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Apr 7, 2009 07:28 AM

Shrimp boil

I figured chowhounds could help me out. . .if we are having a shrimp boil, how many pounds of shrinp should we order? Potatoes and corn? Thanks.

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  1. How many people are you going to be feeding? Could be 10 pounds or could be 200 pounds...

    1. Many people I know go with 2lbs per lady and 3lbs per guy with a half cob of corn and two small red potatos per person.

      Then again, many people I know can kill almost 10lbs if you let them...


      1 Reply
      1. re: thecajunfoodie

        I know this is an older thread but I just came across it through a search. Not sure if you live in a different Cajun country than I do, but you can't seriously suggest that someone would eat 10 pounds of food, right? Never in my life have I met anyone that could eat 10 pounds of shrimp. On second thought, someone consuming 3 pounds of shrimp with potatoes, etc. is a little disgusting. Perhaps you are thinking of a crawfish boil?

        I am a pretty big eater, and I would say that 2 pounds of shrimp is a LOT. The shells really don't weigh much, like they do with crawfish. And keep in mind that shrimp are not as cheap in many places as they are in south Louisiana. Let's venture to say that good sized shrimp can be had for $6 a pound. At 10 pounds, it would cost $60 a person for a shrimp boil!! You can feed them filet mignon for cheaper!


      2. just shrimp corn and potatoes, or onions sausage and other seafood. How many people adults and kids? Lots to adjust. I like to add artichoke, some add sausage and some clams or mussels or just shrimp.

        Lots of variables here. What else are you having, salad or grilled bread ... let us know. I make them almost once a month.

        18 Replies
        1. re: kchurchill5

          There will be about 50-60 adults. We will also serve salad, a few appetizers, and gumbo. Thanks!

          1. re: robrob

            I would suggest some bread too to soak up juice, :)

            50 to 60 ... with everything else 8-16 shrimp depending on age per person. Also depending on shrimp size. But also remember corn and potato, sausage or not? to me it is great. Artichokes or not? Any other seafood or just shrimp? Old Bay is my favorite for a crab boil, but many favorites. I also add lemons and onions to mine for flavor which I think really help.

            50 x 16 shrimp I would go less with all the other food maybe 10 each, dependending on size and the ages of the guests. That can be up to seventeen lbs which is a lot. But remember not everyone will eat shrimp and not everyone will eat the same amount.

            I would make a few sides or salads. Corn, Onions, Artichokes, potatoes and maybe the bread and cut it down to 10 or less which then 8-10 lbs. Just depends how much shrimp you want as the main course. Also gumbo has shrimp.

            I love a boil with a few different seafoods, clams, mussels, shrimp and then make side dishes. That way less on the cost of seafood. You will use much less shrimp then you realize with all the other items. 5-10 is an average plenty with is around 8 lbs maybe more if heavy shrimp eaters. You know your guest best. More, women (sorry but lighter eaters) and kids and the amount goes ways down. Depending on how much gumbo and how many salads.

            I served 40 with 5 lbs and others items and we had plenty but other seafood too and lots of sides. so just weigh it out accordingly to your guests.. You can always freeze the rest which is great for other meals.

            1. re: kchurchill5

              I think we go to different shrimp boils and/or hang out with a different crowd! :)


              1. re: thecajunfoodie

                Not our shrimp boils, but 10 friends and 10 different versions

              2. re: kchurchill5

                Bread to soak up what juice? I can't imagine any kind of juice I'd like to soak up after a shrimp boil.

                How on earth did you serve 40 people with 5 pounds of shrimp? Are you Jesus?

                I agree with 2-3 pounds per person.

                1. re: N.O.Food

                  LOL....I'm shivering just thinking what that piece of bread would taste like.

                  She mentions she had other items, but 5 lbs. of shrimp for 40 people is far from a shrimp boil

                  1. re: Infomaniac

                    Exactly, with as much spice as is in the water the last thing I would want to do is soak it up with some bread.
                    Mushrooms, corn, potatoes and shrimp, and any other veggie that you like that soaks up flavor.
                    I know I'm good for an easy ten pounds myself.

                  2. re: N.O.Food

                    Between my husband and 5 children, we generally have about 7-8 lbs of shrimp and we are not huge eaters or large people. (4 of the kids are 8 and under) Maybe the shrimp are the size of redfish. I put about 3 lbs of shrimp in my gumbo so I am floored. I have always used around 3 lbs per person. Better to err on the side of having too much rather than too little. But the Jesus comment is pretty damn funny!

                    1. re: N.O.Food

                      OMG, I laughed out loud on that one!! Maybe he could do the water to wine trick too!!

                    2. re: kchurchill5

                      Can't stop laughing! 8-16 shrimp might be an appetizer, but not a shrimp boil! I think 4-5 lbs. of shrimp per person might be more like it!

                      1. re: kchurchill5

                        I believe you're mistaken bar-b-qued shirmp for boiled shrimp.

                      2. re: robrob

                        You must really be wealthy to buy that much shimp for 50 to 60 adults. I'll send you my address if you have any left over (which I doubt seriously)! ENJOY!!!

                      3. re: kchurchill5

                        I know this is an OLD thread, but I am planning a shrimp boil for my husband's 40th and ran across it. Anyway, I've never added artichokes before, but am interested in doing it this time. What do you do to prepare them before you add them to the boil? Also, how long should I cook them?

                        1. re: KateMW

                          It's been a long time since I added artichokes to a boil and we weren't crazy about the results. But I'd do them as you would normally do them, trim leaf ends and boil about 30 minutes. Pull one out and pull off bottom leaves or stick stem to check for tenderness.

                          Hmmmm. I may have to try it again this season

                          1. re: collardman

                            Though I haven't done this in a shrimp boil context, I'll often stuff peeled cloves of raw garlic amongst the artichoke leaves. It does little for the 'chokes but the garlic ends up being a little surprise. (I usually tuck some curley parsley in there too but that seems kind of fussy in a boil.) Love the idea of adding them to the boil.

                            1. re: collardman

                              My sister hard boils her eggs in the crawfish boil. I don't eat eggs so I can't say personally but they love them.

                              1. re: collardman

                                What didn't you like about them? I can't decide if I'll like the boil spice with the artichoke flavor.

                              2. re: KateMW

                                I always soak them in water and vinegar for an hour or so before starting. I was taught that this drives out any little bugs and I also read that in South America they did the same thing but not sure if for the same reason. Anyway, just go from there. I put them in those little zipper net things that women use to wash stockings. Watch carefully, though...they can disintegrate quickly. I check them after half-an-hour.

                            2. As a Chef here go w/ 1-2lbs of shrimp per person depends on size the 16-20 count per pound is nice 21-25 little smaller in size(the number per pound),,Potatoes should be around 20lbs depending on size and if u cut them.Corn 1-2ears per person again depends on the group..Follow any good recipe for the shrimp boil do corn and potatoes in same pot start w' potatoes first then add corn later lots of seasonings and a good salad should get u there Enjoy Chow..Ps can add that shrimp broth to Pot/Corn for flavor

                              1. To me again ... how much gumbo, how many appetizers, other main dishes, how many salads. I could easily eat 1-2 lbs of shrimp but, kids or adults. And I am certainly not going to eat 1 lb of shrimp with salad appetizers, bread and gumbo, corn and potatoes.

                                Just a plain shrimp boil with corn and potatoes ... yes. But not with everything else.

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                  Ahh, but remember, this is the New Orleans Board. We are serious about our seafood. And if it happens to be crawfish, even more so. I generally figure 5 lbs. of crawfish per person, no matter what the sides might be.
                                  Reminds me of a crawfish boil I was invited to once where the tables were set up with no chairs. My husband and I just looked at each other and laughed. "Where are these folks from?", we wondered.

                                  1. re: cajungirl

                                    Actually, my favorite crawfish "eating stance" is standing up! It allows me to be mobile and beat others to fresh batches, larger crawdaddies, get another beer without exerting the extra effort of getting up out of the chair, etc.

                                    Not to make everyone jealous and all, but I'll be eating boiled shrimp fresh off the dock in Grand Isle this weekend! OH YEAH!


                                    1. re: thecajunfoodie

                                      Same here, no need for chairs at my boils, I'll put some out for the people who want to sit, but the professional eaters you can spot by the fact that they are standing.

                                      1. re: roro1831

                                        I do understand your motivation. However, I prefer to savor every bite and enjoy the ambiance, while quietly putting away an enormous amount without drawing attention to myself. I guess the fact that I am the antithesis of ADHD helps me out in this. As a bonus, I don't appear hurried or greedy, yet enjoy the conversation and succulence of the bounty before me.

                                        1. re: cajungirl

                                          I'm with you: give me a chair, some elbow room, and plenty of time.

                                          1. re: Hungry Celeste

                                            Scratch my brutish reasoning in the previous post, I prefer to stand at crawfish boils to ensure that any lady that would like a seat is able to take one...

                                            I agree on the elbow room (whether standing or sitting). It ranks right up there with proper seasoning when it comes to measuring my enjoyment of devouring crawfish.


                                          2. re: cajungirl

                                            Wow!! You said it all. You hafta be a true New Orleanian. Go girl!!! (And invite me, if you want)

                                            1. re: cajungirl

                                              I could eat 10 lbs. myself and I'm not a pig. It's just that you don't see many shrimp boils because of the price you hafta pay. I wouldn't let other people boil them for me, it's something you must do yourself unless you're rich or you find a good caterer. There's one in Kenner , but I can't think of the name right now.

                                              1. re: ghc630

                                                The biggest shrimp count on the market, U10, aka "colossal," are 10 to a pound. That means 10 pounds is 100 freaking huge shrimp. Are you serious dude? You should look into some eating contests.

                                                1. re: uptownlibrarian

                                                  Sorry, I was drunk on steak and also watching Top Chef at the same time I posted last night. My point is, 10# of shrimp is at the very least 100 shrimp, and most likely far more. That's a lot of shrimp. But I would be interested to see you do it.

                                                  As for buying boiled shrimp, I had some really good ones at Seither's Seafood in Harahan recently. Sometimes they're great at Harbor Seafood, but my experience there has been a little hit or miss when it comes to shrimp.

                                                2. re: ghc630

                                                  Fresh shrimp off the boat this summer were as little as $2.00/lb. It's not an exorbitantly expensive food, imho. Way cheaper than serving beef (hell, a good chuck roast will cost at least $3/lb).