Crawfish boiler (1 Viewer)

Taurus

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I'll be doing a mixed crawdad/crab boil this summer and I'm thinking of picking up this unit for the burner.

http://tiny.cc/56h42y

Anyone got any tips/tricks for a successful boil? It'll be my first one. Can you even get live mudbugs in late June?
 

DCSaints_Fan

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That burner would take forever to bring a pot to a boil...
+1 Best thing to do is experiment. Prior to your first cookout, be sure that you can get X amount of water to boil in Y time. I know someone that wasted like 10 pounds of crawfish because of this.
 
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Ahhh my favorite topic!! Spring is right around the corner and I can't wait to do some crawfish!!
I would definitely go through the thread that buzd posted earlier. Good stuff in there.

I was going to recommend a burner for you beside the one you posted. The one you posted is often called a 'Banjo' burner. They put out a lot of heat but spread out more. I really have never used one but usually see them used for frying or sauteing. I haven't seen anyone boil on one but doesn't mean you can't do it. Says it has 210,000 BTU's which is pretty big.
I would recommend getting a jet burner for boiling. I have the Bayou Classic SP2 jet cooker. I have the link below. It is the same price as the one you posted but I feel puts out a lot of heat. Depending on your pot size it will get your water boiling in 10-15 minutes. It also gets your water back to boiling very fast after adding your food. I have had mine for several years and still going strong. they have a stainless steel version as well but it is twice the price, but will last longer.
1549900319632.png


I also found this article which rates some burners on quality and such and found it interesting. Their top rated burner I have, also a Bayou Classic but just a regular burner which is good for many different types of cooking. It works for boils but will take twice as long as the jet burner. I have gone through two of them. They also have a high rated banjo cooker on there as well.
http://outdoormancave.com/best-propane-burner/

Now as far as actually cooking and prepping the bugs, look through that thread. All kinds of tips and tricks. I have a bunch but everyone kind of does things a little differnt.
Purge or not purge? Ice or no ice? Soak or no soak? etc/etc.
I can give you my step by step how I cook them but some people might tell you different. If you have never done it before definately look around and ask questions and get an idea of how you want to do it. Always have a game plan.

Give us an idea of what you plan to do and we can help. :cooking:
How much are you planning on cooking (in pounds)? How many people are you feeding?
Are you doing all the sides and extra fixings (corn, potatoes, sausage, etc.)?
What spices, if any, are you using?
What size pot are you using?
And most importantly, what are you going to drink with it?? :beerchug:

Let's us know buddy and we got your back!!

Thank you kindly for the links and advice.

We'll have about 100 people up for my daughter's wedding. In-between granting favors, I'm cooking up a huge mess of brisket, ribs and pulled pork. The crawfish/crab boil is for those who don't want such heavy fare.

I'm thinking an 80-quart pot with about 30lbs of crustaceans, some corn and potatoes. I'll be using Zat's seasonings, some lemon and a few bay leaves.

To drink we're gonna have everything from milk to champagne to mead to whatever weird local beers people bring.
 

Maxp

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Don't get the turkey fryer burner. It doesn't get the water back to a boil quick enough. The burner linked by egautr1 will get the job done right.
 

DCSaints_Fan

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Thank you kindly for the links and advice.

We'll have about 100 people up for my daughter's wedding. In-between granting favors, I'm cooking up a huge mess of brisket, ribs and pulled pork. The crawfish/crab boil is for those who don't want such heavy fare.

I'm thinking an 80-quart pot with about 30lbs of crustaceans, some corn and potatoes. I'll be using Zat's seasonings, some lemon and a few bay leaves.

To drink we're gonna have everything from milk to champagne to mead to whatever weird local beers people bring.
30 lbs huh? Unless you want to spring 500+ for a mroe heavy duty one. I would recommend splitting that up at least into 2, maybe even 3 loads.
 
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Taurus

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Don't get the turkey fryer burner. It doesn't get the water back to a boil quick enough. The burner linked by egautr1 will get the job done right.
30 lbs huh? Unless you want to spring 500+ for a mroe heavy duty one. I would recommend splitting that up at least into 2, maybe even 3 loads.
Thanks, guys. So how many pounds of crawfish do you add to one 80qt batch?
 

egautr1

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Thank you kindly for the links and advice.

We'll have about 100 people up for my daughter's wedding. In-between granting favors, I'm cooking up a huge mess of brisket, ribs and pulled pork. The crawfish/crab boil is for those who don't want such heavy fare.

I'm thinking an 80-quart pot with about 30lbs of crustaceans, some corn and potatoes. I'll be using Zat's seasonings, some lemon and a few bay leaves.

To drink we're gonna have everything from milk to champagne to mead to whatever weird local beers people bring.
O.k. now we got a starting point.
A 'sack' of crawfish is usually b/t 30-40 pounds. Usually around the 32-35 lb range. So I have an 80 and a 120 quart pot. I can do a whole sack of crawfish only in the 80 quart. That would be just crawfish and none of the fixings. If you put a 5 lb bag potatos, some corn, onions/garlic, shrooms, then that is less space for your craws. So you have two options, IMO.
Option #1- Just do two batches. Start the water and add seasonings, put in your potatoes and other fixings then do have the bag of craws. Then repeat with the next batch.
Option #2- Get your water going and add spices/salt and such, then add all your potatoes, corn, sausage, shrooms, and whatever else you want and cook all that stuff first. Maybe cook 10-15 minutes or so and let soak for a bit and then take all that stuff out and put in an ice chest to keep warm. Then get your water going again, add some more spice and your lemons and then boil your crawfish. I sometimes do this if I am doing a lot of crawfish, as we usually always have leftover corn/potatos and so you don't need do do that stuff everytime. Plus it adds to your cooking time.
You should be able to fit about 30 lbs of just crawfish in your pot. Remember to only fill your pot a little over halfway with water. It will rise when it is boiling and will rise more when you add your craws. The worst thing to do is have too much water and then drop your food in and then it all boils over. Not safe and not pretty. Like someone else said you might need to do a practice run if you have never done it before.

Sounds like you are doing a bunch of stuff in addition. Because 30 lbs won't feed 100 people, at least not cajuns. If you are cooking some other things at the same time, you might want to use a timer. It is easy to lose track of how long it's cooking.
Zat's is good. I prefer Louisiana Fish Fry Brand, but everyone has their own tastes. I usually add salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, lemons and/or oranges, powder and liquid crab boil. However I am assuming you are cooking for people, ummmm not used to 'spicy' cooking like we do down here so might want to take it easy on the spices. I usually use one 4.5 lb bag or large Zat's container per sack, but that might be too spicy for you folks up in WA. Maybe use half to 3/4th?? Just experiment.

Now did you say you were going to do crabs as well? Crabs take loner to cook so you might want to do them separate as well. And I have been told to add some vinegar to the water for crabs as it makes them easier to peel/clean. Not sure if that actually works though.

And sounds like you got some good drinks. I love to drink the Abita Strawberry lager with some spicy crawfish, but whatever floats your boat. I recommend some cold beers, something on the lighter side.

Sounds like you are gonna have a good time. Let us know what else you need to know.
 

DCSaints_Fan

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Thanks, guys. So how many pounds of crawfish do you add to one 80qt batch?
That sound about right, I'm just skeptical you can get 80 quarts of water to boil with a cheapo burner. If you go the cheapo burner route, I would suggest dividing up the boil.

Bug I guess, test well before the even to see what it can handle.
 
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That sound about right, I'm just skeptical you can get 80 quarts of water to boil with a cheapo burner. If you go the cheapo burner route, I would suggest dividing up the boil.

Bug I guess, test well before the even to see what it can handle.
Oh, noes! A prefunction crawfish boil? Quelle horreur!

I figure we'll have an unholy amount of baked beans, a garden's worth of salad, local blueberries/blackberries, random in-season fruits, a couple pork shoulders, a big packer brisket, about ten racks of ribs and the arthropods with 'taters and corn.

I'll be picking up that jet boiler egautr1 linked, along with an 80qt stainless pot so I can use it on the induction cooktop for other stuff like canning. Is a dedicated skimmer necessary or can I just use a clean cedar branch?
 

efil4stnias

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That burner would take forever to bring a pot to a boil...
ohhhh you THAT guy.

dump, boil eat n go.


The fun part is standing around throwing back beers all while arguing with the others if the pot is ready yet. ( i see white smoke!!!! )

NO so Please stop! and keep drinkin.

the dual burner gets my water rollin in about 30-45 min.
 

egautr1

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Oh, noes! A prefunction crawfish boil? Quelle horreur!

I figure we'll have an unholy amount of baked beans, a garden's worth of salad, local blueberries/blackberries, random in-season fruits, a couple pork shoulders, a big packer brisket, about ten racks of ribs and the arthropods with 'taters and corn.
Sounds like you will have plenty of food! When does my invite come??? ;)

Is a dedicated skimmer necessary or can I just use a clean cedar branch?
I'm not sure what you are referring to? What do you mean skimmer? Are you talking about the basket?? You will definitely want the basket.

You will also want a large stirring handle or paddle. Like this one. They have cheaper 'off brand' ones as well.

Or you can get the wooden ones for a little cheaper, but they don't last as long.

And I also have a skimmer. Like this one, for testing and picking things out.

You can get by without these items though and use something you have around the house. I boil a lot in the spring so I have all the accessories. A good set of oven mitts or BBQ gloves is also a good thing to have. Like these. (I also have a pair of rubber ones, which are good for boiling as they don't get wet and you can spread them out with them)

One other must is a good stick lighter. I have one that is a torch and has a flexible neck. Sometimes those burners are a pain to get lit, and you don't want to use just a regular lighter or small match. Just some suggestions. Take em or leave em.

Man, all this talk about crawfish is giving me the envie!!! Is it spring yet??? :unsure:
 

FLIPPY

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ohhhh you THAT guy.

dump, boil eat n go.


The fun part is standing around throwing back beers all while arguing with the others if the pot is ready yet. ( i see white smoke!!!! )

NO so Please stop! and keep drinkin.

the dual burner gets my water rollin in about 30-45 min.
It's all about the regulator...

I have a 40lb on my single jet burner... and believe me, the drinking gets done, even more when they're soaking...

 

dtc

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Thank you kindly for the links and advice.

We'll have about 100 people up for my daughter's wedding. In-between granting favors, I'm cooking up a huge mess of brisket, ribs and pulled pork. The crawfish/crab boil is for those who don't want such heavy fare.

I'm thinking an 80-quart pot with about 30lbs of crustaceans, some corn and potatoes. I'll be using Zat's seasonings, some lemon and a few bay leaves.

To drink we're gonna have everything from milk to champagne to mead to whatever weird local beers people bring.
The banjo burner you posted is, as others have said, better for other applications where low pressure and uniform heat are preferred. Get yourself the jet burner or you'll spend an hour trying to get an 80 qt pot to boil.
 

dtc

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30 lbs huh? Unless you want to spring 500+ for a mroe heavy duty one. I would recommend splitting that up at least into 2, maybe even 3 loads.
I have no idea where you're getting this from or if you're using the banjo burner with 10# regulator, but 30 pounds is a small enough size to do in my small rig. The 80qt pot and jet are more than enough.
 

egautr1

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On a related note, does anyone have any experience with this burner below?
It is a Natural Gas burner made by King Kooker. The reviews are a little mixed and wanted to see if anyone on here has seen/used it before.
I have been wanting a natural gas one for my house as I have a line in the backyard. All the others I have found are $300+. This one looks a little cheaper.

 

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