8 gallons water
1 whole box salt (or more to taste)
8-ounce can cayenne pepper
6 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
¾ stalk celery, coarsely chopped
6 large heads garlic, halved crosswise
6 whole lemons, thickly sliced
8 ounces Frank Davis Granular Seafood Boil
2 pounds country smoked sausage, cut into pieces
20 medium red potatoes, halved
10 ears fresh (not frozen) corn, halved
2 pounds small white button mushrooms
20+ pounds 26-30 count shrimp, thoroughly washed
1 bag party ice
Old newspaper for covering the table
Cocktail sauce for dipping
Remoulade Sauce for dipping
2 rolls absorbent paper towels
1. Combine and prepare ingredients
2. Set up a high pressure burner, propane tank, and 60-quart pot.
3. Add the water to the pot and bring it to a rolling boil.
4. When the water is ready, drop into it the salt, cayenne, onions, celery, garlic, lemons, seafood boil, and sausage.
5. Boil together all the seasoning ingredients for about 15 minutes to create a rich seafood-boiling stock.
6. Put the potatoes in the pot, let the water come back to a boil, and boil them for 10 minutes.
7. After 10 minutes, put the corn into the pot, let the water come back to a boil, and boil the half-ears for 8 minutes.
8. At the end of the 8 minutes, stir the mushrooms into the pot, let the water come back to a boil, and boil them for 5 minutes. This technique is known as “back-timing” and is used to make sure every ingredient in the pot comes out perfectly at the same time.
9. Now it’s time to add in the shrimp. Put them all into the pot, stir them around briskly, let the water come back to a boil, and boil them for exactly 2 minutes (or until you can see an air space develop between the tops of the shrimp shells and the meat of the shrimp). When that happens.
10. Immediately turn off the fire, remove the pot from the hot burner grate, and drop into the pot—evenly over the shrimp (which at this point will all be floating) the bag of ice. You will notice at this point that all the shrimp will immediately sink to the bottom of the pot! This is when they start picking up the seasoning (that doesn’t happen while they are actively boiling).
11. Now let the shrimp “soak” in the spicy water for at least 12 minutes. After that time, you can begin sampling them, like every 5 minutes or so afterwards, until they “spicefully” and perfectly suit your taste.
12. All that’s left to do is to spread the newspaper out on the table, remove all the shrimp from the pot, drain them thoroughly, then place them on the newspaper right down the center of the table, along with the cocktail and remoulade sauces.
Mangia! Welcome to summertime in the backyard!
This recipe can be either halved or doubled while still maintaining both the flavor and seasoning intensity.
You can use a natural gas hookup to boil seafood in your back yard, but propane creates a hotter flame and brings the water to a boil much faster.
Whenever you buy a new propane tank assembly specific for boiling, make sure you get one with a “high pressure regulator.” The low pressure kind won’t give you the intensity of heat you need to boil volumes of water.
You can boil your shrimp inside a “seafood basket” (if one comes with your boiling pot) and simply lift it out to let the shrimp drain before scattering them out on the newspaper-covered table; or you can simply use a “wire seafood skimmer” to take the shrimp out of the pot and let them drain before bringing them to the table.
Oh—keep in mind that you will need either a long-handled spoon or a wooden paddle to stir the shrimp while they are boiling. Short-handled spoons only burn off all the hair on your hands and arms while stirring the shrimp.