published March 29, 2010 by Matt Livingston

Game and Fish Recipes: Arkansas Crawfish

When people think of crawfish, crawdads, crayfish, mud bugs, or any other name you have, naturally people think of Louisiana. But what a lot of folks may not know is that you can get good Arkansas crawfish for a surprisingly affordable price.

And we’re not talking about some questionable Chinese buffet either. The best crawfish you’ll ever have will  come from a good ol’ Arkansas- style backyard crawfish boil.

At Arkansas Outdoors Online, we do more than just hunt and fish. We like to cook and eat too. And we consider crawfish as one of our favorite game and fish recipes.

Cooking crawfish is surprisingly simple if you don’t over think it. All you really need is the crawfish, water, a pot, seasoning of-choice, a few cold beers, and of course, some good friends.

Cooking crawfish  really is as easy as that. However, come inside to discover a  few of our not-so-secret secrets to that perfect Arkansas crawfish recipe.

We at Arkansas Outdoors Online can cook and eat those Arkansas crawfish with the best of them, or at least we like to imagine we can. Cooking crawfish is surprisingly simple if you don’t over think it. All you really need is water, a pot, seasoning, a few cold beers, some good friends, and well of course those crawfish. Cooking crawfish in Arkansas is really as easy as that, however, we are going to give away a few closely guarded secrets to that perfect recipe.

First, you need crawfish, a lot of local (Central Arkansas) places carry live crawfish, this time of year they are a litttle steep, about 2.80 a lb. A general rule of thumb is 3-4 lbs a person, on the high side.

Second part A, if you get yours straight off the truck, chances are they need to be “purged”, that is they need to throw up all the stuff they have been eating and the mud and what not stuck to them needs a good cleaning. This step is simple but critical, throw the crawfish in a tub or cooler and spray them down with water, some people use salt to speed the process, I do on occasion, but now just stick the hose in the tub and let the water over flow until it runs clear, may need to dump the water a couple times.

Second step part B, get your pot fill about 3/4 way with water and season. Once that water gets to a rolling boil, a simple step is needed to test the water, take the lid off and put your face over the pot, if the boiling water makes you choke, then the water is hot enough. That is secret #1.

Third step, potatoes and corn, best potatoes to use are the new potatoes, or the baby red potatoes, all other potatoes just don’t work, try other ones if you don’t believe me. Corn, well any frozen kind will do or fresh if you are lucky enough to get it. Boil the potatoes for about 5 mins, if they are the true new potatoes longer if not, then put corn in, boil 5 mins.

Fourth step, crawfish time, easy step, put the crawfish in, how much will be left up to your descretion, we have done batches as small as 10 lbs all the way up to 200 lbs at a time. Just depends on your guests. Once a good number of those mud bugs are floating we like to kill the heat and let them soak from anywhere to 10 mins to 30 mins.

I have seen folks throw ice on top to kill the cooking but still allow the soaking, i have seen them put the mud bugs straight into a cooler, sprinkle with some season and let them soak up that way, i do this on  occasion, I have seen them scoop the crawfish out and serve them after just a little while longer on cooking.

However you do your crawfish at the end is up to you, i am by no means a pro, but i have seen/cooked some crawfish in my day and i just wanted to give a little help for the guys or girls just starting out. Good thing is once you get started, you will soon find anything tastes good in crawfish boil, crab legs, mushrooms, andoullie sasuage, boiled eggs, the list can go on and on but you get the point.

There you have it, the “not so complete recipe” i left some stuff out on purpose, trade secrets.

If you don’t think you can do it, shoot me an email, and for a nominal fee  we will be happy to over to your event and cook them, maybe even give a little class on it too.

About the Author

Matt Livingston

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Just outta curiosity do you have a map or know where the best place to catch crawfish would be? I live in the Bald Knob area and I am kinda curious as to where i could catch some in a large amount?