Crawfish gone fishin.....literally

Discussion in 'Non-fish Seafood' started by consoleman, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. So, I have been a long time crawfish eater and decided to start making them myself last year. I cooked them about 4 times and have had them come out fishy evertime. It never fails. In the past I even used salt once during purging to see if that helped. Can anyone tell me if I am doing something wrong?

    I remove the crawfish from the bag and put them into a very large cooler. I fill them up with water and rinse them about 4 times untill the water is clear. Making sure to pick out any dead ones and trash. Here is what I add to my 120 quart pot

    10 gallons water
    3 - 16oz wet crab boil
    4.5lbs bag of dry seasoning
    6 - 3oz little bags the floating kind
    1.75 oz cayanne pepper
    half a contaniner of salt
    .25 oz bay leaves
    6 large lemons
    4 large onions
    4 heads of garlic

    I bring everthing to a boil and let it boil for 10 min. Drop the crawfish in and bring it up to a boil and then I turn off the flame. I left them in for 50min! I admit they tasted not AS fishy as some of mine have in the past but. It had no spicyness, very small amount of flavor and tasted fishy. Once a little colder they tasted way more fishy.
  2. consoleman, where do you live? I grew up in New Orleans and now live in Chicago, but my family have been boiling crawfish for years and have never had a "fishy" taste. Are you buying pond or Bell River (wild) crawfish? As far as seasonings, if they are spiceless then you're not adding enough seasoning...simple as that. There's a place called Denis's in Metairie (where I grew up) that we ALWAYS got our crawfish from. They sell a seasoning blend and it's the best I've found so far. We don't do our own so I can't really help there. My dad's been using it ever since they opened and started selling it. They have a website and ship also. 

    I can't say why you're getting a fishy taste other than it's possible that your seasoning blend is insufficient. I'll add that you should try adding a few lbs of smoked sausage and some artichoke to your boil next time. It's amazing!
  3. rg, thank for the artichoke tip. I through in corn, sausage, red potatoes, and sweet potatoes.

    I get my crawfish from a local grocery store called HEB that gets them in on the weekends. Im not sure where they come from farmed or wild. I wanted to double all the spices but wanted some help on which things. I dont think the little 3oz floating bags help much.

    I too think the fishy taste is a result of not having enough spice.
  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    Send a PM to Eman he should be able to help you the man can cook and mudbugs is one of the many things he does
  5. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Are they  live crawfish ?
  6. I love good Crawfish

  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

  8. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Add the seasoning to the water. bring to boil. add crawfish and bring back to boil for 2 min. turn off fire and add 10 lbs ice to pot to stop cooking. let soak 20 - 30 min . add more seasoning and repeat. Each batch should be spicier than the one before it . I am usually cooking so last batch is for me LOL
  9. piney - ill give him a shout see if he can help.

    eman - yes they are live. I have seen the proboil bags but have never tried them. I usually only do 1 30-35 lbs batch. I would like to get them from a company that delivers them properly purged (48 hrs) but that too expensive about 7 or 8 dollars a pound wow! Im hoping to get some help so I wont have to hang up my large crawfish ladle and big pot. I cant keep spending 120 on a boil just to have them taste bad.......back to bbqn
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Eman is great! Just to throw this out there, one year when the water was really low, our crawfish had a taste. It could have been bait, I don't know.  Mr. Jeansonne, The first real coonazz I ever met laughed at my Pop and showed him a trick. Apple cider vinegar. Yes we all know it helps remove that seafood smell after peeling, and in New Orleans they think it softens the shells for peeling, but you can't taste it and it cleared the "Air".

    I do usually purge the crawfish before boiling.

    I have never been a fan of liquid boil, I usually use the bags, lemon, salt, Cayenne and vinegar. 

    Just a thought.

    Everything else is the same.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  11. Eman is spot on. Pro Boil is the way to go. Though unless you are icing the water 50 mins is way to long. Get the water boiling good and hard, put in the crawfish, get the water back to a boil and kill the heat. Stare testing at 15 mins to see if they come out of the shell easy. If not let them set another 4-5 mins and try again. You just want them where they come out of the shell easily. You get more spice by adding more spice, not over cooking/ soaking them.

    I personally find the liquid boil a little fishy tasting.

    Also if you are cooking batches and putting them in a cooler to rest, don't finish them to complete doneness or they will over cook in the cooler
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  12. As said above you will need more seasoning. Don't let them sit in the water that long. I like Swamp Fire with lots of lemon. I wash them real well fallowed by a good purge and another wash. I have never dad a bad bug.

    Happy smoken.

  13. All this crawfish talk is making me hungry, got a bag of frozen tails in there I might have to do something with a little etoufee  

  14. Sorry eman about the pm i did not notice you were the same person lol.

    So im gonna stick to the proboil powder only and drop the fishy liquid stuff like JD says. eman suggest adding 5 - 14oz bags for the first batch. Will that be enough for my 10 gallons of water and my 35lbs first batch?

    mule - I only let them sit that long because they had no spice to them. I think since I only brought them up to a boil and turn it off without adding ice, it didnt let the crawfish soak up as much spice. they floated for a long 25 min. I have done the ice trick in the past and had them sink immediately but they still had a fishy taste?
  15. When I do a sack, I usually split them in 3 batches, with ~1/3 of the big jar (6th I think) of pro boil per batch. That gives the ones that like less heat the first batch, the next batch is for more hardy folks, and the last batch for the cook and those in the know. Actually I usually put an extra bag in the last batch
  16. twoalpha

    twoalpha Smoking Fanatic

    Have boiled many crawfish in TX and LA and never had a fishy one. Since you are picking this up with each boil what pot (base metal) are you using. Stainless would be preferred as it will not impart any metal taste. Just a thought.

  17. I think eman hit it on the head. Not enough seasoning. So i need to reduce the amount of water and only use the proboil.

    deepdriver - you say add 1/3 per batch but how much water are you using?

    Larry - I am using an aluminum pot. I know stainless would have been better but a 120qt pot would have been too expensive.
  18. I have a 60 qt pot, probably fill it close to have full of water for a batch. It is aluminum and has done hundreds of batches and no metal taste or other problems. Now what was I talking about :)

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