How to Cook Crawfish on the Stove

by Amy Lively

A popular ingredient in Cajun cuisine, the crawfish also has nutritional benefits. It is a good source of protein, calcium and iron and is also low in fat and calories. A three-ounce serving of crawfish has 114 calories and less than two grams of fat. According to chef Emeril Lagasse, commercial farmers have made crawfish easier to prepare. If you purchase crawfish at a market or from a commercial farmer, chances are they have already been thoroughly cleaned of mud, waste and debris in a purging tank.

How to Cook Crawfish on the Stove

Place a basket insert into a five-gallon stockpot and add three gallons of water. Add 2 three-ounce bags of dry crawfish boil seasoning, one tablespoon of cayenne pepper, two bay leaves and two cloves of minced garlic to the pot. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat.

Add one pound of quartered red potatoes and a quartered peeled yellow onion to the boiling water. Boil the vegetables for 15 minutes or until they are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add three pounds of cleaned live crawfish and six corn-on-the cob halves to the pot. Cover and continue to boil for five minutes.

Remove the stockpot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for at least five minutes or for as long as 20 minutes. The longer the crawfish stay in the pot, the more spicy they will taste.

Lift the insert out of the pot, allow the water to drain and pour the contents into a large serving bowl. You can follow Cajun tradition and line a table with newspapers and dump the cooked crawfish and vegetables directly onto the table. This recipe makes four servings.


  • You can add andouille sausage to the crawfish boil for a more robust meal. Add the sausage at the same time you add the potatoes and onion. Have a bucket or other container on hand to hold empty crawfish shells.

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About the Author

Amy Lively began writing professionally in 2010. She brings expertise in sustainability, careers, nonprofit organizations, photography and American history. Lively holds a Bachelor of Arts in behavioral science from Midland College and a Master of Arts in American history from American Public University in West Virginia.