This is the easiest way to prepare a crawfish boil, because you don’t need a big pot of water. This recipe uses frozen crawfish and a grill.

crawfish boil on table.

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Throwing a crawfish party is so much fun, especially when you can prepare it in very little time on your grill. And with this recipe, you can cook up enough for the entire block or just make a small batch for a fun way to do date night.

What is a crawfish boil?

Traditionally, a crawfish boil involves cooking crawfish, sausage, potatoes and corn in a large pot with spicy seasonings and several gallons of water at a rolling boil.

Once the ingredients are done cooking, they are strained from the liquid and poured out onto a table lined with newspaper.

This recipe is a little bit different. It involves all of the same ingredients and traditional New Orleans seasonings, but it’s a lot easier, because all you need is your grill.

cooked crawfish on wooden board.
whole crawfish

What is crawfish and what does it taste like?

A crawfish is a crustacean that lives in water. In the United States, they are mostly harvested from swamps and rivers in Louisiana.

Crawfish are also sometimes referred to as crayfish, crawdads or mudbugs.

Like a lobster, they turn bright red when they are cooked and most of the meat is in the tail. And although they do have claws, the claws are generally too small to yield a significant amount of meat.

Crawfish vs. Shrimp Taste

Crawfish have a salty, sweet taste similar to shrimp; however, their texture is different. While shrimp is more delicate, crawfish tail meat has a little more chew to it, especially the portion that connects to the head. It’s a little more firm and meaty.

Like shrimp, crawfish are very mild and take on the flavor of the seasonings you use during the cooking process.


  • Red Potatoes: Technically, you can use any type of potato, but large red potatoes work great, because of their smooth and creamy texture.
  • Corn Cobs: Fresh corn cobs are best, but you can also use thawed, frozen ears of corn if it’s not in season.
  • Frozen Whole Crawfish: For this recipe, use the frozen crawfish, because they’ve already been seasoned and boiled. Plus, they’re a lot easier to find year round.
  • Andouille Sausage: Although you could use any smoked sausage, andouille sausage is the authentic choice for a crawfish boil. Plan on about 3 ounces per person. The sausage may be a little too spicy for kids, so if you’re cooking for kids, maybe cook a couple hot dogs, as well.
  • Cajun Seasoning: It wouldn’t be a Cajun party without Cajun seasoning. This is used to add flavor to the potatoes and corn. The dry seasoning is a blend of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper and dried herbs.
  • Olive Oil
  • Melted Butter
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Lemon Wedges
Don't use fresh crawfish for this recipe. You want crawfish that have already been boiled and seasoned. It is not humane to cook live crawfish on a grill. 

How to cook a crawfish boil on the grill

This recipe does not involve a big pot of water. It’s way easier than that. Instead, you want to get your grill fired up with some Cowboy Charcoal Hardwood Briquets and heat it to medium high heat (375-400F degrees) with a direct heat zone.

cookin with cowboy logo

Disclosure: I am a paid ambassador for Cowboy Charcoal.

crawfish boil on table.

The dish is prepared in layers. The potatoes take the longest to cook, so they’ll go on the grill first followed by the rest of the ingredients.

  1. STEP ONE: Prepare all of the ingredients. Thaw the frozen crawfish in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Slice the red potatoes in half. Cut the corn cobs and sausage into 2-inch pieces.
  1. STEP TWO: Season the potato halves and corn with olive oil and Cajun seasoning.
  1. STEP THREE: Place the seasoned potatoes on the grill cut side down over direct heat. Grill for 15 minutes.
  1. STEP FOUR: After 15 minutes, flip the potatoes over. Add the seasoned corn, sausage pieces and crawfish to the grill. Cook for 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
  1. STEP FIVE: At this point, the potatoes should be fork tender. The sausage and corn should have a nice char and the crawfish should be heated through. Place everything in a large pot or bucket.

How to serve crawfish boil

The best way to eat a crawfish boil is to enjoy it outside, because things can get kind of messy.

Start by lining your picnic table with butcher paper. This makes cleanup much easier. On the lined table, add some buckets for crawfish shells, lots of paper towels and buckets of cold beers or sodas.

Remove the crawfish, sausage, corn and potatoes from the grill. Place them in a large container like a bowl, pot or bucket and pour them right onto the table.

crawfish boil on table.

Pour on some melted butter for extra flavor, and add a few lemon wedges to the mix. Sprinkle everything with some fresh parsley and a few pinches of salt.

How to eat crawfish

Even though crawfish are about 4 inches long, the meat is mostly located in the tail, which is 1-2 inches long.

To eat whole crawfish, grab the crawfish by the head and the tail and give it a twist. The tail should separate from the rest of the body and the meat will become exposed.

Turn the tail upside down and break open the shell. You should be able to pull the meat right out.

As an option, you can do like they do in Louisiana and Mississippi and you can suck the head. To do this, place the open end of the head in your mouth and suck in the juices.

This may sound a little crazy, but the inside contains seasonings and an umami bomb of flavor from the crustacean’s hepatopancreas, which functions like a liver.


You can store leftovers from your crawfish boil in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container. When reheating it, reheat the potatoes first, because they are more dense. The crawfish, will take less than a minute to reheat in the microwave.

You can also freeze leftovers for up to three months.

GCG Pro Pitmaster Tips

  • Start with thawed, frozen pre-cooked crawfish
  • Cut the potatoes, corn and sausage into even pieces
  • Grill the potatoes first, so they are fully cooked through
  • Serve outside on a table lined with butcher paper

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pounds of crawfish do you need per person for a boil?

When planning for a crawfish boil, plan on a half a pound of whole crawfish per person. In addition to this, plan on 1 large red potato, a half an ear of corn and about 4-inches of sausage per person.

Can you eat crawfish while pregnant?

Yes. You can eat crawfish while pregnant. According to the FDA, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can consume between 8-12 ounces of seafood that is lower in mercury each week. Crawfish is listed among the best seafood choices along with cod, lobster, salmon, scallops and shrimp.

What are the health benefits of crawfish?

According to the Louisiana State University Ag Center, crawfish are low in calories and fat and high in protein, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The Ag Center states they are also a good source of vitamin B12, niacin, iron, copper and selenium.

How do you cook precooked crawfish?

There are several ways to cook precooked crawfish. Most frozen crawfish is precooked, which means it has already been boiled with seasonings and flash frozen.

Start by defrosting the crawfish in a refrigerator for 3-6 hours. Then, you can either reheat the crawfish in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Reheat them in a microwave for 5 minutes. Or follow this recipe and heat the crawfish on a grill for 15 minutes.

Where can I buy crawfish?

You can find frozen crawfish at grocery stores in the freezer section near the other frozen seafood. I can usually find it at Wal-Mart all year round.

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5 from 2 votes

Crawfish Boil on a Grill

This is the easiest way to prepare a crawfish boil, because you don't need a big pot of water. This recipe uses frozen crawfish and a grill.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 6 red potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 3 corn cobs
  • 16 ozs andouille sausage
  • 3 lbs frozen pre-cooked crawfish, thawed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  • Heat Grill: Heat your grill to 375-400F degrees with direct heat.
  • Prepare: Cut the red potatoes in half. Cut the corn cobs and sausage into 2-inch pieces.
  • Season: Season the potatoes and corn with olive oil and Cajun seasoning.
  • Grill Potatoes: Place the seasoned potatoes on the grill cut side down and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Grill Remaining Ingredients: After 15 minutes, flip the potatoes. Add the seasoned corn, sausage and thawed crawfish to the grill. Cook for another 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Line Table: While the food is grilling, line a table with butcher paper.
  • Transfer: When the potatoes are fork tender and the corn and sausage have a nice char and the crawfish are heated through, transfer everything to a large pot, bowl or bucket.
  • Serve: Pour the bucket of crawfish boil onto the lined table. Drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle on some chopped fresh parsley and add lemon wedges.



If you purchase frozen crawfish, it will most likely already be cooked and seasoned. Place the bag in a bowl in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to thaw. 
Andouille sausage can be found packaged in a 13-ounce rope sausage or in 12-ounce packages of smaller links. Plan on about 4 inches or 3 ounces of sausage per person. 
I like making this on a charcoal grill using Cowboy Charcoal Hardwood Briquets.


Calories: 575kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 25gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 749mgPotassium: 1471mgFiber: 5gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1015IUVitamin C: 32mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Cajun, Southern
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and top 10 category finishes. I’m an expert grill reviewer for BBQ Guys, and I have appeared on the Food Network and Ninja Woodfire Grill infomercials. I established this website in 2015 to share my BBQ tips and recipes.

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