Crawfish Handling Tips
Whether you're curious about these tasty Cajun delights or you throw the best crawfish boil on the block, our crawfish guide has everything delish for crawfish.
How much meat can I expect?
- Make sure to ice and cover the crawfish while transporting from the store to home. It's important to keep the crawfish moist and cool. Best practice is to transport and store in a large cooler.
- Do not put crawfish in the back of a hot truck or the trunk of a car without being covered or iced as the sudden temperature change is harmful to the crawfish.
- Keep crawfish iced and covered until ready to cook. If crawfish are going to be kept overnight put them in a cooler and cover crawfish (in the bag) with a wet cloth or newspaper and put some ice on top. Keep the cooler lid open and
let any water drain out of the cooler. Keep out of the direct sun.
- It's best to buy the crawfish the day you plan to cook them.
- When cleaning the crawfish keep a constant flow of water running. Do not leave the crawfish sitting in water in the hot sun for a
long time as this will cause them to die. Rinse crawfish and drain water. Repeat until water remains clear.
- Purging the crawfish in salt water will start to kill them. Purging in salt is not recommended. Handle the crawfish with care. Do not drop or throw the crawfish bags as this can crush them.
Some, but not all crawfish are sized or graded, but small to medium ones give the highest meat yield and are easier to peel. Based on a yield of
15 percent meat, 6-7 pounds of live crawfish will provide 1 pound of peeled tails. You should plan on purchasing 3-4 pounds of live crawfish per person
per meal or 1 pound of fresh or frozen tails to feed three people.
How to Eat Crawfish
- To peel the crawfish, wash hands first since you will be handling the meat, and peel them while they are still warm.
- Separate the tail from the head by slightly pulling and twisting, and discard the head.
- Hold the tail between thumb and forefingers and squeeze until you hear the shell crack.
- Grasp the first three segments of tail from the side and pull off by lifting up and pulling around the meat.
- Firmly grasp the exposed meat in one hand, the tail fin in the other, and pull gently.
- The meat is now ready to eat, freeze, or serve with your favorite cocktail sauce.