Crayfish Preparation Tips

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July 9th, 2008

Crayfish Preparation Tips
By popular demand, once again here are some simple crayfish preparation tips.

Bring the water to a boil, take the water off the heat, put in the crayfish. Do not put the pot back on the heat. When the crayfish turn bright red, they are done.

A variation on this theme is adding a packet of crab boil that you can purchase at just about any supermarket.

Crayfish are small and the best meat is in the tail (just like lobster). So select your favorite recipes for using crab, and simply substitute crayfish. If you don’t have crab crackers, use a pair of pliers from your camp tool kit.

A cool crayfish pasta salad (pre-dice your celery and other ingredients at home) provides a delightful accompaniment to a trout dinner in camp.

You might even boil some corn, then add the crayfish to the corn water once you are done. Crayfish typically take less than five minutes to cook, even off the heat. Corn on the cob and crayfish just seem to go together.

Also, you might want to save the corn husks and use them to wrap your trout when placing them in thick tin foil (double layered) for cooking under the campfire coals. The corn husks keep the fish from burning and sticking to the tin foil. Or wrap chicken and vegetables together in corn husks and tin foil — no pots to clean afterward. Hunt — use a shovel to put the coals (you can take along charcoal briquettes to make the job easier) over the foil dinners for cooking. I usually dig a small hole and it becomes a ready-made oven.

Bon appétit!

11 Responses to “Crayfish Preparation Tips”

  1. From the 2007 – 2008 Fishing Regulations:

    “Unlawful Possession or Transportation of Live Crayfish – Except for Yuma County and a portion of La Paz County or under a live wildlife license authority, it is unlawful for a person to import, transport or possess live crayfish other than on or at the body of water where caught.” p8

    This is a camping recipe unless you’re in Yuma or La Paz County.

    That’s disappointing since Crayfish are commonly purged with fresh well water before cooking.

  2. i was told here at Big Lake that adding salt to the water you have them in purging before cooking turns them from live wildlife to “food under preperation”.
    Can anyone verify this?

  3. Last trip to bartlett, I got the biggest crawfish I have ever seen. I wasn’t going to cook just one craw fish, BUT, I had a fire going and what the heck. I felt kind of sad, but thew him on the grill and he walked around a bit, turned RED and I ate him. That was the best tasting I have ever had. NO water, no salt. If you closed your eyes, you would have thought you were eating lobster.
    Wildlife is wildlife and I don’t care if you purge them and cook it, it is STILL wildlife. Look at it this way. When you cook an elk steak, does it make it non wildlife because you are cooking it???

  4. What is the best lake for crayfishing withing the city of Phoenix?

  5. Crayfish can be found at all the high country fishing lakes around the Flagstaff and Williams area. Lake Mary near the dam is a good bet. Ashurst has plenty of crayfish as well.


  6. Can anyone tell me if you need to purchase a license to catch Crayfish for personal consumption?

  7. Yes, If you’re older than 14, you need a valid AZ fishing license for crayfish.

  8. Yes, anyone 14 years of age or older must purchase a fishing license to pursue and take aquatic wildlife, including crayfish.

  9. We went crayfish fishing at Christopher Creek this last weekend (8/15/09) and caught 20 large ones in a couple of hours. They were all within a 50 foot stretch of the creek. We were suprised at how many large ones there were. We boiled them and they were great! It’s great fun for the kids.

  10. “i was told here at Big Lake that adding salt to the water you have them in purging before cooking turns them from live wildlife to “food under preperation”. ”

    What is purging? I have never eaten crayfish or cooked a lobster. Thanks!

    Noobie Cook

  11. purge is just a term for having the stomach and intestine clean of food/waste. so you don’t have the black line that runs down the top of the tail (like in shrimp)of the crawdad once it is cracked open and ready to eat.

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