How Many Crawfish in A Pound?

Nothing is more satisfying than a good old-fashioned crawfish boil. Before you take home a big sack of crawfish for the cookout, you should know how many guests you expect to come and allocate at least 3 pounds to each person.

In a 1-pound sack, you can expect to get between 25 and 30 crawfish.

However, much of that weight is in the shell. Today, I’ll explain much crawfish meat you can get per pound and how to prepare your own backyard crawfish boil for the crew.

How Many Crawfish in a Pound?

If you’re going to throw a crawfish boil in your backyard, it’s a good idea to figure out how many pounds of freshwater crustacean you need to feed your guests.

Most hosts will think in terms of poundage—i.e., 3 pounds of crawfish per guest. However, if you’re curious to know how many crawfish that is or if you want to split everything evenly, you should know how many crawfish a pound yields.

On average, a 1-pound sack will hold between 25 and 30 crawfish. However, it depends on the type of crawfish and their size. Some suppliers have 1-pound bags with as few as 20 crawfish. Bags of jumbo crawfish will usually contain between 10 and 15.

How Much Meat in a Crawfish?

As tasty as they are, crawfish are incredibly difficult to eat in the sense that it takes more time to remove the peel than it does to chew and swallow the tail meat.

The typical crawfish is 15% tail meat. So, a 1-pound bag will yield roughly 2.4 ounces of edible meat. To yield a pound of meat, you would need between 6 and 7 pounds of raw crawfish.

Since the average eater can consume around 3 pounds of crawfish in one sitting (5 pounds if they’re a big eater, like me), then you’ll need to prepare between 18 and 21 pounds of uncooked crawfish per guest. Luckily, the 3-pound figure refers to raw crawfish, not the weight of the tail.

Finding crawfish in such large quantities shouldn’t be too much trouble. Many suppliers offer sacks weighing between 28 and 35 pounds each. You can even find online suppliers who can ship 60-pound bags to your location.

What Can You Do with Crawfish Shell?

Since only 15% of the crawfish is edible, that leaves us with around 85% of inedible shells and traces of hard-to-get meat. After a boil, most people will toss the shells before tearing them into another crawfish, but there’s something you can do to reduce waste.

Like lobster, you can use crawfish shells to make stock. Rinse the crawfish thoroughly with fresh water before adding them to a large pot of boiling water. Remove the crawfish and let the water come down to room temperature before freezing it in large quart-sized bags.

A general rule for making crawfish stock is to use 2 quarts of water for every 1 pound of the crustacean. So, boiling crawfish for a crew of 20 people (between 60 and 100 pounds of raw crawfish) should leave you with around 120 to 200 quarts of stock.

What can you do with that much stock? You can make crawfish bisque, but for the most part, the majority of the stock will end up going down the drain. After all, you can only eat so much bisque before you become sick and tired of the creamy texture.

How to Prepare a Crawfish Boil

Ask 100 people how to prepare a crawfish boil and you’ll receive more than 100 different ways of doing it. Every southern family has at least 1 way to do it, so if this is your first time, it doesn’t hurt to follow another person’s recipe and tweak things as needed.

Here’s my take on a crawfish boil. This recipe is enough to feed around 4 people, so feel free to multiply the ingredient count as you see fit.

Ingredients

• 12 pounds crawfish, frozen (defrosted) or fresh
• 3 pounds smoked sausage (sliced)
• 50 ears of baby corn (shucked, whole)
• 5 large onions (chopped)
• 3 pounds green beans (trimmed)
• 4 pounds button mushrooms (cleaned)
• 3 lemons (halved)
• 3 oranges (halved)
• 20 red potatoes (washed)
• 4 packages dry crawfish boil seasoning
• 10 bay leaves
• Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Fill a large stockpot with enough water to cover the crawfish (do not add the crawfish yet).
2. Add the garlic, bay leaves, crawfish boil seasoning, potatoes, oranges, lemons, salt, and pepper.
3. Bring the pot to a rolling boil.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Add in the mushrooms, green beans, onions, and baby corn.
6. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
8. Cook for 5 more minutes.
9. Add the crawfish to the cooking liquid.
10. Continue simmering for 5 minutes.
11. Test the crawfish for doneness. If you can remove the tail from the body easily, the pot is ready to take off the heat.
12. Drain the cooking liquid and serve the boil on a sheet of plastic spread on top of a newspaper-lined picnic table.

Crawfish vs. Crayfish

Crawfish, crayfish, crawdads—they’re all the same thing. It all boils (pun intended) down to where you live. Our friends in Louisiana say crawfish, while those living somewhere in the north likely say crayfish. Weirdos on the West Coast say crawdad.

Crawfish Nutrition Facts

According to My Food Data, the nutrition facts of 1 pound of crawfish (before boiling) are as follows:

 Nutrients Values Calories 372 Total fat 5.4 g Saturated fat 0.8 g Cholesterol 603.3 mg Sodium 426.4 mg Protein 76.1 g Vitamin C 4.1 mg Iron 3.8 mg Calcium 272.2 mg Potassium 1,342.7 mg Phosphorus 1,224.6 mg

Crawfish is considered an excellent source of protein. With 14 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving, bodybuilders would definitely want to sink their teeth into a couple of dozen of these bright-red crustaceans during a boil.

However, as you can see from the table above, the cholesterol count is not something to take lightly. If you’re the type of person who’s at risk of cardiovascular diseases, then you might want to take it lightly during the next crawfish boil or even avoid it entirely.