Planning on cooking crawfish for guests? It can be difficult to know how much is the right amount. This is particularly because there is less meat in each crawfish than you would expect. This is the complete guide on how much crawfish you will need for your guests. And I have also included a recipe and the best way to eat crawfish. Keep reading to find out more!
Table of Contents
- Firstly, What Is Crawfish?
- How Much Crawfish Does One Person Eat?
- Roughly, How many Crawfish Are In A Pound?
- What Size Sacks Do Crawfish Come In?
- How Long Do You Boil 10 lbs of Crawfish?
- How Do You Eat And Peel Crawfish?
- How many pounds in a sack of crawfish: FAQs
- How Many Pounds In A Sack Of Crawfish – Answered!
Firstly, What Is Crawfish?
Crawfish are a type of freshwater crustacean, which look like miniature lobsters. They range in size from 3.5 inches to 7 inches. There are over 400 species of crawfish worldwide, with about 250 types of crawfish found in North America. They can be found in rivers, lakes, swamps, wetlands, canals, and even some peoples backyards!
The most prominent breed of crawfish farmed in the US is the red swamp crawfish, which is found in Southern Louisiana.
The second most prominent breed of crawfish is the white river crawfish, found in Northern Louisiana! Approximately 90% of crawfish production in the US comes from Louisiana, and is both caught wild and farmed as a dual crop with rice.
Other than Louisiana, crawfish are farmed and harvested in other Southern states, along with the Pacific Northwest.
Crawfish has a sweet taste to it, similar to that of lobster. However, crayfish is more tender, and not quite as rich as its saltwater counterpart.
Similar to lobster, crawfish meat perishes quickly after it has died. Crawfish fat, often referred to as head fat, is yellow and contains the majority of the flavor of the meat.
You’ll notice that crawfish fans suck the flesh out of the head in order to experience the full flavor of the meat. This is because most of the flavor is stored in the head of the crustacean.
How Much Crawfish Does One Person Eat?
On average, one person will usually eat approximately 3 lbs of crawfish.
Unlike eating shrimp tails, you can’t eat the shell of crayfish. One whole cooked crawfish yields approximately 15% tail meat, meaning that 3 lbs of whole cooked crawfish equated to about ½ lbs of tail meat. This is why you need to buy such large quantities.
That being said, it is important that you take into account who you are cooking for. If you are cooking for guests who have a large appetite, you may need to purchase a larger quantity of up to 7 lbs per person for your crayfish boil.
Roughly, How many Crawfish Are In A Pound?
The number of crawfish in a pound is completely dependent on the size of the crawfish. If you have large to normal-sized crawfish, you may get 20 to 30 crawfish per pound.
What Size Sacks Do Crawfish Come In?
On average, each bag of crawfish generally weighs between 28 to 35 lbs. This will typically feed about 12 people or less.
This is also dependent on what other foods you have in the meal. Dishes with crawfish as the main ingredient will need more crawfish than those with other fixings, such as potato, corn, or even sausage.
How Long Do You Boil 10 lbs of Crawfish?
If you are cooking a crawfish boil, you will need to boil it in a pot of water with seasonings, lemon, onions, and garlic.
Some ingredients to add to your crawfish boil seasoning I would recommend adding are listed below:
- 4 tbsp Cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp Garlic powder
- 1 lbs Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp Paprika
- 1 tbsp Onion powder
- 1 tbsp Thyme
- 1 tbsp Oregano
- 1 tbsp Whole black peppercorns
- 1 ½ tbsp Whole allspice
- 2 tbsp whole cloves
- 1 tbsp dry mustard
- 1 tbsp dried dill weed
- 6 bay leaves, crumbled
- 10 lbs live crawfish
- 8 ears corn, halved
- 2 heads of Garlic, unpeeled, but separated
- 1 lbs Andouille Sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
This recipe should yield approximate servings for 10 to 12 people
How to Make Crawfish Boil
Total Time: 1 hour and 53 minutes
Prepare your ingredients
Start preparing the seasonings by grinding up the peppercorns, whole cloves, and allspice in a spice grinder.
Set up your pot
Using a 40-quart pot, fill this with 5 gallons of water. Next, add your freshly ground spices, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, thyme, oregano, dry mustard, dill weed, and bay leaves. Cover over your pot with a lid and put on high heat. Bring the water to a boil and then let the pot simmer for 40 minutes
Clean your crawfish
Start by thoroughly rinsing the crawfish in the bag they came in. Remove any excess dirt and mud. Place your crawfish in a large container and fill it will cool water. stir the pot in order to remove excess dirt from the crawfish. In small batches, use a colander to clean the crawfish by running cold water through it. Pick out any debris or any dead crawfish.
Repeat this process until all of the water that comes from the colander is clear and discard the dirty water. You may need to repeat this process from 6 to 8 times.
Cook your fixings
Once you have completely cleaned your crawfish, and the seasoned water has come to a boil, add your potatoes, corn, garlic, and sausage. Cover the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes.
Cook your crawfish
When your fixings have cooked, add your crawfish. Cover the pot and let simmer for 3 minutes. Then, turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit for another 10 minutes, with the lid on. Drain the water from the pot and serve your dish immediately. Enjoy!
I have another seafood recipe for butter cajun sauce on a separate blog post so you should check this out too!
How Do You Eat And Peel Crawfish?
Knowing how to tackle eating crawfish is a difficult one. If you follow these simple steps, you should be able to get all the good parts out, without
- Gently twist the tail and pull so it separates from the head.
- Taking the head, most of the flavor is in here so you are going to want to suck the flavor out of its head.
- Next you need to separate the tail from the exoskeleton. Using your thumbs, gently apply some pressure on the first two lines of the tails underside, right where the opening is. Once it has cracked, you can push the sides outward in both directions. This will completely separate the shell from the meat.
- Now it is time to extract the meat from the tail. Once the tail exoskeleton has been cracked open, pinch the back end of the tail, then gently pull the meat out from the other end using a twisting motion.
- Next, you need to devein the tail. You can remove it by pressing your thumb down on one side of the vein, then pushing it along until the meat has been removed.
- Some crawfish will have meat in their claws, depending on their size. Larger crawfish in particular have more meat in their claws. Start by pulling the lower claw down and away using a twisting motion in order to get the meat from inside.
- Now enjoy and repeat! The more often you eat crawfish you will get better with practice.
If you would like to see another way of doing this, you can check out this video below!
How many pounds in a sack of crawfish: FAQs
How Much Crawfish Do I Need For 25 People?
Depending on whether you are adding other foods or not, you may need to order between 75-150 pounds of crawfish. You will only need 75 id you have other ingredients within the dish, otherwise if it is the main aspect of the meal, you may want to purchase the upper end of the scale.
How Many Pounds Of Crawfish Do You Need Per Person?
A good guideline to follow when cooking crawfish boil is that you will usually require 3-6 pounds per person. You may only need a lighter amount if you are adding other foods into the dish, such as potatoes, sausage, or other items. If the crawfish is the main aspect, then you may need up to 6 pounds of crawfish per person.
How Long Should You Boil Crawfish For?
Crawfish only needs to be boiled for between 3 to 5 minutes. You should bring all the other ingredients to a boil and make sure they are almost cooked before adding in the crawfish. If you overcook the crawfish, like other seafood, it will have a rubbery texture and lose its taste.
How Many Pounds In A Sack Of Crawfish – Answered!
So, hopefully, this will have answered your questions on how much crawfish you will need per person and why you need such a large volume! There is not that much meat in the tail of a crawfish (approximately 15%), which is why you need so much for a good crawfish boil.
A good amount to purchase per person is between 3-6 lbs, and is dependent on what other foods you are cooking with your crawfish.
You will need more crawfish if crawfish meat is the main fixing in your dish. But if you are adding other ingredients such as sausage, corn or potato, then you can add in less crawfish.
You might be interested in how much rice to serve per person, so check that post out as well.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!