12 pounds live crawfish
2/3 cup salt plus several extra boxes for cleaning
3 gallons water
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 packages dry crab boil
1 cup liquid crab boil
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 bay leaves
8 medium new potatoes (leave whole)
2 ears of corn, cut into thirds
1 foot of andouille sausage, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 lemons, cut in half
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled and spilt in half
1 stick butter

Thoroughly cleaned crawfish are the key to a successful boil. We’ve found the easiest way to get the job done right is purging with plenty of water, best accomplished outside with a garden hose. Put the crawfish in a large bucket (one Louisianian we know insists it should be a number three washtub), pour in a box of salt, and wait several minutes. Then fill the bucket up with water, tip to drain, and repeat as necessary (two or three times at least).

For the stock, place the water, 2/3 cup salt, peppercorns, and seasonings in a large stockpot with a basket insert, cover, and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and corn. Cover and return to boiling, then add all the remaining ingredients, except for the crawfish. Cover again, bring back to a boil, and then add the crawfish. Cover the pot, bring to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes, and then turn off the flame. Allow the mixture to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

Lift the basket out of the stockpot and drain. Dump everything onto a table covered with paper bags or newspaper. Serve with butter (for the corn), lots of beer, and plenty of paper towels. Serves 3 to 4.