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Cajun Seafood Boil

Posted by Kira DeRito on

I've always been a fan of 'one pot meals' and even though this is a rather humongous qualifies!  The toughest part of this recipe is actually coming up with the equipment that you need, and if you own a turkey cooker you should pretty much be set.  If you don't own a turkey cooker, I'll bet you know someone who does - just ask around.  You can invite the TCO (turkey cooker owner) to your Cajun seafood boil and they will be inspired to loan it to you again, and again, I promise!  In an inspired pinch I think most  hardware stores sell the whole set up for about $100 and then you can be the TCO that gets invited to all the parties.  :) turkey cooker!



  • Outdoor propane burner
  • Propane tank
  • Large metal stock pot with lid
  • Basket that fits inside stock pot
  • Tongs 
  • Large tray
  • Pot holders

Once you have your equipment, set it up outdoors next to a hose on a flat surface.  Get your propane burner going, set the pot on top, and then immediately fill half-way (or a little more) with water.  Now you're ready to add the flavor while you're water is heating up!  You've got a couple of options... you can go ahead and purchase a pre-made Cajun boil seasoning packet, stick with a tin of Old Bay, or make your own!  One of my favorite homemade versions is adapted from Emeril's "Bayou Blast", and this is what we used for our recent cookout.  It was FABulous.

Cajun Bayou Seasoning

  • 2 T paprika
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 3 T salt
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T cayenne
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T thyme
  • 1 T oregano

Mix it all up and dump about half of it right in the water.  

Toss about 6 whole bay leaves in there too.

Here's a list of the rest of what you're going to want.  Feel free to bounce around with the things that you love and don't love... you're just going for a nice variety!  


  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Onion
  • 5 cobs fresh corn
  • 5 small potatoes
  • 3 crab, cleaned and broken into pieces
  • 2 pounds shrimp
  • 2 pounds scallops
  • 2 pounds sausage
(This should serve 15ish adults, depending.)the pot


Cut one orange in half, squeeze and then drop in the orange body right in the pot.

Cut one lemon in half, squeeze and then drop in the lemon body right in the pot.

Cut your onion into at least 4 chunks and drop that in the pot, too!

Now crank your burner up and get your water boiling!

While you're waiting...

Peel 5 cobs of corn and break into pieces.

Rinse 5 small potatoes and cut them in half. 

Get your basket out and place it in the pot.  From here on out, make sure your ingredients get into the basket so you can easily retrieve them and you don't end up with fish soup.  

Sprinkle the potatoes and corn with more of the Cajun seasoning and when the water is close or boiling, slide them into the basket.

throw in the veg!
Let the corn and potatoes cook for about 10-15 minutes and make sure your fish is ready to roll.  Once you start layering in the seafood you don't want to walk away from your pot - overcooking is tragic!

So - if you have *raw* crab, it's crab first.  (If you're using *cooked* crabthey'll go in very last - just enough to warm them up and infuse the meat with the flavor of the boil seasonings.)  Slide them in (make sure you're full rolling boiling) and make a mental note for about 8 minutes.  (If you're cooking live crab whole be sure and bump your time up to about 15 minutes.)

When your 8 minutes is up, slide in the shrimp and the sausage and give them about 2 additional minutes.

When the 2 minutes is done, slide in the scallops, turn the burner OFF, sprinkle a bit more Cajun seasoning on top of your pot, put the lid on and let the whole thing sit for about 4 more minutes.

top it off with scallops..
Find your tray, your tongs and your pot holders.  Tell all your friends (or at least the ones you really like) to come watch.  Remove the lid with as much flair as you can muster and slowly pull the basket from the pot of water, letting it drain for a moment over the pot.  (Careful of the steam!)  Tip the basket out onto the tray (or a table layered with newspaper and a big plastic garbage bag would work too) and prepare to have compliment after compliment heaped upon your head.  Ring the dinner bell!


If you want to get really fancy and/or nice you can make a nice big bowl of melted butter and garlic, a dish of cocktail sauce and maybe some sour cream or chives for the potatoes.  Mostly though, you just need a big roll of paper towels and some hungry friends and family.  Serve it up with some good bread, a big salad and your beverage of choice.  Enjoy!  



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