, 7-10 whole black peppercorns, 1 halved garlic head, 1 quartered onion, and 1 lemon quartered (before adding lemon you can squeeze out its juice into the pot). In addition, there is a long list of fresh or ground herbs that can improve the taste of your crayfish boil. Dill, oregano, fennel, thyme, basil, parsley, or coriander. 50 g of any fresh or 30 g of any grounded herb can really make a difference. Only by trying you can define what seasoning to use for crayfish boil.
  • Let the herbs simmer for 5 minutes, and then add live crayfish into boiling water.
  • When the water with crayfish returns to boil, reduce the heat to medium and let them boil for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size).
  • When the time passes, turn off the heat and let the crayfish soak for an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Drain crayfish and serve with just lemon or with dipping sauces.

For those who like to experiment, there is such a thing as a beer crayfish boil recipe. Process and ingredients stay almost the same, but instead of just water, you use a mixture of beer and water at proportion 1:1 to boil crayfish in.

How much salt do you need for boiling crawfish? An average of 1 tablespoon of salt for 2 liters of water. However, you can always try the water for salt, as everybody’s taste is different.

Is it safe to eat dead crawfish? There is always a way to get food poisoning. Unfortunately, there is no certain way to determine whether crayfish was dead or alive before boiling. A statement that if a crayfish tale is straight after boiling, then it was dead before cooking is a huge myth. The only way to secure yourself is not to eat mushy tail meat.

Can you freeze cooked crayfish? It is not very advisable to freeze cooked crawfish, as they will lose their taste and juiciness.

Why do crayfish turn red when they are cooked? It is the way some of the biochemical inside the shellfish react to heat. There is a pigment in the shell of crayfish called astaxanthin; it unravels when shellfish are boiled.

If you found our article helpful, please share it with your friends. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions if you know any other way to boil crawfish at home. Now you know the basics of how you can cook delicious and juicy crawfish in water and even in beer on the stove at home.

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