All the Essentials for a Southern-Style Seafood Boil
Who doesn't love a party that revolves around melted butter?
With the sun shining bright until nearly 9 every night, there’s no time like the present to host a Southern-style seafood boil in your back yard. I’m outlining all the must-know hosting essentials to pull the party off, so go ahead and invite your friends and family over to partake in some buttery, messy fun.
The Shopping List
A true seafood boil will, without question, include the following key ingredients: red potatoes, onions, corn, lemon, melted butter and seafood boil seasoning. Add in your seafood of choice – be it shrimp, crawfish or crab – and thickly sliced kielbasa, too. Fresh French bread and other seasonings are encouraged, optional additions to the boil. Find the full recipe below.
Stock the Bar (Cart)
Local Drinks and Decor
You can always impress guests with a specialty drink, and you don't have to be a mixologist or sommelier to do it, just find one at your local gourmet grocery store. Many specialty grocery stores will have food and beverage experts on site who can offer recommendations for locally-produced nonalcoholic beverages as well as picks from local breweries and wine that works with your menu. Additionally, they almost always have information packets about the products that you can take home and place on your table for guests to explore.
Don’t forget to grab some boozy libations on the way home from the grocery store. Boils are casual backyard parties – no need to grab the top-shelf Chardonnay. Opt for refreshing big-batch cocktails, locally brewed beers or try out my personal favorite – the watermelon keg.
Set the Scene
Wicker Always Works
Wicker is my go-to item for an outdoor party. If you can’t afford to buy a new set of wicker lounge furniture, a wicker plate charger is all you need. By planning ahead and buying in the winter months, you can always find a deal at a local showroom or thrift store. With this classic base, be sure to add character with a favorite plate that matches the personality of your guests. No matter if you choose a modern square plate or gold-rimmed china, your wicker charger will add the right element of relaxed style to your party.
Again, keeping things casual is key here. Line the center of the table with tons and tons of newspaper or butcher paper. You’ll be pouring the boiled feast straight onto the table, so paper is key. Set the table with light, airy accessories and blue accents to give off a beachy, backyard vacay vibe. I’m obsessed with the wicker placemats pictured above. Get a similar set and you’ll be sure to reach for them at every summer soiree to come.
Pretty Paper Goods
Pretty paper plates and napkins are equally as crucial to a successful seafood boil as the paper lining the table. Guests are peeling shrimp, dunking corn in butter and breaking bread with their hands. These classic, red-and-white gingham-print napkins scream summer, don’t they?
Let the Games Begin
Add some fun to the feast with backyard games. You can’t go wrong with a nice set of cornhole games for the adults or an easy, DIY water game for the kids. (Trust me, the parents will thank you for providing water-based entertainment after their kiddos are drenched in melted butter!)
Sticky + Sweet
Provide your partygoers with one last sticky, messy treat before they head home for the evening. These red, white and blue popsicles are easy to make and the perfect way to cool off at the end of the day.
End on a Pleasant "Pop!"
Cheyenne Mojica Photography
Don’t forget to make our easy, DIY popcorn party favors ahead of time so you can hand them out as guests hit the road. (Because who doesn’t love a salty late-night snack?)