Classic Low Country Boil

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 10 to 12

Brimming with seafood, smoked sausages, potatoes and corn on the cob, this hearty one-pot stew is tailor-made for a crowd. If you’d like, replace the clams with two dozen blue crabs, adding them to the pot at the same time as the corn. You will need a very large pot for this recipe. A lobster pot with a 4-gallon capacity works well.  


  • 2 cans (each 12 fl. oz./375 ml) light beer
  • 2 Vidalia onions, quartered
  • 2 garlic heads, halved
  • 3 lemons, quartered
  • 1/2 bottle (4 fl. oz./118 ml) Zatarain’s shrimp and crab boil
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) hot pepper sauce (preferably Crystal)
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 Tbs. sea salt
  • 2 lb. (1 kg) spicy smoked link sausages, cut into 4-inch (10-cm) pieces
  • 3 lb. (1.5 kg) small new potatoes, halved if large
  • 2 1/2 lb. (1.25 kg) littleneck clams
  • 6 ears of corn, husks and silks removed, ears halved crosswise
  • 4 lb. (2 kg) large white shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
  • 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
  • Crusty bread for serving
  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • Cocktail sauce for serving


Fill a very large pot half full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the beer, onions, garlic, lemons, crab boil, hot sauce, bay leaves and salt. Add the sausages and potatoes, reduce the heat so the liquid simmers and cook until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a large sieve, transfer the sausages and potatoes to a large platter and cover with aluminum foil.

Increase the heat and return the liquid to a boil. Add the corn, cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add the clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover and cook until the clams have opened, 5 to 7 minutes. Using the sieve, transfer the corn and clams to the platter; discard any clams that did not open.

Return the liquid to a boil and add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turn bright pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Using the sieve, transfer the shrimp to the platter. Sprinkle with the Old Bay seasoning.

Serve with crusty bread, the melted butter and cocktail sauce alongside. Serves 10 to 12.

Adapted from Feast Charleston, Charleston, SC

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