April and May are, typically, some of the best months for crawfish. And with Easter, Memorial Day and the start of warmer weather all happening during that time, families all over flock outside and get their barbecue pits started and boiling pots warmed up. But, for many outside of South Louisiana, getting crawfish the same day you plan on boiling them is easier said than done. Thankfully, we have a few helpful tips and tricks to keep your crawdads as fresh as possible until the side dishes are ready, the family’s gathered and you’re ready to crowd around the picnic table.
Once you’ve ordered your sack of crawfish and have them headed your way, the last thing you want is to not be prepared. At Acadia Crawfish, we’re experts at caring for mudbugs, and we want to make sure that you’re ready to keep your dinner healthy and happy before you get to peeling. Knowing the right way to care for your crawfish helps them retain their texture and, most importantly, their flavor.
Be Prepared to Receive Your Crawfish:
While we always recommend cooking your crawfish the second you get them home, we know that’s not always possible. In order to properly store them, and keep them at maximum deliciousness, make sure you have the following ready for your crawfish delivery:
- Spray bottle
- Large cooler
- Several ice packs or bags of ice
- Burlap sacks, towels, etc.
In order to keep your crawfish at maximum deliciousness, do the following:
- Put the sack of crawfish on its side in the cooler, and make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight.
- Leave the drain in the cooler open and elevate the other side slightly so water can drain out. Because your crawfish are trapped in the sack, they won’t be able to swim in the water and will drown, so make sure to keep it as drained as possible.
- Cover your sacks in damp towels or wet burlap then place your unopened bags of ice or ice packs over the covered crawfish.
- Maintain 36°F to 46°F.
- Leave the cooler lid cracked open so the crawfish can breathe.
As long as you replace the ice as needed, you can store crawfish on ice for several days without killing them–but keep in mind that the fresher they are, the better the flavor will be. If you plan on storing them for more than two days, rotate the sack daily to keep them at peak condition.
Right Before You’re Ready to Boil:
- Your crawfish will naturally be a little sluggish either right after you receive them or from being stored. Once they’ve warmed up a little, they’ll start moving around like normal.
- Using a spray bottle filled with room temperature water, spray crawfish to help rejuvenate them. Remove any that may not have survived transit or storage.
With these tips, you’re ready to store crawfish like the pros do. Once you’re ready to cook them up, we’ve got a step-by-step guide perfect for making sure your mudbugs come out of the pot juicy, tender and full of flavor. And, when you’re ready to order your crawfish, we’ll make sure you get the best straight from our farms to your door.