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 Bayou Classic SP10 High-Pressure Outdoor Propane Gas Cooker 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!
Choose your seasoning mix. You need about a cup altogether. In 2014 we used Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seafood Boil, which was too hot for most. The next year we used 1 box of Old Bay® Seasoning and 1 package of Zatarain’s® Crawfish, Shrimp, and Crab Boil, which had a nice flavor but wasn’t spicy at all. Last year we got it right: a combination of Slap Ya Mama, Old Bay, and Zatarain’s, with great flavor and just spicy enough.
If you can’t find Carolina Pride sausage, 2 or 3 pounds of another tasty rope sausage will do.
Don’t skimp on the corn. Get at least one ear per person.
4 bottles/cans of Palmetto Amber beer, or your choice
1 cup of Zatarain’s® Crawfish, Shrimp, and Crab Boil, Old Bay® Seasoning Mix, and/or Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seafood Boil
6 pounds small red new potatoes, cut in half and parboiled
2 pounds sweet onions, sliced into thick slices and grilled or oven-roasted
2.5 pounds Carolina Pride Rope Smoked Sausage, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks and grilled or sauteéd
about 20 ears of corn, preferably Silver Queen
[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 cook them in boiling water about 5 minutes. This parboils them.
Cut the onions into thick slices (1/2 or 3/4 inches) half and roast at 425°F in the oven or grill for 10-15 minutes, until they show dark brown marks.
Cut the sausages into 1-inch lengths. Grill or fry the sausage.
Prepare your serving location: a very large platter, a half-sheet pan or two, or directly onto a tabletop layered with newspaper.
Prepare your Cocktail Sauce. Prepare your Lemon Butter.
COOK THE LOW COUNTRY BOIL
Light your propane burner. Place the 32-quart pot containing the steamer basket on the burner.
Pour the bottles of beer into the pot and add water to fill the pot about 1/3 full. Add about a cup of seasoning mix to the liquid. 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 the 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 and put it in a small pan. Give it to the pescatarian along with enough shrimp for his portsion. The pescatarian can take the small pot containing boil and shrimp indoors and cook it on the stove himself.
Add grilled sausage.
if someone does not eat seafood, now is the time to take his portion out with a slotted spoon. Put the boil on the plate the non-seafood eater will use and give it to him.
John Keener puts his blue crabs in next, so they cook about 5 minutes.
Cook the boil until your timer shows 2 more minutes. Now add the shrimp. Remember: the key is do not overcook your shrimp. You only want to cook the shrimp 2-3 minutes maximum.
When the shrimp are pink, pull up the steamer basket and dump your Low Country Boil onto your serving platter, trays, or a tabletop covered with newspaper. Squeeze lemon halves over the Low Country Boil. Serve with cocktail sauce and lemon butter.
As John Keener says, “It’s eatin’ time at the Crab House!”