A real, honest-to-goodness crawfish boil can be a highlight of spring, but there are a few things to remember, both as host and guest. Here are 9 rules to memorize before (and after) the mudbug peeling begins.

1. Don’t Wimp Out!


Don’t skimp on the boil seasoning—keep it spicy. “There is nothing more boring than an under-spiced crawfish boil,” writes Lianna Patch of The English Maven blog. “It’s like traveling to the Grand Canyon and turning the other way.”

2. Standing Room Only

nathan_p / Flickr

Whatever you do, don’t grab a chair! “No one sits to eat crawfish,” writes Katharine Shilcutt of the Houston Press. “Allow others to circulate through the serving area/the table.”

3. Take What Comes

Terry White / Flickr

Don’t be picking through the pile to get the biggest, juiciest-looking crawfish. “No cherry picking,” says the Bevi Seafood’s etiquette guide. “Unless you are under 7 or over 70 we don’t suggest you go for it, unless you want your hand slapped.”

4. Have a Little Shame

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Everybody comes to a crawfish boil to pig out, but nobody wants to be eating next to a glutton. “Never eat more than 3 pounds of crawfish at someone’s home,” writes Jodi Borrello. “Unless they are a relative.” Turns out blood is thicker than inhibition.

5. Cover Up, for Goodness’ Sake

Melody Gourmet Fury

At her first crawfish boil, Canadian-turned-Texan food blogger Melody Fury took one unbending rule to heart: wear a splash-proof windbreaker. “It’s messy business!”

6. Don’t Skimp on the Brewskis

Kim Higgins

An inflexible rule of the boil: Provide plenty of beer. “I’ve never been to a boil that didn’t include at least one ice chest full of beer to help wash down those tasty mud bugs,” writes Cheryl Hill-Burrier.

7. Man (or Woman) Up!

Luke Wallace / Flickr

A crawfish boil is no place for squeamishness. “Don’t act prissy,” writes blogger Melanie Warner Spencer. “After all, you are supposed to use your hands and get dirty.”

8. Volunteer to Peel Leftovers

jacqui / Flickr

“It’s like offering to do the dishes,” according to Conversations From the Back Porch. “No one wants to do it, but it must be done and is way more fun when everyone pitches in.”

9. Hands Above the Waist, Gentlemen

Josh Pittman shares an essential post-boil rule every man should know, or else suffer the consequences.

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