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How to Make a Traditional South Carolina Dish called Low Country Boil

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A low Country boil is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed by South Carolinians for ages. It combines fresh shrimp, sweet corn, red potatoes, and smoked sausage for an all-in-one dish that is sure to be a hit at your next party. It is an iconic classic southern recipe that you are sure to enjoy!

A low country boil is a dish combining smoked sausage, corn on the cob, red potatoes, and fresh seafood such as shrimp. Some folks also add blue crab to their dish. You can add or take away what you like and still have an awesome meal.

Low Country Boil goes by a few other names such as Shrimp Boil, Beaufort boil, Beaufort Stew, Charleston Stew, Seafood Boil, and even Frogmore Stew.

A low Country boil is said to have originated in Frogmore, South Carolina. Frogmore is a small town that is located on the South Carolina coast in a tiny town called St. Helena Island in Beaufort County.

This area is home to the Gullah Culture which was part of the first slaves sent here to the US from West Africa. This sad part of US history is where many of the southern dishes that we know and love today came from.

A Low Country Boil is meant to be enjoyed as a gathering meal. Parties, family reunions, weddings, family gatherings, and other such events serve a Low Country Boil because it feeds a large crowd and is an epic one-pot meal.

Once cooked, the stew is drained and then poured out on a long table. Sometimes the table is covered in brown paper, aluminum foil, and even newspaper.

Guest gather around to feast on the smorgasbord. Scroll to the bottom for a printable version of the recipe and make sure to watch our how-to video on how to make this one-of-a-kind awesome dish!

How To Make Low Country Boil

What Ingredients Do I Need

Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay seasoning is what makes a low country boil different from a Shrimp boil or seafood boil like they have in Louisiana. In a Cajun Shrimp boil, they tend to use a spicier seafood seasoning such as Zatarains Shrimp and Crab boil seasoning.

Old bay is not quite as spicy as Zatarains Crab Boil. If you want to make yours a little spicier, you can add in some cayenne pepper and black pepper. To me, Old Bay is perfect though. You will 2 tablespoons per quart of water.

Sweet Corn

I like to use fresh sweet corn on the cob for this recipe. If you cannot find it fresh, buy the super sweet mini cobs that are in the freezer section of your grocery store.

If you have fresh corn, cut the cobs into 3-inch sections. You will need roughly 6 ears of corn.

Red Potatoes

I like to use red potatoes in this recipe. They may also go by the name of new potatoes.

You will need to cut them in half or into quarters if they are really large. You will need about 3 pounds of red potatoes.

Fresh Shrimp

Here in South Carolina, you can get fresh shrimp 6 or 7 months out of the year. You can find people selling it on the roadside. If you can get fresh shrimp, that is best, but if not you can use frozen. You will need roughly 2-3 lbs of shrimp.

Smoked Sausage

Smoked sausage is one of most people’s favorite parts of this dish. I like to use Hillshire farms smoked sausage but many people use various brands. If you want to kick it up a little, try adding spicy sausage! You will need 1 to 2 pounds of smoked sausage for this recipe.

Optional Ingredients

There are many variations to this recipe from many other southerners. I like to add in a few whole onions. I prefer a sweet onion like Vidalia onions. I cut them in half and drop them in the boiling water. I also will add in a few lemons cut in half.

Celery is another great option to add in and it is really tasty to eat once it has been boiled in the seasoning. Many people are now adding in eggs and once they are boiled, you have an old bay-seasoned boiled egg. Butter is another ingredient that I like to add. I will add one stick of real, salted butter.

Blue crabs or crab legs are often added to seafood boils and the low country boil is no different. You can add or omit ingredients as you see fit. Some people will also add in bay leaves.

Directions

Step 1 Start will a big pot or large stock pot. You will want a pot large enough that once you put your water in it, it will not fill it up more than halfway. Measure out the number of quarts of water you use so you know how much seasoning you will need.

Step 2 Bring the water up to a rolling boil, once it is up to a boil, add in your Old Bay Seasoning.

Step 3 Next add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes.

Step 4 Add in the smoked sausage and the corn on the cob.

Step 5 After 10 minutes, add in your shrimp.

Step 6 Cut the burner off and allow the boil to cool off for about 15 to 20 minutes. This cooling-off process allows the ingredients to soak up the seasoning as it cools.

Traditionally, Low Country Boil is poured out on a long table or picnic table covered with brown craft paper, aluminum foil, or newspaper. If you do not have that, you can serve out of the pot or on a big platter if you prefer. 

What To Serve It With?

  • Cocktail Sauce
  • Melted Butter
  • Extra Old Bay Seasoning to Sprinkle on top
  • Hot Sauce
  • Lemon Wedge

What Sides Can You Serve With a Low Country Boil?

Yield: 8 People

How to make a traditional South Carolina Dish called Low Country Boil

How to make a traditional South Carolina Dish called Low Country Boil

Low Country boil is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed by South Carolinans for ages. It combines fresh shrimp, sweet corn, red potatoes, and smoked sausage for an all in one dish that is sure to be a hit of your next party.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Tsp Old Bay Seasoning, Per quart of water
  • 6 Ears Sweet Corn, Cut into 3 inch sections
  • 3 Lbs Red Potatoes, Cut into quarters
  • 2-3 Lbs Fresh Shrimp, Leave in shell. Can use Frozen if you can't get fresh
  • 1-2 Lbs Smoked Sausage

Instructions

  1. Step 1 Start by filling up a large stock pot with cold water till its half full.
  2. Step 2 Bring to a boil and add in Old Bay Seasoning.
  3. Step 3 Once water is boiling, add in potatoes and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Step 4 Add in the smoked sausage and the corn on the cob.
  5. Step 5 After 10 minutes, add in your Shrimp.
  6. Step 6 Cut the burner off and allow the boil to cool off for about 15 to 20 minutes. This cooling off process allows the ingredients to soak up the seasoning as it cools.
  7. Traditionally, Low Country Boil is poured out on a long table covered with brown craft paper or newspaper but you can serve out of the pot if you prefer.

Notes

You can substitute or add other ingredients if you prefer. Some folks add blue crab to their Low Country Boil. There is not set amount of how much to add really except for the seasoning. You can put more or less of each ingredients depending on how many you are trying to serve. Also, put in the desired amount of seasoning and make sure to test for the taste before continuing. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

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FAQ’s

Can I Cook A Low Country Boil In my Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can cook it in your slow cooker. The times will change on how long to cook it though. You will also cook the potatoes and seasoning together for a few hours before adding the other ingredients.

How Do I Store It?

You can store the remaining low country boil in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It is great to eat the next day as well.

How Long Can I Store it?

You can safely store it for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Thanks for checking out this easy to make low country boil recipe. It truly is a classic southern dish with simple ingredients. I am sure you will love it as much as my family does. If you like it, please leave us a comment below letting us know!
-Ronnie

Check out these other recipes that I am sure you will love as well!

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