How to Cook and Store Crayfish - Easy Guide

Table of Contents

Are you a seafood lover looking for an easy way to cook crayfish? If so, crayfish is a tempting and versatile option that is a perfect treat for any event. But if you’ve never cooked crayfish before, it can be confusing to know where to start.

That’s why we have brought you this easy guide on how to cook and store crayfish. Whether you want to boil, grill or roast, check out our step-by-step process. Let’s dive in!

The best way to cook fresh crayfish

There are different methods to cook fresh crayfish, you can choose one that suits you best:

  1. Boiling: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Add the crayfish to the pot and boil until the shells turn bright red. Remove them from the pot and let them cool before peeling and eating.
  2. Grilling: Preheat your grill from medium to high. Place the fish on the grill for 5-7 minutes on each side. Let the fish cool before eating.
  3. Steaming: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a steaming basket or colander. Place the fish in the basket or colander and steam for 5-7 minutes or until the shells turn bright red. Next, remove the fish from the pot and let them cool before peeling and eating.
  4. Roasting: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Now, place the fish on a baking sheet and roast for fifteen to twenty minutes or until the shells turn bright red. Let the crayfish cool before peeling and eating.

So, no matter which method you choose, it’s important to cook it until the shells turn bright red to ensure they are fully cooked.

The best way to cook frozen crayfish

To cook frozen crayfish, follow these steps:

  1. Thaw the fish by placing them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Boil a large pot of water. Add salt, seasonings, or spices to the water to make more flavorful fish.
  3. Now, add the fish to the boiling water and cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Next, remove it from the pot and place them on a tray to cool.
  5. Once cooled, gently twist the heads of the fish and remove the tail meat from the shells. Discard the heads and shells.
  6. Serve the crayfish with dipping sauces or seasonings, such as butter, lemon juice, or hot sauce. Enjoy!

How to cook crayfish on the stove?

Cooking crayfish on the stove is easy, provided the proper temperature is maintained, and instructions are followed:

  1. First, fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Rinse the crayfish thoroughly. If you have any frozen crayfish, make sure to thaw them out completely before cooking.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and any desired spices to the boiling water.
  4. Now, place the crayfish into the boiling water and cook for about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the crayfish from the pot and drain the excess water.
  6. Serve the crayfish hot and melted butter for dipping, if desired.

How to cook crayfish in an air fryer?

Air frying the crayfish protects its nutrition and hence makes a healthy choice. Here is how to air fry your favorite fish:

  1. First, preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse and pat dry the crayfish.
  3. Mix the seasonings and oil. Brush the mixture onto the crayfish.
  4. Place the fish in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded.
  5. Now, cook it for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  6. Check your fish to ensure they are cooked through and have reached an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Once cooked, remove the crayfish from the air fryer and serve immediately. Enjoy your delicious and healthy air fryer crayfish!

How to cook crayfish in the oven?

There are many ways to cook your crayfish. Oven cooking is one of them. Here is how to cook it in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse the crayfish thoroughly under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Mix your desired seasonings, such as garlic powder, paprika, and salt, in a small bowl.
  4. Place the crayfish on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Coat the crayfish with olive oil and then sprinkle the seasoning mixture evenly over the top.
  6. Bake the crayfish in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until they are cooked through and the shells are bright red.
  7. Remove the crayfish from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
  8. Serve the crayfish with melted butter or a dipping sauce.

How to microwave crayfish?

This mouth-watering fish can be cooked in different ways; however, it is important to cook the fish fully to avoid mess. To microwave crayfish, follow these steps:

  1. First, rinse the crayfish under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Next, place the crayfish in a microwave-safe dish or bowl.
  3. Cover the dish or bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small opening to vent steam.
  4. Now, place the dish in the microwave and set the timer for 3-4 minutes, depending on the crayfish’s size.
  5. Carefully remove the dish from the microwave and use tongs to gently remove the crayfish from the dish.
  6. Allow the crayfish to cool for a few minutes before handling.
  7. Once cooled, use scissors or a sharp knife to cut through the shell and remove the meat.
  8. Serve the crayfish immediately or store it in the refrigerator for later use.

How to cook crayfish in a pan?

To cook crayfish in a pan, follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly rinse the fish under cold water. Then, cut off the tips of the crayfish tails and discard them.
  2. In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add the crayfish to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until they turn a bright red color.
  4. Squeeze in the lemon juice and sprinkle in the paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir the crayfish to coat the seasonings evenly.
  5. Cover the pan and let the crayfish steam for 5-7 minutes until they are fully cooked.
  6. Once cooked, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the crayfish to a serving platter. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Note: Remember also to serve plenty of lemon wedges, melted butter, and hot sauce on the side for dipping.

How long does crayfish take to cook?

Cooking time can vary depending on the size of the crayfish and the cooking method being used.

Put the crayfish in the pot of salted water and bring to a rolling boil. You need to boil them for 8-10 minutes until their shells turn bright red and the meat is tender.

If grilling crayfish, preheat the grill to medium-high heat and place the crayfish on the grill. Grill the shells on each side for 6-8 minutes for tender meat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit if roasting crayfish, and place the crayfish on a baking sheet. Roast for 10-12 minutes or until the shells turn bright red and the meat is tender.

Note: Crayfish should not be overcooked as the meat will become tough and rubbery. To ensure that the crayfish is cooked to 145 degrees, you should use a meat thermometer.

Best side dishes for crayfish

Crayfish is a versatile and flavorful protein that pairs well with various side dishes. For example, you can serve crayfish with these side dishes:

  1. Corn on the cob: Grilled or boiled corn on the cob pairs well with crayfish’s rich, flavorful taste.
  2. Coleslaw: A refreshing coleslaw made with shredded cabbage and a tangy dressing makes a great side dish for crayfish.
  3. Potatoes: Boiled, mashed, or roasted potatoes are all good options to serve with crayfish.
  4. Green beans: Steamed or sautéed green beans make a tasty side dish for crayfish.
  5. Baked beans: A classic side dish that goes well with crayfish is baked beans.
  6. Pasta salad: A cold pasta salad with veggies and a light dressing is a great side dish for crayfish.
  7. Cornbread: Cornbread is a staple in southern cooking and makes a great side dish for crayfish.
  8. To complement the fish serve white or brown rice as a side dish.
  9. Salad: A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing is a refreshing side dish for crayfish.
  10. Biscuits: Hot, fluffy biscuits are a delicious side dish to serve.

Overall, the best side dishes for crayfish are flavorful, complementary, and can be served hot or cold. Choose sides that will add variety to your meal.

Best condiments for crayfish

There are a variety of condiments that can complement the flavor of crayfish, depending on personal preference. Here are some options:

  1. Lemon juice or wedges: A squeeze of lemon juice can add a burst of freshness. Alternatively, serve lemon wedges on the side for diners to add to their own taste.
  2. Garlic butter: Mix melted butter with minced garlic and a pinch of salt for a flavorful dipping sauce for fish.
  3. Remoulade: This classic condiment is made with mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, capers, and herbs. It adds a tangy and savory flavor.
  4. Mayo and herbs: Mix mayonnaise with chopped fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, or chives for a simple yet tasty condiment.
  5. Spicy chili sauce: For those who like a little heat, a spicy chili sauce such as sriracha or hot sauce can add a bold flavor to fish.
  6. Lemon aioli: A blend of mayonnaise, lemon juice, and garlic, this condiment adds a tangy and creamy flavor to fish.
  7. Chili sauce: For a spicy kick, try serving crayfish with chili sauce. Wide varieties are available, from sweet and fruity to fiery hot, so choose one that suits your taste preferences.
  8. Citrus vinaigrette: For a light and refreshing condiment, try serving fish with a citrus vinaigrette. Simply whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, and a pinch of salt to create a zesty and bright dressing for the fish.

How to store crayfish?

It’s important to store crayfish properly to ensure they remain fresh and safe. Here are some tips for storing crayfish:

  1. Keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator, ideally below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. If you have live crayfish, store them in a container with enough water to cover them and a small amount of oxygen.
  3. If you have cooked fish, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for 3-4 days.
  4. If you need to store fish for longer, you can freeze them. Seal the plastic bag after removing all the air from the fish. Frozen fish will keep for several months.
  5. It’s important to handle fish properly to prevent the risk of food poisoning. Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling them, and keep them away from raw meat and other sources of contamination.

How long do crayfish stay good for?

Crayfish should be consumed within a few days of purchase or catching. If stored properly in a refrigerator, they can last well for up to 3-5 days. If they are kept in a cooler with ice, they can stay good for up to 1-2 days. Keeping it in a clean and cold environment is important to prevent spoilage. If it has a strong odor or appears to be discolored, they should be discarded.

Overall, it is important to store fish in a cold and dry place and to use them within 3 days for the best quality and safety.

Can you freeze crayfish?

Yes, you can freeze crayfish. To freeze, you can steam or boil them for 3-4 minutes until they turn red. Then, remove the meat from the shells and place it in an airtight container or bag. You can also freeze the whole fish in its shells. Place the crayfish in a container or bag and freeze them for up to 6 months. When ready to use, thaw them in the refrigerator or in cold water before cooking.

Note: It is best to freeze fish as soon as possible after purchase to preserve its quality. Avoid freezing fish that has been previously frozen and thawed, as this can lead to a loss of flavor and texture.


What are crayfish?

Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans related to lobsters, also called crawfish or crawdads. They have a hard exoskeleton, a Pair of claws, and five pairs of legs. They are typically found in bodies of water such as streams, rivers, and lakes. Crayfish are often used as a food source and can be cooked and eaten in various dishes.

How do I prepare crayfish for cooking?

To prepare crayfish for cooking, rinse them under cold water and remove the head and tail by twisting and pulling them off. Next, remove the intestine from the tail by using a small knife or scissors to cut along the underside of the tail. Finally, rinse and pat them dry with paper towels.

Can I eat the entire crayfish, or are certain parts not edible?

The entire crayfish is edible except for the head and the intestine located in the tail. The meat from the claws, tail, and legs can all be enjoyed.

Do crayfish have a lot of flavors or do they need to be seasoned?

Crayfish have a mild, sweet flavor but can be enhanced with seasoning. Common seasonings include Old Bay, garlic, lemon juice, and butter.

Can I make crayfish bisque?

Yes, crayfish can be used to make a rich and flavorful bisque by simmering fish shells and vegetables in a broth and pureeing the mixture.

Skip to content