Jenny Keller is a self-taught baker, author, and stylist living near Seattle. Noting her passion for throwing parties, it’s no surprise Jenny can throw a simple, beachside crab boil with all the fixings. Continue reading for tips on hosting your own crab boil, no matter where you live.
Celebrate summer with a crab boil on the beach!
A crab boil is fairly simple to put together and makes a memorable event for everyone involved. Invite a few of your closest family members and friends who love seafood and the great outdoors. Don’t be afraid to ask them to bring a few ingredients or dessert. I’ve found guests really enjoy contributing to gatherings and dinners.
The first thing you’ll want to take care of is the obvious – crabs! Send the crabbers out early to drop pots to claim your dinner. While the fishermen are out, pack the car and cooler with everything you’ll need to host.
Once the crabs have been caught, it’s time to boil. You’ll want to get your broth going in the biggest pot you can find. Lemons, onions, and seafood seasoning will make a great broth. This pot held all of our ingredients and had a drain on the front to release the broth once the food was cooked.
Once the broth is at a rolling boil, begin adding ingredients from longest-cooking to shortest-cooking. Use a cell phone to set a timer for 25 minutes and add the potatoes and carrots first. When you’re 15 minutes in, add the sausage. At 10 minutes, add the corn. Keep the pot covered as much as possible to keep it extra hot inside.
You’ll want to keep a close eye on the pot to ensure ingredients are cooking as expected. Watch for the crabs to turn bright red!
While you’re waiting for everything to cook, set your table. Line the table with newspaper and have guests grab a drink. I brought two beverage dispensers for drinks and set them on a small galvanized folding table. For our table settings, I found enamel dinnerware (complete with silverware, cups, plates, and bowls), which was perfect for our outdoor event.
Once your food is ready, spread it down the center of the table. Make sure everyone has a napkin and plenty of dipping sauces. This is a hands-on experience, so dig in and get your hands messy!
After you’re stuffed with seafood, take time to enjoy the beautiful beach. Bring comfortable chairs for adults to relax in while the kids play in the sand. Don’t forget to snap a family photo in the evening light.
After dinner, treat guests with a classic summer dessert. Living in Washington State, we typically experience burn bans in the summer, so I bring a portable propane grill and make s’mores nachos! Line a heat-safe tray with foil, layer it with graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, and place on the grill until the s’mores are toasted.
Get the most of your time on the beach by layering up and watching the sunset together. Share your favorite summer memory or make a bucket list of fall ideas together. Summer may be over, but fall is filled with all kinds of exciting new things to look forward to!
– Jenny, Jenny Cookies. Photos courtesy of Kelly Clare Photography.