How to Eat Crawfish

Whether you're hosting a backyard crawfish boil or attending your first one, it's important to know the right way to eat a mudbug.


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Learn how to make scrumptious dishes featuring lobster, shrimp, crabs, and other delicacies of the sea with the recipes and cooking instructions in these food videos.

You Will Need

  • A table
  • Newspaper
  • Plates or trays
  • Plenty of napkins or paper towels
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Fresh boiled crawfish
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Corn
  • Beverages
  • Bibs


  1. Never eat crawfish that have not been properly cleaned and cooked. Avoid crawfish that are mushy, mealy, or have an unpleasant odor.

  2. Step 1

    Set up

    Cover a table with two layers of newspaper. Set out plates or trays, paper towel rolls or napkins, and place cardboard boxes or trays along the table for discarded shells.

  3. Step 2

    Serve the food

    Pour a large pile of freshly cooked and spiced crawfish onto each plate. Serve cooked potatoes, onions, and corn with the crawfish.

  4. Step 3

    Prepare to eat

    Sit down with your beverage close by, get a napkin and a bib, if you want, and grab a crawfish from the pile.

  5. Step 4

    Remove the tail

    Hold the head of the crawfish firmly in your left hand. Grab the tail near its base, gently twist and tug to remove the tail, and set the head aside on your plate.

  6. If you remove the tail with just the right amount of torque, a section of meat from the body cavity will come out with it.

  7. Step 5

    Eat the tail meat

    Pinch each segment of the shell along the top of the tail to make a crack along its length. Stick your thumb tip in the crack to pry apart the shell, remove the tail meat, and pop it in your mouth.

  8. Step 6

    Suck the head

    Pick up the head and suck out the juice.

  9. Step 7

    Toss the shell

    Put the remaining parts of the crawfish in the cardboard box.

  10. Step 8

    Clean up

    Dump the waste, and wash your hands with soap and water to remove the smell and spices, which can burn your skin if they stay on too long

  11. Did you know? Louisiana is the leading crawfish-producing state with 125,000 acres in crawfish farming.