How to Host 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 have something new and exciting for 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 out back for all to see, the flavours are fantastic either way. We'll get you started with the basics, so simmer down now and let's go! 

Tip: Not only do you get delicious seafood and veggies, but setting the table for this bash is a cinch! 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 BoilRecipe
Serves: 8-12

8 litres water in large stockpot
75 mL (1/3 cup) canola oil
6 yellow onions, halved
4 celery stalks, halved
2 lemons, quartered
4 bay leaves
10 garlic cloves
125 mL (1/2 cup) Cajun seasoning
125 mL (1/2 cup) coarse sea salt
15 mL (1 tablespoon) cayenne pepper
15 mL (1 tablespoon) black peppercorns
1365 grams (3 pounds) red skin potatoes, unpeeled
6 ears of corn, husked and cut in half
2-4 1/2 Kgs (5-10 pounds) shellfish*

*Tip: The possibilities are endless when it comes to what seafood you can enjoy in a backyard boil. Crab legs, crawfish, shrimp and clams are all perfect. They take different times to cook, so use this guide as reference:

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

Tip: Learn everything you need to know about selecting and preparing shellfish with our in-depth guide.


  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 it, feel free to add new tastes to the mix like mushrooms, Andouille sausage, artichokes and more.


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