Crab Boil with Beer and Old Bay Recipe


There's no better way to enjoy blue crabs than in an old-fashioned crab boil.

Crab Boil with Beer and Old Bay
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
8 serves

Blue crabs, once called the "pride of the Chesapeake", can be found throughout the Coastal South when in season, which typically lasts from late April to October. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on some live blue crabs, there's no better way to enjoy them than in an old-fashioned crab boil, or "crab feast," as they say around the Chesapeake Bay.


  • 4 quarts water

  • 48 ounces light beer

  • 1 cup Old Bay seasoning

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 6 lemons, halved, plus lemon wedges for serving

  • 4 garlic heads, halved

  • 3 small yellow onions, halved with root ends intact

  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, halved

  • 2 pounds andouille sausage, cut into 3-inch pieces

  • 8 medium-size ears fresh corn, halved

  • 4 pounds live blue crabs


  1. Combine water, beer, Old Bay, salt, lemons, garlic, and onions in a large (8- to 10-quart) stockpot; bring to a boil over medium-high. Add potatoes, sausage, and corn, and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon; remove all solids from pot, and spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or newspaper.

  2. Return cooking liquid to a boil; add crabs, and cook until shells are bright orange and crabmeat flakes easily, about 10 minutes. Serve crabs with potatoes, sausage, corn, and lemon wedges.

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