4 ratings

Crawfish Boil

It's the perfect party food
Liz Birnbaum

Chef David Kinch may be known for his landmark three Michelin-starred California restaurant Manresa, but at The Bywater in Los Gatos, California, he's showcasing the best of New Orleans, the city where he grew up. Here is The Bywater's recipe for a classic crawfish boil.

Ready in
1 h
30 m
(prepare time)
30 m
(cook time)


  • 1 bushel crawfish, purged
  • 9 gallons water
  • 2 quarts beer (Alagash White preferred)
  • 3 Pounds salt
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 2 bunches thyme
  • 4 Cups Creole spice
  • 2 Cups cayenne pepper
  • 1 Cup black pepper, ground
  • 1 Cup garlic powder
  • 4 Cups lemon juice
  • 2 Cups Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Cup Crystal hot sauce
  • 1 large party cooler (to keep the crawfish hot)

Crawfish Purge

  • 18 quarts water
  • 6 Ounces salt


Bring all the ingredients minus the crawfish and the cooler to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes to meld the flavors.

Turn off the flame and lower the crawfish slowly into the now flavorful liquid.

Let them cook for 10 minutes without any heat.

After the 10 minutes are up the crawfish are ready to be drained and dumped into the cooler to hold warm until eaten.

They can stay in the cooler for up to 3 hours.

Crawfish Purge

Combine salt and water then cover the crawfish with it.

The liquid is very salty and will make the crawfish clean their digestive tract.

After 2 hours drain and rinse the crawfish and reserve for the boil.