This recipe is based on a YouTube video here by John Keener, owner of the Charleston Crab House. I love this video and several family members have been
forced encouraged to watch it too. We use a propane grill with a 32-quart stockpot and steamer basket to serve about 15-20 people.
The key to a Low Country Boil is putting all your ingredients in at the proper time. You want them all done at the same time. The number one rule is don’t overcook your shrimp!
4 bottles/cans of Palmetto Amber beer, or your choice
1 cup of Zatarain’s Crab Boil, Old Bay Seasoning Mix, or Slap Yo’ Mama
6 pounds small red new potatoes, cut in half and boiled until halfway done
2 pounds sweet onions, sliced into thick slices and grilled or oven-roasted
3 pounds Carolina Pride sausage, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks and grilled or sauteéd
about 20 ears of corn, preferably Silver Queen (at least one ear per person)
[a softshell crab per person if you like them]
[2 blue crabs per person, if you like them]
6 pounds large shrimp, with or without heads
2 lemons, cut in half, to squeeze over the mix at the end
Husk the corn ears and as John Keener says so memorably in his video, “bust ‘em in half.”
Cut the potatoes in half and parboil them, meaning to cook them in boiling water about 5 minutes. Cut the onions in half. Cut the sausages into 1-inch lengths. Grill or fry the onions and sausage.
Pour the bottles of beer into the pot and add water to fill about 1/3 full. Add about a cup of Zatarain’s and/or Old Bay or whatever you like (in 2014 we used Slap Yo’ Mama Cajun, which was too hot for most; in 2015 we used 1 box of Old Bay and 1 package of Zatarain’s, which had a nice flavor but wasn’t spicy at all; in 2017 we combined all three for a great flavor) seasoning mix to the water. Bring to a boil.
Start your timer for 20 minutes so you will to be ready to serve your dinner in 20 minutes. Put the corn in the pot.
After 10 minutes, add the parboiled potatoes. Add grilled onions. John Keener likes to split the onions up into rings before he puts them in. If someone does not eat meat, take his portion out now with a slotted spoon. You will steam or boil this person’s shrimp separately and add it to his portion.
Add grilled sausage.
John Keener puts his blue crabs in next, so they cook about 5 minutes. He puts in 16 blue crabs for 8 people.
When your timer shows 2 more minutes, if someone does not eat shrimp or crabs, now is the time to take his portion out with a slotted spoon.
Add the shrimp. Remember: the key is do not overcook your shrimp. You only want to cook the shrimp 2-3 minutes max.
Pull up the steamer basket and dump your Low Country Boil onto a large platter, or a half-sheet pan or two, or directly onto a tabletop layered with newspaper. Serve with cocktail sauce. Squeeze lemon halves over the Low Country Boil. We also serve lemon butter (make sure to use salted butter or salt the lemon butter).
As John Keener says, “It’s eatin’ time at the Crab House!”