HOME > Chowhound > Austin >

Discussion

Crawfish boil at home - where to get 'em?

I'm giving up - time to do a boil at home. I know there are bits and pieces of this discussion in other threads, but like rudeboy did, I'm trying to make a focused thread. I want to boil around 20 lbs of crawfish tomorrow. Who has em, who has 'em pre-purged, what are they charging?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. oh hey televiking, televiking here. Great post. Called Quality - they were only willing to sell a sack for upwards of $90.00. Went to Fiesta, and they had huge loads of big fiesty fresh crawfish...there were tons there and over the PA I heard "Manager, crawfish delivery in the back..." Got 11.5 lbs - asked for 10, that was fine, they were under $2.00/lb - and not a dud in them. Got four blue crabs to boot - mighty fine. Hope this helps with your search.

    1. Lookup Crawfish on Craigslist.org for Austin. There's a restaurant selling it live for $3.50/lb.

      9 Replies
      1. re: DanielNTX

        Thanks! I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the Fiesta crawfish, and you can't beat the price - smalls were $1.29, large were $1.79. Good stuff.

        1. re: televiking

          Were they purged? My experience is that they aren't no matter what they tell you. I cooked some for a friend this weekend. She bought them from Quality. I think they had been purged but they were dirty as hell. For $3.00/lb they oughtta be as clean as a whistle. Good size. They were true mediums. Maybe 5-10 dead (crushed) out of 70 lbs.

          1. re: El General

            What do you mean when you say purged?

            1. re: opposite

              Purging crawfish is basically washing them and then putting salt in the water. Supposedly it makes them throw up, so they are purged. I just wash my crawfish now, I couldn't tell you the last time i purged them.

            2. re: El General

              Yeah - I wash/purged them. No salt - they came out pretty clean, and it was easy to see that all of them were alive.

              1. re: televiking

                So does that actually make a difference? I would think that keeping them from throwing up would be better, more flavor :)

                1. re: opposite

                  I certainly think it makes a difference.

              2. re: El General

                You cannot buy purged crawfish, or if you could you wouldn't want to, it will kill them. You want to purge them right before you cook them. All you need is a large cooler and a box of salt, and a stirring stick. We always use salt, and drain then repeat, usually about three to four times before the water is clear. Don't pour the salt right on the crawpappies, get some water on all of them; it will burn and maybe kill them. Discard any dead critters.
                They say it makes them throw up, maybe poo too. And the osmosis might draw the muddy water out from their shells. It definately makes a huge difference. Just fill up a cool full of crawfish, then look at the muddy water. You don't want to boil them in filthy water.

                apparently you can buy purged crawfish as this site sell: http://www.texascrawfish.com/
                but it's easy to do anyway, and I would purge them regardless.

                1. re: Scrambletron

                  Purging them won't kill them.

                  If you had seen the massive purging tanks with flowing freshwater used at some crawfish farms, and the water that comes out of the tank, then you would want them purged as well as possible. I am not particularly worried about what is inside as I am about what is outside.

                  I purge them myself if I have to, but it just ends up making a mudhole, and never works as well as when they have been purged by an operation with good tanks and free flow fresh water.

          2. FYI, very early in season, but Fiesta south had them on Saturday. Small and $5.50/lb, but alive and kicking. They also had medium blue crabs live.

            6 Replies
            1. re: RoundSparrow

              You purge them to flush the digestive tract and remove the gritty undesirables.
              We bought a 30lb sack on Mardi Gras from Central Market for $3/lb that were pretty decent size. Bigger than what we've had lately at Sam's Boat & Hot Boiled.
              Weird thing was we found a live red eared slider baby turtle in the bag. That was a first for me in all my years of crawfish boils.

              1. re: amykragan

                what'd you do with the turtle? =)

                    1. re: nk.

                      Hopefully battered and deep-fried.

                1. re: RoundSparrow

                  Here's some prices from this weekend:

                  Central Market - $5.75 per pound. There may be a price break for a sack
                  Fiesta - $1.69 for small, $2.99 for large. Over 20 lbs and the price drops to $1.49 and $2.69.
                  Quality Seafood - $3 something per pound, I think.
                  M T - $2.69 per pound. Price break for larger quantities

                  I gambled and bought ten pounds of the small ones at Fiesta. Sometimes the small ones take on more flavor anyhow - I don't mind peeling. Purged and boiled. There were only about 10 or so dead ones, based on how many were not curled up on the plate. Many of them must have been in stasis in the bag, cause I was worried that over half were dead. All in all, a success for under $20.

                2. Wasn't big enough to make turtle soup so it's handy that I teach HS Biology so we now have a class pet!