Shrimp Boil

At the beach this week, we had our first-ever Shrimp Boil.  My sister-in-law had told me about the boils her family enjoyed as a part of their beach-going traditions, and we were eager to try it ourselves.  It was a huge success, and we can’t wait to do it again with or without the seafood!

I used the spices I found available in my area, and on the advice of a brother-in-law I used 2 or 3 times as much as the label suggested.  We like spicy food, and ours came out nicely spicy.  Any more would have been too much for the little ones, but as it was they all loved it.

Shrimp boil

serves 20-25

  • 4 oz. Zatarain’s Shrimp & Crab Boil (liquid)
  • 1/2 cup Crawfish, Shrimp & Crab Boil (powder by Louisiana Fish Fry Products)
  • 2.5 gallons water
  • 2 lemons, cut in wedges
  • 1 onion, cut in wedges
  • 4 lbs. smoked sausage, cut in 1″ chunks (can also use hot dogs or cooked bratwurst)
  • 5 lbs. small red potatoes
  • 16 ears corn, shucked and cleaned and broken into thirds
  • 4 lbs. raw shrimp
  • 1 lb. raw scallops (buy the extra large; little ones will shrink into oblivion. I wish we had used 2 lbs.)

This is only half the food; we fed about 25 people!

Cook outdoors if possible.  Combine seasonings, water, lemon and onion in a 5 gallon pot.  Bring to a boil and add sausage & potatoes.  While you wait, spread newspaper or other disposable covering on the table where you will eat.

Return to a boil, wait 10 minutes, and add corn.  While you wait, melt 2 sticks of butter. Set a bowl at each end of the table.

Return to a boil, wait 5 minutes, and add seafood.  Call everyone in from the water, and set out a couple loaves of bread for people to tear into chunks and eat with their dinner.

Return to a boil, wait 3 minutes, and make sure shrimp are pink all the way through.  While you wait, think about how you’re going to drain a 5 gallon pot with a 2 quart colander.

Drain.  Did your plan work?

Dump all the food onto the prepared table and have at it!  No plates or utensils allowed.  This is finger food.



  1. We live in the Lowcountry of SC. We actually have Lowcountry Boil for our Thanksgiving supper!!
    My step-dad cooks it outside while we all play corn-in-the-hole!
    Then we dump it out on the kitchen table, which is covered in about 2 inches depth of newspaper.
    I love it because the only thing to clean up is the big pot, and my step-dad does that at home! Plus, even the pickiest of eaters can find SOMETHING they like in it!!
    Glad you enjoyed it Kim. That beach trip looks so fun!!

  2. YUM! We did this once with neighbors while living in Florida, it was so much fun! Mmmm…. pregnant mom is hungry now! LOL!

  3. I grew up in SC, and we used to have Shrimp Boils (or Beaufort Stew, as we called it) ALL the time. Always served it with melted butter and cocktail sauce. I can’t get fresh shrimp where I live now. 🙁 I miss having Shrimp Boils so much! Such a fun meal!

  4. Sheila in MO says:

    Mmmm. That reminds me of the giant black skillets of food they cook up at Silver Dollar City in Branson. Tons of vegetables and meat all mixed up with seasonings. Its so yummy. Now I’m hungry. Now I’m going to have to throw together a big mash up of stuff to appease my craving. Someone get to the store, I need bigger pans!

    Hope your having a great vacation- it sounds wonderful!

  5. Oh, that sounds delicious! I’ve only ever been to one shrimp boil, but it was wonderful.

  6. Low country boil it is and sooooo delicious. I bet if you throw some clams in there that would be fun, too.

    • What else do people put in a low country boil? So far I’ve heard shrimp, crab, clams, potatoes, corn, sausage, hot dogs…I’ll bet there are more possibilities!

  7. Sounds great! We call it “Low Country Boil” over here in Georgia. 🙂

  8. Wow, that sounds so delicious! Almost makes me want to have 10 kids, so I’ll have an excuse to cook up such a big batch, lol. 🙂

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