Try a classic seafood boil for the perfect beach vacation meal! You’ll want to add this recipe to your summer vacation meal plan at the beach!
Trust me: after spending the day jumping waves, building sandcastles, and walking the beach, cooking up a big ol’ pot of seafood with all the classic fixins is just about the best thing in the whole-wide-world.
It’s been a beach-week tradition for years now for my family, but this is the first year I’ve documented it. So that I might pass this tradition on to y’all.
There are a few critical pieces of the seafood boil that if you plan to execute on your beach vacation you need to do a little prep for. The most important piece, however, is the pot. You need a BIG pot, and preferably one with a large insert so you can easily drain the pot for easy dumping (more on that later).
We usually rent a house for the week, so I’ve been sure to call the owners to ask whether or not they have a large seafood boil pot.
Or, you can get one here on Amazon. That’s the one my dad purchased this year so that we may never be without a seafood boil pot. Phew.
The second and almost as critical pieces of the puzzle is to find a fresh local seafood market in the area of your stay. (If you happen to stay in Emerald Isle, check out Willis Seafood Market. It’s been thoroughly vetted by my family!)
We always get lots and lots of shrimp and clams, and then we mix it up with whatever the group is craving or is recommended. This time we went with King Crab legs, although that was a bit of a splurge.
You’ll also want to pick up some of the other things that make the seafood boil awesome: fresh summer corn, red-skin potatoes, smoked sausage, Old Bay, butter, cocktail sauce and hot sauce. Oh and something to break the crab legs with. (Or for hitting your hubs on the head if necessary!)
My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
You’ll want to ask specific instructions for prepping the seafood, and then it’s all pretty easy from there. You’ll begin with the items that take longest to cook, adding additional layers of seasoning and foods in 5-10 minute intervals.
Once it’s all done, you’ll drain the pot (which is made super-easy with an insert), then dump it out on a table (preferably of the outdoor) variety. Even better if you can see the ocean from it. Be sure to have a cold one and some paper towels nearby.
Dinner at the beach has never looked so good.
Oh, and if you’ve planned it right, you’ll have leftovers. You might not believe it, but the leftovers from a seafood boil make a really good pizza!
I’ve got one with BBQ sauce, corn, and shrimp.
The other was made with tomato sauce and sausage. Both were divine! And awesome for beach day lunch.
- Amounts will vary by type of seafood and size of pot. The best assortment contains:
- Crab Legs
- Smoked Sausage
- Corn (on the cob)
- Red Potatoes
- Old Bay
- Fixings: cocktail sauce, hot sauce, lemon, butter, salt & pepper
- Prep seafood ingredients as necessary (leave shells on shrimp, though!). Slice sausage in 3 inch chunks, half large potatoes, and cut corn in half.
- Fill bottom of pot (just until it almost reaches the insert) with water.
- Put in first layer of ingredients (whatever takes the longest to cook). In our case we added potatoes, a sprinkle of Old Bay, sausage, a sprinkle of Old Bay, and then corn with a sprinkle of Old Bay. Once the water comes to a boil, we cooked it for 15 minutes.
- Then we added the clams with a sprinkle of Old Bay. Once they began to open (about 8 minutes) we added the shrimp and the crab legs.
- Once the crab legs are warmed through and the shrimp are pink, you’re all done!
- Serve with melted butter and the rest of the fixings!
- Cooking time will have to be adjusted for the type of cook top, the size of the pot, amount of ingredients and what you have, but even though we’ve never quite known what to do, it’s never gone wrong!
- Just trust yourself and drink a beer. It’ll turn out just fine!