Rinehart Family Lowcountry Boil

Bear and Bo Rinehart of NEEDTOBREATHE grew up in rural South Carolina and for them, Christmas dinner was a little bit different. "Bo and I have one of the weirdest southern traditions, I don't know how it started, my dad is a little bit insane, but it was always crab legs for Christmas," Bear Rinehart told Southern Living. Little brother Bo added, "He's an outsider so like everyone else is doing hams and turkeys and we're doing crab legs." Now that the brothers are grown up, with families of their own, the tradition has shifted a little bit. You still won't find a turkey on their Christmas table, but instead of the crab legs, the Rineharts celebrate the season with a full Lowcountry boil. Bear's wife Mary Reames Rinehart how she prepares this feast for the whole Rinehart crew. Try something different this Christmas.

Rinehart Family Lowcountry Boil Closeup
Photo: Rinehart Family
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 2 cans Old Bay Seasoning

  • 5 pounds new potatoes

  • 6 16 ounce packages cooked kielbasa sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 8 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed; halved

  • 5 pounds jumbo unpeeled, deveined shrimp

  • 3 sticks butter

  • 6 lemons, halved

  • Wheat ale


  1. Heat a large pot of wheat ale (or half wheat ale, half water) over an outdoor cooker, or medium-high heat indoors. Add Old Bay seasoning, butter and lemons, halved, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and sausage, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the corn; cook for another 5 minutes, then add the shrimp when everything else is almost done, and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.

  2. As soon as all the shrimp turn pink in the boil, remove them immediately.

  3. Drain off the water and pour the contents out onto a picnic table covered with newspaper. Grab a paper plate and a beer and enjoy!

  4. Serve with:Peaches (if in season) with cornbread or buttermilk biscuits on the side.

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