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Jul 18, 2011 12:18 PM


I love southern 'down home' cooking & I cook this style of cooking a fair bit but I want to try a low country boil. Ive looked a bit on the net & I have so far got "old bay seasoning, shell on & head on prawns (dont skimp on the prawns!) small new potatoes (pref red), sausage, corn cobs, onions & garllic". NOW! What I dont know is the following...

1) Which sausage. Ive never had Andouille or Kielbasa & I know they are traditional but Im not keen on an overly smokey sausage. Could I use Chorizo? Would it ruin the taste?

2) What ratio of Old Bay to water?

3) How much garlic?

4) Add beer or not?

Any hot tips to make it extra tasty? (I dont want it too hot though as its for the kids as well.|) What can I serve with it? Crusty Bread etc? Whats traditional?

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  1. i wouldn't use chorizo personally, I would stick with is a recipe for So Car. Frogmore stew (a.k.a. low country boil).. I have never added garlic to mine. I do however add clams and mussels.

    1. Here are a few links to some authentic Low Country Boil recipes:

      And, finally, that grand ole Southern belle, Paula Deen, just because:

      You can actually make your own kielbasa sausage, unsmoked, just Google...

      1. If you want to try andouille, I found it on a visit several years ago at Harrods. I don't recall it being as spicy as it might be in the south, but it might be just right for your family situation. The combination of a lightly smoked, garlicky sausage and the Old Bay should give you a good result.

        I agree that chorizo would not be a great choice.

        Please let us know how it turns out!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Terrie H.

          Be VERY VERY sure that you get Cajun style andouille, which is a garlicky, spicy sausange, and not French andouille, which is a sausage made of rolled innards and prized for its aroma of manure.

          They are NOT the same thing, and CANNOT be substituted for one another -- and French andouille will absolutely ruin your Low Country Boil.

          Not chorizo, either -- go with a garlicky sausage and you'll be fine.

          1. re: sunshine842

            CRIKEY! I knew not to get the french one but had no clue on the 'manure' aroma! Thanks for the heads up!

            1. re: sunshine842

              French andouillette is, I think, the worst thing I have ever put in my mouth. And it was the really good stuff from Cambrai!

              The nearest I can think of that we get in the UK to the sausage I had in South Carolina is kielbasa or one of those other smoked Polish type garlic sausages you get in the supermarket (produced by Matteson?).

          2. One piece of advice, I don't use the powdered Old Bay. Use the kind that comes in a bag. Throw the bag in the water, bring to a boil and simmer a while to getthe water nice and seasoned before you put any food in to cook. Once well seasoned, start with the sausage (andouille or kielbasa, not chorizo). Then add the potatoes. Corn on the cob doesn't take long to cook (like shrimp, over-cooking makes the kernels tough), so I put the corn in just a little before the shrimp. Along with the Old Bay, the only seasoning you need is salt and pepper. Never have added garlic or anything else - and I grew up eating this in South Carolina. It's best served outdoors on picnic tables covered in newspaper. Accompany with crusty French bread and a green salad, and you have an entire meal. Hope you and your friends enjoy!

            1. Sounds awesome. You're going to want a big pan of cornbread on the side, though. The whole idea is to dump everything out on the newspaper-covered tables, eat everything with your hands, get butter & salt all over the table and your clothes, and throw them fishy heads to the doggies.

              6 Replies
              1. re: tonifi

                Excellent! Thanks for all your help! I cant wait to try it! NOW I need a good cornbread recipe! Ive tried a few but Im yet to find one I like. I dont like it too sweet but I also dont like it completely savoury. Guess Ill have to start experimenting (unless one of you have the perfect recipe for me)

                1. re: psycho_fluff

                  Whatever you do, PLEASE don't dump it out on newspaper! What a waste of such a delicious broth. Serve it in wide shallow bowls with plenty of bread to sop up all those luscious juices. You're in for a real treat!

                  1. re: shecrab

                    I was thinking that, to be honest. Thanks for the tip. Gonna be a good day, methinks!

                    1. re: psycho_fluff

                      There are definitely two separate camps on the cornbread issue. Some maintain adamantly that no true Southerner would sweeten cornbread, ever. However, my grandmother, a fine Southern lady through and through, always made hers with sugar. Since that's what I grew up on, it remains my preference. Here is her recipe, not too substantially different from the ClabberGirl recipe, as passed down at through least four generations now:

                      1c. corn meal
                      1c. flour, sifted
                      ¼ c. sugar
                      4 t baking powder
                      ½ t salt
                      1 egg
                      1c. milk
                      ¼ c. lard or soft shortening

                      Sift together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add egg, milk & shortening.
                      Beat until smooth (about 1 minute with rotary beater) and pour into well-greased pan (8 in square) or 12 medium muffin tins. Bake in preheated 425° oven, 15-20 minutes.

                      (alternate version: Use honey instead of sugar, salad oil instead of shortening, reduce milk to 3/4 cup & bake at 400°.)

                      PS: This cornbread makes the most heavenly simple dressing for roast turkey or chicken that you will ever taste. Mother Berst's recipe for this:

                      Fry 2 or 3 onions in ¼ lb butter. Break up one recipe of cornbread (or a couple pieces less) in it and add some chopped celery, salt, pepper and 2 Tb poultry seasoning. Moisten with water or broth until it sticks together. (The one departure from tradition that I make is to bake mine in a separate pan, rather than stuffing it in the bird as was the habit in earlier times.)

                      1. re: eclecticsynergy

                        Cheers for the cornbread recipes! Much appreciated, folks! xxx