How to Host a Seafood Boil

Turn your traditional backyard barbecue into a party to remember by hosting a seafood boil.

How to Host a Seafood Boil

Turn your traditional backyard barbecue into a party to remember by hosting a seafood boil.


By Adam Easterling

Want to serve up something new and exciting to your party guests? Why not host a seafood boil? Nothing brings out the bayou like a boiling pot full of Cajun cuisine. Make it in the kitchen or on a propane grill for all to see, the flavors are fantastic either way. We’ll get you started with the basics, so simmer down now and let the good times roll! 

Tip: Set your table to complement the casual seafood boil vibe. Just spread lots of newspaper on the backyard picnic table, bring plenty of ice-cold beverages and set out the cocktail sauce and saltines (zydeco music optional).

Seafood Boil Recipe
Serves: 8 to 12

8 quarts water in large stockpot
⅓ cup canola oil
6 yellow onions, halved
4 celery stalks, halved
2 lemons, quartered
4 bay leaves
10 garlic cloves
½ cup Cajun seasoning
½ cup coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
3 pounds red skin potatoes, unpeeled
6 ears of corn, husked and cut in half
5 to 10 pounds shellfish*

*Crab legs, crawfish, shrimp and clams are all tasty shellfish options. They take different times to cook, so use this guide as a reference:

  • Raw shrimp or crawfish: 3 to 5 minutes at a boil
  • Cooked crab legs: 5 to 7 minutes at a boil
  • Clams: 10 to 15 minutes at a boil
  • Lobster: 15 minutes at a boil

Tip: If you're preparing your feast in the kitchenClean up is a breeze with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Dawn Platinum Dish Soap. Use the Magic Eraser to clean spills and splatters from your countertops, and suds up with Dawn during the after-party dish duty.


  1. Add the oil, onions, celery, lemons, garlic, bay leaves, Cajun seasoning, salt, cayenne and black peppercorns to your stockpot of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 minutes
  2. Add the potatoes and boil for 5 minutes
  3. Add shellfish using the time noted above
  4. Add the corn and boil for 5 minutes
  5. Turn off the heat and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Using tongs or a strainer, retrieve the seafood and vegetables from the pot and serve them warm atop newspaper or large sheets of parchment paper

Tip: Use a nutcracker, table knife or tenderizer to crack the shells.

Tip: Once you get the hang of preparing seafood this way, feel free to add new tastes to the mix like mushrooms, Andouille sausage, artichokes and more.