How to Make Low Country Boil

by Meg Jernigan

Items you will need

  • Crab boil seasoning
  • New or fingerling potatoes
  • Smoked sausage
  • Corn on the cob
  • Whole crabs
  • Fresh shrimp

South Carolina and Georgia share the 200-mile stretch of Atlantic Ocean coast known as the Low Country. Also called Frogmore Stew for the town where it was first prepared, a Low Country boil is a staple of backyard celebrations, fundraisers and political gatherings. For an authentic Low Country boil, cook outdoors over a propane burner or an open fire. Spread newspapers or butcher’s paper over a picnic table, pour the cooked food on top and invite your guests to eat with their hands.

Step 1

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add crab boil seasoning to taste and new or fingerling potatoes. Cut cooked smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, into 1- or 2-inch chunks and add to the potatoes.

Step 2

Boil the potatoes and sausage for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to get tender. Remove the husks and silk from corn on the cob and add it to the boil. Break whole crabs into pieces and add. Cook for another five minutes.

Step 3

Peel and devein fresh shrimp. Add it to the boil, and cook for an additional three or four minutes, or until the shrimp is pink and firm. If you prefer peel-and-eat shrimp, leave them in the shell.

Step 4

Drain the liquid from the seafood and vegetables before serving.


  • Make your own crab boil seasoning by combining bay leaves, celery salt, dried mustard, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, ground cloves and ground ginger. If your potatoes aren’t all about the same size, cut the larger potatoes in half or quarters. This ensures that the potatoes cook evenly. If you can’t find whole crabs, add canned crab when you take the pot off the heat. The heat of the boil will warm the crab. Add crawfish, or substitute crawfish for the crab. Cooking the ingredients in a removable drain basket that fits your pot removes the need to drain the boil.

Photo Credits

  • Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media

About the Author

Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.