Gallons of crab boil

p40401291Shouldn’t a quantity of crab boil this large be classified as a Schedule III chemical weapon?  An entire gallon of Zatarain’s crab boil is almost certainly lethal.  If this gallon jug spilled inside the Super Wal-Mart where I photographed it, cleanup on aisle 9 would require the HazMat team.

Is is a magical elixir, though….with notes of clove, bay, citrus, plus powerful heat and other mysterious components, crab boil provides a hit of flavor to all sorts of south Louisiana dishes beyond boiled seafood.  Zatarain’s crab boil makes Old Bay, the preferred seafood seasoning of the mid-Atlantic states, seem like a one-trick pony.  We love our crab boil:  it’s not seen as a packaged shortcut, but rather an essential flavoring, used like salt and pepper.  A flat, boring dish can be rescued with a drop or two, which provide a subtle yet distinctive flair.  Use too much, and the harsh heat predominates.

Gumbos, stews, stuffings, egg salad, corned beef brisket, barbecue sauce, vegetable dishes….where do YOU use crab boil?

10 thoughts on “Gallons of crab boil

  1. Do you like the liquid stuff? I hate it. I buy crab boil in big jars at Sam’s. I also use the mesh bags for boiling corned beef. Putting crab boil in a pot of gumbo sounds too risky for me. If it needs something besides salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, Worcestershire, and Crystal, I might sneak in a dash of Tony Chachere’s but I’d be scared to try crab boil.

  2. When boiling seafood, I use the mesh bags in combination with the liquid stuff. A drop or two of the liquid stuff (notice I said DROP) in savory dishes can be nice; don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

  3. I’ve used a drop or two in fish salads. It doesn’t work as well with tuna unless the tuna’s fresh, but in a salad made with leftover grilled grouper or catfish, it’s lovely. But just a drop!

  4. This liquid crab boil has reached all the way to where i live which is in Stockholm, Sweden. I bought mine in New Orleans and ever since, i use it in my gumbos, red beans, seafood dishes, crawfish boils, pasta dishes, etc..

    My opinion is that its one of the best stuff ever made and a drop of it can surely transform a dish or save it for that matter. I use both the mesh and the liquid stuff.

    We have crawfish boils too here but the spicing is different but i prefer to use the crab boil nowadays.

    What i would like to know is how is this liquid stuff made? it says on the pack, made from essential oils of the spices used but is that all?

    • As far as I’m concerned the stuff is liquid gold! My favorite is the liquid Zatarain’s crab boil….which delivers those essential oils of spices in an alcohol base, along with capsicum oleoresin (the heat in the flavoring, derived from hot chile peppers) and some artificial spice flavors.

  5. Zatarain`s is the one i have, haven`t tried any other yet. I cooked some potatos in it yesterday and served with butter as a side dish, it was wonderful.

    I have been eating in many nice places like Italy, Paris, Thailand and the Caribbean but no place beats New Orleans, seriously.

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