I know, I know. I’m the Grillin’ Fool, not the Boilin’ Fool. And that 4th of July is for celebrating the birth of America by cooking german sausages, lighting off Chinese fireworks, and drinking German sounding beers. Truth is, we celebrate the 4th, generally by cooking out. A cookout doesn’t have to be with a grill or a smoker. It could be with a dutch oven next to a campfire or it could be a pot of sausages, potatoes, corn, garlic, shrimp, spices and some FAT lobster tails!
4th of July Lobster Boil
This recipe might sound familiar as I used our Crawfish Boil recipe as a basis for this one. The big difference is lobsters instead of crawfish which meant the timing is different. Oh, and we forgot the onions.
2 bags crab boil
2 oz concentrated liquid crab boil
1/4 cup cayenne
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup hot sauce
10 lemons, halved
5 lbs small potatoes, cut into equal sized pieces
8 ears garlic
42 oz smoked polish sausage
40 oz smoked andouille
12 jumbo lobster tails from 2 lb lobsters from LobsterAnywhere.com
2 lbs U8-12 shrimp
2 lbs brussel sprouts — optional
1 whole onion, sliced and divided — optional (because we forgot it)
3 packages of frozen corn (a total of 12 ears cut into thirds or halves) – divided
***These ingredients will be enough for two full lobster pots, so cut in half if a smaller crowd. I fed a dozen adults and lots of kids who really only wanted the corn, potatoes and sausage.
Some are going to say that on the 4th of July we should use fresh corn. Well, part of the reason to use frozen is to slow down the boil as to not overcook the lobster tails.
Before we start, I highly recommend covering an 8 foot table with a disposable plastic table cloth and then a few layers of newspaper. This is going to move faster than most think, so this is very important. The last thing anyone wants is the lobsters to be ready to eat and having to wait for someone to find the table cloth and start spreading newspaper.
Start by filling your lobster pot (which is a Turkey Fryer filled with water rather than oil) with enough water so everything can be submerged but not too much that the water will pour over the sides when everything is dropped in the pot. How much exactly? That depends in the size of the pot and how much you are cooking at one time. It’s something you are going to have eyeball and hope you get right. If you don’t have enough you can add more. If you have too much, pray nobody is wearing open toed shoes or is barefoot nearby. Once the pot is full and over the propane heater, add the bags of crab boil, liquid crab boil, cayenne, salt, hot sauce (you can always add more hot sauce if you want more heat), and half the lemons. Crank up the heater. Now head over and prep the rest of the ingredients while the water comes to a boil.
Halve your garlic ears at the equator:
Don’t worry about the papery skin. Just lop them in half to expose each clove, both top and bottom
Cut the potatoes. We bought baby potatoes, but if you buy whole ones, cut them down to small, equally sized chunks.
Pile up all the rest of the ingredients because we will be doing this in stages. In this case, we were able to do this all in two pots:
Don’t forget the star of the show:
The number of lobster tails depends on how many people are coming. We actually added a 13th tail to the second pot.
I would be remiss if I didn’t stop right here and talk about lobster. There are a lot of you that are assuming this is something they can never do. That you don’t live in the Northeast and will never be able to do a lobster boil. You may be assuming that I live on the coast or paid through the nose for some lobster tails. I live in St. Louis and the lobsters were extremely reasonable. That’s right, I did a Lobster boil in a city about as far away from an ocean as it gets in the United States. How did I pull it off? Because I ordered the lobster tails (and the monster shrimp) from LobsterAnywhere.com. They lived up to their name by getting me these terrific tails (and shrimp) to celebrate the birth of my country. First and foremost, the quality is top notch. I got nothing but raves. Second, the prices are cheap and their shipping rates are too. Third, the customer service is top notch. We’ve already decided to do New Year’s Eve with them as well. You can also order live lobsters, other seafood as well as steaks, bisque and soup. Now back to the recipe.
These are optional:
Once the water in the pot is at a rolling boil, toss in half the sausage, garlic, and potatoes, holding back the lobster, shrimp, corn and Brussel sprouts. Close the lid.
After 15 minutes, the water is an amazing broth of flavors from the sausage, seasoning, hot sauce and garlic. Not to mention the potatoes are soaking all that up. Now add the lobster tails:
Close the lid and wait five minutes.
Now add half the shrimp and optional Brussel sprouts and close the lid for 2 more minutes
Then open the lid and add half the frozen corn and turn off the propane:
Yes, I wrote to turn off the propane. Turn it off. The combination of turning off the propane and adding the frozen corn will greatly slow down the heat of the water which will slow down the cooking of the lobster and shrimp. This is a good thing. Put the lid on and wait five more minutes.
Lift the inner sieve pot out slowly and carefully. If you lift too quickly, the water can’t go out the holes fast enough stay safe in the pot. If you lift too fast, all you will have is an industrial sprinkler pouring near boiling water all over yourself and anyone within 3 feet. Drain off all the water and and dump the sieve pot over the newspaper on the table (remember that step?):
Then ask each guest to grab a tail and whatever other ingredients they want:
Usually we divide the group by kids and people that don’t like spicy and those that like the heat. For the second pot, we add more hot sauce and spices, plus the other half of the lemons, sausage, potatoes, and garlic and close the lid and repeat the process for round 2:
Pro Tips ~ Have a large, sharp knife handy to split the tails for your guests to make it easier for them to eat. Be careful. The corn is addictive! I hear cauliflower is fantastic in lobster boils. When everyone has had their fill, simply pull the four corners of the table cloth and tie them off. The plastic table cloth just became a trash bag.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or send me an email
Full disclosure. LobsterAnywhere.com Compensated me for this post. As you know, I won’t promote anything I don’t absolutely believe in and I believe in LobsterAnywhere.com. Their lobster tails and shrimp that I have sampled were top notch. I can’t wait for New Years and some live lobsters! Scroll past the recipe card for a sweet infographic from them about cooking lobsters including how to grill them.
- 2 bags crab boil
- 2 oz concentrated liquid crab boil
- ¼ cup cayenne
- ½ cup salt
- ½ cup hot sauce
- 10 lemons, halved
- 5 lbs small potatoes, cut into equal sized pieces
- 8 ears garlic, halved
- 42 oz smoked polish sausage
- 40 oz smoked andouille
- 12 jumbo lobster tails from 2 lb lobsters from LobsterAnywhere.com
- 2 lbs U8-12 shrimp
- 2 lbs brussel sprouts — optional
- 3 packages of frozen corn (a total of 12 ears cut into thirds or halves) – divided
- Cover an 8 foot table with a disposable plastic table cloth and then a few layers of newspaper.
- Fill the lobster pot with water (but not too much, the rest of the ingredients have to go in too)
- Add the bags of crab boil, liquid crab boil, cayenne, salt, hot sauce, and half the lemons to the water and crank up the heat
- Slice the potatoes to keep them a consistent size
- When the water is at a rolling boil, add half the sausage, potatoes and garlic and close the lid
- After 15 minutes, add the lobster tails and close the lid
- After 5 minutes, add the shrimp and optional Brussel sprouts and close the lid
- After 2 minutes, add the corn, close the lid and turn off the propane
- After 5 minutes, carefully remove the sieve pot and pour the lobster, shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn on those newspaper
I could’ve steamed these lobster tails which is how I cook my live lobsters. Some will argue that steaming is the only way to go. There are arguments for both sides. This infographic discusses both sides as well as a boatload of other great information about the four different ways to cook lobster.