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How to Choose the Right Pot for Your Crawfish Boil

Southern Living logo Southern Living 7/16/2020 Patricia S York
a bowl of food: You can use them on the stovetop or outside on a burner, so choose a pot you are comfortable with. © Charles Dyer/Getty Images You can use them on the stovetop or outside on a burner, so choose a pot you are comfortable with.

Have you ever been to a crawfish boil? If so, you know how much fun it is to hang out under the shade trees with friends and a cold drink, inhale the tantalizing aromas bubbling up from the cook pot, and then gather round a newspaper-covered table to enjoy the hot, juicy mudbugs, buttery corn, and savory sausage. If you are hosting your own crawfish or low-country boil for the first time, plan on making some easy appetizers and summery cocktails to keep your guests satisfied before the big meal. More importantly though, make sure you have the right pot required for a proper boil. If you are deciding on which crawfish boil pot to purchase, you should determine the amount you will be boiling and how much money you want to invest in the pot.

Choose the Right Size Pot

The general rule for selecting a crawfish pot is 2 quarts of water per every pound of crawfish, i.e., a 30-quart pot can handle a 15 lb. sack of crawfish, a 60-quart pot can handle a 30 lb. sack, etc. Most guests will consume about 3 lbs. of crawfish (allow up to 5 lbs. for the big eaters), so do the math. If you are hosting 10 people, you may be boiling anywhere from 30 to 50 lbs. of crawfish, so you would need anywhere from a 60-100-qt. pot. You may not want to splurge on a pot that big, so just divide the crawfish and boil in two or three batches.

Which Type of Pot – Aluminum or Stainless Steel?

Aluminum pots are lightweight and excellent conductors of heat, which means your water will heat faster and cool off quicker. Aluminum pots, such as this top-rated Chard 30-quart stockpot, are also less expensive than their stainless steel counterparts but are not always as durable. If you leave acidic or salty liquids in the pot for an extended period of time it can degrade the aluminum and cause pitting. Aluminum pots will also tarnish over time.

Stainless steel pots like this Bayou Classic 62-quart pot are durable, will not tarnish, and are easy to clean. They are heavier and cost more than aluminum pots, but since they last longer, they are more cost effective in the long run.

Regardless of whether you choose aluminum or stainless steel, look for a pot with a strainer/steamer basket and handle, which comes in handy when lifting the crawfish or shrimp from the boiling water.  

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