How to Host Your Own Low Country Boil

There’s nothing that says a beach vacation quite like a low country boil night.  For those who are unfamiliar with a low country boil, get ready to experience your new favorite meal. Low Country boils were originally called Frogmore stew. The origin is credited to Richard Gay, a National Guardsman.  Gay had the job of cooking for over 100 soldiers who were hungry, tired, and ready for a good meal. That is when they decided to use an old family recipe that became a beloved staple in the Lowcountry. Made from one pot this catch-all dish offers a delicious source of protein, starch, and even vegetables depending on the recipe. So if you find yourself without dinner plans one night at the beach, consider cooking up a low country boil and hosting the best dinner event ever. Here are a few of our tips and tricks to creating the best event as well as a few recipes.

Equipment Needed

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While generally, the Low Country Boil is a one-pot feast, there are a few things that will be essential to making this the best low country boil experience possible. For starters, it’s not a low country boil without newspapers to cover whatever tables you will be sitting on. The newspapers will be a catch-all for any messes that will be made and make clean-up time a lot easier. Most of the time if it is not served in a pot, the Low Country Boil will be dumped on the table in the style of a family dinner or free for all. Since the boil will typically have large shrimp, mussels, clams, crab, crawfish, and anything else you are interested in throwing in, the free-for-all style makes it easy to shuck, crack, and sip your delicious shellfish.  

 However, nothing says a low country boil without crab crackers, small cocktail forks that could be used for shrimp or crab, and a shucking knife if you are interested in oysters, mussels, or clams.  Though they are not necessary,  it makes your boil experience much easier. 

You can’t forget about the condiments as well. One of the best things about crab legs is the melted butter you get to dip it in or the cocktail sauce used for shrimp and maybe even oysters.  The melted butter is not only good for the crab legs but also to butter your corn. While some may not need or want these they are a nice addition to your feast and crab boil.  You want to make sure to have lots of napkins and extra utensils around as you will always need us for it.

Cooking The Boil On The Stove

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While many cook their boil outside on a burner it is not impossible to cook inside. You can easily whip up a boil on the stovetop using a stockpot or even a crockpot.  The most important factor is the seasonings oh, so no matter where you cook it, it will turn out great as long as you remember to add the basic seasonings that make up the boil.  Your boil can consist of whatever you like however standard boil includes red potatoes, Kielbasa sausages, unpeeled shrimp, corn on the cob, and seasoned with onions, lemon wedges, Old Bay, and water as a base.

To start you want to bring your lemons, onions, Old Bay, and 3 quarts of water to a boil before adding any of the other ingredients. Next, do you want to add the ingredients that will take the longest to cook this will be the potatoes. You can cook them for about 10 minutes before adding your next ingredient which will be the kielbasa sausages. After a few minutes of letting that simmer add in your corn.  Once all of these ingredients have started to soften,  start adding the rest of your protein. Shrimp fall only takes about three minutes to cook and they should turn pink. Once the shrimp are cooked you can pull them out to make room for other ingredients, or serve as is.  If you are serving a shrimp boil you can drain the liquid from the pot and start dividing up the rest.

Cooking The Boil In A Crockpot

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If your vacation rental doesn’t have an outside gas burner or a large enough pot to cook a boil on the stove you may be able to cook it inside of the crockpot. For a larger recipe, you will need a 6 or 7-quart crock pot as it will be full to the brim. For extra flavor, you can use beer as a base to your boil. However, if you want to use just water that will do just fine as well. Like previously mentioned, you will want to start with your water, lemons, onions, and Old Bay Seasoning. Once the potatoes have been added you will want to set the heat on low for 4 to 5 hours. After the original four to five hours adding in the smoked sausage and corn will only take about two additional hours to cook. Once you are ready to add the protein increase the heat to high and add in your choice of protein and cook for around 30 to 40 minutes.

Hosting A Boil

Boil new potatoes being poured on corn on the cop and sausages. Low Country Boil.

Hosting a low country boil dinner party is always a fun time. While boil turns out best when it has a proper amount of time to simmer and really steep in all of the flavors. It is crucial to time everything perfectly Ensuring that there will be enough to go around as well as it coming out in a timely manner. However do not fret, once the boil is put together it is a matter of sitting and waiting until it’s done with very little attention needed while it’s simmering.  Another great option to add to your low country boil is homemade garlic bread, this will offer a nice crunch and change of texture and taste that really compliments the boil. 

A low country boil is a great way to feed a big group of people without messing up an entire kitchen and needing tons of different kitchen gadgets. You can create a delicious dish that nearly everyone will love with just one pot and a few ingredients. That way you can spend more time with your guests and less time prepping and cooking food. The best thing about a boil is you can add anything you want to make it your own. From a South Carolina-style boil or a Louisiana-style seafood boil with cajun seasoning, the food will be fantastic and the experience will be even better. You can add in some of your favorite things like bay leaves, andouille sausage, and even blue crabs and hot sauce. Make sure to have a big glass of lemonade or sweet tea to really achieve the beach vibe.  Hosting a low country boil at your vacation rental is a great way to spend a night relaxing, laughing, and just enjoying that atmosphere. Below we have attached our favorite Low Country Boil recipe.

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