Classic Seafood Boil Recipe - Forks and Folly (2024)


Try a classic seafood boil for the perfect beach vacation meal! You’ll want to add this recipe toyour summer vacation meal plan at the beach!

Nothing, and I mean NOTHING gets me more excited for a trip to the beach than a promise of a seafood boil. For me, it is the essence of summer.

Trust me: after spending the day jumping waves, building sandcastles, and walking the beach, cooking up a big ol’ pot of seafood with all the classic fixins is just about the best thing in the whole-wide-world.

It’s been a beach-week tradition for years now for my family, but this is the first year I’ve documented it. So that I might pass this tradition on to y’all.

There are a few critical pieces of the seafood boil that if you plan to execute on your beach vacation you need to do a little prep for. The most important piece, however, is the pot. You need a BIG pot, and preferably one with a large insert so you can easily drain the pot for easy dumping (more on that later).

We usually rent a house for the week, so I’ve been sure to call the owners to ask whether or not they have a large seafood boil pot.

Or, you can get one hereon AmazonClassic Seafood Boil Recipe - Forks and Folly (3). That’sthe one my dad purchased this year so that we may never be without a seafood boil pot. Phew.

The second and almost as critical pieces of the puzzle is to find a fresh local seafood market in the area of your stay. (If you happen to stay in Emerald Isle, check out Willis Seafood Market. It’s been thoroughly vetted by my family!)

We always get lots and lots of shrimp and clams, and then we mix it up with whatever the group is craving or is recommended. This time we went with King Crab legs, although that was a bit of a splurge.

You’ll also want to pick up some of the other things that make the seafood boil awesome: fresh summer corn, red-skin potatoes, smoked sausage, Old Bay, butter, co*cktail sauce and hot sauce. Oh and something to break the crab legs with. (Or for hitting your hubs on the head if necessary!)

My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

You’ll want to ask specific instructions for prepping the seafood, and then it’s all pretty easy from there. You’ll begin with the items that take longest to cook, adding additional layers of seasoning and foods in 5-10 minute intervals.

Once it’s all done, you’ll drain the pot (which is made super-easy with an insert), then dump it out on a table (preferably of the outdoor) variety. Even better if you can see the ocean from it. Be sure to have a cold one and some paper towels nearby.

Dinner at the beach has never looked so good.

Oh, and if you’ve planned it right, you’ll have leftovers. You might not believe it, but the leftovers from a seafood boil make a really good pizza!

I’ve got one with BBQ sauce, corn, and shrimp.

The other was made with tomato sauce and sausage. Both were divine! And awesome for beach day lunch.

Classic Seafood Boil Recipe - Forks and Folly (10)

Classic Seafood Boil Recipe


  • Amounts will vary by type of seafood and size of pot. The best assortment contains:
  • Clams
  • Shrimp
  • Crab Legs
  • Smoked Sausage
  • Corn (on the cob)
  • Red Potatoes
  • Old Bay
  • Fixings: co*cktail sauce, hot sauce, lemon, butter, salt & pepper


  1. Prep seafood ingredients as necessary (leave shells on shrimp, though!). Slice sausage in 3 inch chunks, half large potatoes, and cut corn in half.
  2. Fill bottom of pot (just until it almost reaches the insert) with water.
  3. Put in first layer of ingredients (whatever takes the longest to cook). In our case we added potatoes, a sprinkle of Old Bay, sausage, a sprinkle of Old Bay, and then corn with a sprinkle of Old Bay. Once the water comes to a boil, we cooked it for 15 minutes.
  4. Then we added the clams with a sprinkle of Old Bay. Once they began to open (about 8 minutes) we added the shrimp and the crab legs.
  5. Once the crab legs are warmed through and the shrimp are pink, you're all done!
  6. Serve with melted butter and the rest of the fixings!
  7. Cooking time will have to be adjusted for the type of cook top, the size of the pot, amount of ingredients and what you have, but even though we've never quite known what to do, it's never gone wrong!
  8. Just trust yourself and drink a beer. It'll turn out just fine!

Classic Seafood Boil Recipe - Forks and Folly (12)

About Katie

Katie Harding has been blogging since 2010. What originally started out as a platform to discuss new parenthood, her blogging now focuses on her passion for cooking: creating recipes and sharing tips for entertaining friends and family of all ages. Outside of the kitchen you’ll find her with her family (three boys, one husband, multiple exchange student daughters, and Hank the pup), or gallivanting around the world with her fork in tow.

Classic Seafood Boil Recipe - Forks and Folly (13)

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Classic Seafood Boil Recipe - Forks and Folly (2024)


Do people put eggs in seafood boils? ›

One of the oft-overlooked proteins in seafood boils is eggs. These are great as they help soak up the flavors and thus add more flavor to the meal. You can boil the eggs at any point during the cooking process. Adding them towards the end helps, ensure they get all of the right flavors from other ingredients.

What's the difference between low country boil and seafood boil? ›

Difference Between a Seafood Boil and a Low Country Boil

A Low Country boil is just one type of recipe for seafood boil. It's specific to Georgia and South Carolina, where shrimp is their shellfish of choice. The dish also contains sausage, corn, and potatoes for a complete one-pot meal.

What is a Southern seafood boil called? ›

As it goes by a number of different names: Beaufort Stew, Beaufort Boil, or Lowcountry Boil, its name is more commonly known as Frogmore Stew, which is taken from the small town of the same name on St. Helena Island, near Beaufort, SC.

Why do you put vinegar in a seafood boil? ›

Adding a few tablespoons of vinegar to water that fish is soaked in(before cooking) or adding it to the water that it is cooked in will firm up the fish and improve the taste by making it taste less fishy or “sweeter” with less aftertaste.

Why do people add orange juice to seafood boils? ›

A TikToker named Javaris (aka @boilmaster) boils his seafood in orange juice not only for citrus flavor but to balance out all of the many seasonings used in a typical Louisiana-style boil.

What is seafood boil sauce made of? ›

Seafood Boil Sauce 🧑🏽‍🍳🔥 • INGREDIENTS ▢ 2 cups Salted Butter ▢ 1 Onion , diced ▢ 8 cloves Garlic , diced ▢ ¼ cup Cajun Seasoning ▢ 2 tbsps Old Bay ▢ 1 tbsp Onion Powder ▢ 1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes ▢ 1 cup Chicken Stock ▢ 2 tbsps Lemon Juice ▢ 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley , chopped • #seafood #seafoodboil #crablegs #sauce # ...

What does a seafood boil contain? ›

What Is Seafood Boil Made Of? A variety of seafood such as shrimp, crab (king crab or snow crab are often used), lobster, clams, mussels, and crawfish — along with vegetables including corn, potatoes, garlic, and mushrooms — are in a seafood boil.

How unhealthy are seafood boils? ›

A seafood boil with family and friends is a yearly tradition in many households, especially in the Gulf Coast where access to fresh seafood is abundant. However, as with most traditional meals, it can be high in sodium and low in other essential nutrients.

What is a bayou boil? ›

Louisiana-Style Shrimp Boil

Adapted from Gourmet: Spicy Boiled Crabs, Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn and Garlic.

What is in Zatarain's crab boil? ›

Zatarain's Concentrated Liquid Shrimp & Crab Boil is made with a mix of premium extracts of red pepper, bay leaves, cloves, black pepper, thyme, and marjoram. Primarily used in seafood boils to create authentic Southern Louisiana flavor.

What is a Lowcountry Boil called in Louisiana? ›

Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the Old Bay Seasoning, the salt, cayenne and the lemons. Add the potatoes and sausage and boil for about 10 minutes.

Do you use vinegar when boiling shrimp? ›

I've boiled shrimp / prawns many times and my results have been as good as any restaurant or takeaway so I never thought I had anything to learn until I tried this. The constant stirring and vinegar really does make a great difference in addition to the ice bath which I'd tried before.

Why do you soak shrimp in milk? ›

Some prefer to soak seafood in milk before cooking to keep it from tasting too fishy. If you choose to soak your shrimp, you should do so with whole milk for at least 10 minutes.

Why do you add baking powder to shrimp? ›

Alkaline baking soda slightly alters the pH of the shrimp, making them as plump and succulent as lobster and resistant to overcooking. The brine also causes the meat to pull away from the shells while cooking, so you get all the great flavor of shell-on shrimp without the hassle.

Do you put eggs in before the water boils? ›

You might have heard that you should drop your eggs into room temperature or cold water and then bring the water to a boil. This is a myth. In our tests, bringing the water to a boil first and then lowering the eggs into the bath made for easy peeling and more accurate timing.

Do you put eggs in water after it boils? ›

Lower your eggs straight from the fridge into already-boiling water, or place them in a steamer insert in a covered pot, steaming at full blast on the stovetop. If boiling, lower the heat to the barest simmer. Cook the eggs for 11 minutes for hard or six minutes for soft. Serve.

Do crabs eat boiled eggs? ›

Re: How to make eggs for crabs

I just mix a raw egg, and fry it - I don't use any oil. I also give raw in the shell, and boiled as well. All are a hit. Scrambled is my crabs favorite though!

What does seafood boil contain? ›

What Is Seafood Boil Made Of? A variety of seafood such as shrimp, crab (king crab or snow crab are often used), lobster, clams, mussels, and crawfish — along with vegetables including corn, potatoes, garlic, and mushrooms — are in a seafood boil.

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