It was a pleasant day beside my neighbor’s pool on Sunday after the rain. It was a good day to cheat death. I was sipping on a cocktail and setting equipment up for a Low Country Boil. For those who don’t know, a low country boil is basically a shrimp boil but with added ingredients – we’ll get to those later. So here is my equipment list:
- One large pot, big enough for Josh to fit in, filled with boiling water and complete with a strainer insert,
- a propane tank, and
- a 38,000 BTU propane burner that sounds like a jet engine.
Immediately I think of all the Youtube videos of all those people who have exploded into flames while cooking with these burners. You’ve seen the burners – they are popular with deep-frying turkeys and usually leads to a local news crew showing up to find out how your house exploded.
I was fortunate enough not to be using a bubbling cauldron of oil so the chances of me bursting into flames had decreased slightly. However, it is still important to be careful.
Safety tips when using these devil-burners:
- Make sure you use your propane cooker outdoors at least 10 feet from homes, garages and porches.
- Keep pets and children away from the cooker. You don’t want to see Fluffy go up in flames.
- Use well-insulated pot holders or oven mitts when touching pot or lid handles
- Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby.
- Don’t put you face over the burner while lighting.
My neighbor, Mark, directed the last two towards me:
- If you catch fire, run for the pool; and
- Since you are taking pictures for the blog, go ahead and take pictures of the house to give to his insurance agent.
I agreed to his demands.
The key to a low country boil is timing. You layer the ingredients so that the ones with the longest cook time are added first and the remaining ingredients are added at their perspective cooking times to finish the same time. Confused? Don’t be. I listed the ingredients in the order they should go in the pot and I’ll give times in the recipe.
2 lemons – halved
2 boxes Zataran’s Shrimp Boil (we used extra spicy)
½ cup Kosher Salt (remember this is a big pot)
1 package Andouille sausage – cut in large chunks
1 package smoked Kielbasa – cut in large chunks
4 lbs red new potatoes – halved (if small, keep whole)
4 Spanish onion – whole, skinned
6 ears of fresh corn – halved
2 lbs fresh large or jumbo shrimp
Setup your devil-burner and fill half the pot with water (make sure the strainer insert is in). Add the two lemons, the shrimp boil and salt, cover with lid. Bring the water to a gentle boil. Add sausages – we add it early to draw out the flavor. Add potatoes and onions and bring water back to boil. Cook 7-10 minutes, covered (enough time to refill your cocktail 😉 ). Add corn. Cook an additional 10-15 minutes or until both corn and potatoes are tender. Add shrimp. Boil covered for 5-7 minutes. Using the strainer insert, lift to remove everything from the pot. Serve on a platter or a table lined with newspaper.
Make homemade cocktail sauce – Add prepared horseradish and a couple dashes of hot sauce to ketchup.
Serve with melted butter – you can dip shrimp or pour over corn and potatoes
Have lots of paper towels ready – this is low country, no need for linen napkins.
I may have cheated death this time but there is always a flambé to light and eyebrows to singe; and you’ll be the first the hear about it. 😉