Basic Low Country Shrimp Boil

Shrimp Boil With Corn

David Kozlowski / Moment Open / Getty Images

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
592 Calories
27g Fat
40g Carbs
46g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 592
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 338mg 113%
Sodium 3025mg 132%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 20mg 101%
Calcium 162mg 12%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 1544mg 33%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for a Low Country boil is a simple one. It is recommended to use about 1/2 cup of Old Bay seasoning or Zatarain's Crab Boil for every 5 to 6 quarts of water.

This recipe is also called Beaufort stew or Frogmore stew and is so named for places in the Low Country of South Carolina. Although, this dish is not a stew at all—it is the epitome of a one-pot, boiled meal. Frogmore is the mailing address for the residents of St. Helena Island just off the South Carolina coast, and Beaufort is a city on Port Royal Island, another one of South Carolina’s coastal islands.

The quantities in this recipe vary based on the number of guests you are expecting. You will want to adjust your water level and seasoning based on the amount of shrimp you cook and the number of people you serve. You will need at least a half-pound of shrimp per person. You will want at least one full-sized potato per person, too.

Bring the seasoning to a boil in the water and follow the directions. All the equipment you need for this shrimp boil is a huge stockpot and a burner (or campfire). 

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds red potatoes

  • 8 ears corn on the cob, cut into 3 pieces each

  • 3 pounds smoked sausage, such as Polish or andouille

  • 8 pounds shell-on shrimp

  • 1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning, or Zatarain's Crab Boil

  • 5 medium onions, quartered, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large stock pot filled with water to just cover, bring red-skinned potatoes to a boil and turn down to medium (or if on a campfire, raise it so it is less directly on the flame) and cook for about 20 minutes. Add corn on the cob, onions, if using, and sausages, adding more water to just cover ingredients as needed.

  3. After 20 minutes, the potatoes should be done. Add the shrimp to the pot, making sure the water is just up to the top of the ingredients in the pot. Put a lid on the pot and turn the heat up; steam the shrimp for about 5 minutes, or until they are cooked through. When done, the shrimp will be opaque and pink in color.

  4. Remove the shrimp to a serving bowl and pile the vegetables and sausage onto serving platters.

  5. Enjoy.

Tips

  • Don't overcook the shrimp: Overcooked shrimp become tough and chewy. If the shrimp start curling tight, they are overcooked.
  • Presentation: Drain and dump the boil out on a table covered in newspapers for a fun mess of a meal.
  • Add zing: Cut up a lemon or two and add to the boiling pot.
  • Add more depth of flavor: You can add a bottle of pale ale beer to the water before it starts to boil.
  • Condiments on hand: Upon serving, some people like their boil with tartar sauce, some prefer cocktail sauce, and others like hot sauce. Have it all available to meet your guest's preferences.
  • Spice it up: To spice up your boil, the choice of sausage added can affect the flavor profile. A spicy andouille sausage may give your boil just the kick it needs.
  • Add or substitute crab or crawfish: For even more seafood options, add or substitute fresh, cleaned crab or crawfish. If you are adding, proportionally add more potatoes, sausage, corn, onions, seasoning, and water.