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Lowcountry Shrimp Boil

by Emily
A closeup shot of Lowcountry shrimp boil including shrimp, sausage, corn, and potatoes

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In Georgia and South Carolina there are two popular types of social gatherings that revolve around communal eating of shellfish:

First, there is the ‘Oyster Roast.’ Often done during the winter months, people gather around to eat oysters roasted under a wet burlap sack draped over the shells and steamed. 

The second event is known as the ‘Lowcountry Shrimp Boil.’ Also known as a tidewater boil, Frogmore stew, Beaufort stew, and more, this summer Southern tradition originally stems from the Louisiana boil. 

Both seafood events often surround major events in people’s lives. These large social functions mark holidays, birthdays, sporting events, engagement parties, and more! No matter the reason for celebration, people enjoy getting together with their loved ones to eat good food. 

In this post, we will learn how to make the Lowcountry shrimp boil!

Shrimp Boil Ingredients:

Below, we list the ingredients typically used to make a Lowcountry shrimp boil. We separate the ingredients into two lists. First, we list the ingredients necessary to make an authentic boil. Second, we list the ingredients often included as add-ons.

Necessary Shrimp Boil Ingredients:

  • Shrimp: The main protein of this meal! Local shrimp is harvested off the coast of the Lowcountry during the summer months. From the boats, the shrimp heads to vendors before people buy them for their family get-togethers and summer parties. If you live near the coast, always buy local shrimp!!
  • Corn on the Cob: Corn is an integral part of a shrimp boil. Buy fresh corn. Then, cut the corn into 2 or 3 smaller pieces. 
  • Small Potatoes: For a shrimp boil, you want to use smaller varieties of potatoes. I recommend small red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes. 
  • Sausage: While many people enjoy using spicy Andouille sausage, my family enjoys the milder Kielbasa sausage instead! Either work in a Lowcountry shrimp boil!
  • Old Bay Seasoning: Old Bay seasoning originally came from the coastal areas of Maryland in ​​1939. Since then, its popularity has spread across the United States. People use Old Bay in the pot as the ingredients cook. They also sprinkle a bit more over the shrimp boil once served!

Add-On Ingredients:

  • Onions: More often than not, people add chopped red or yellow onion to a shrimp boil. While a common ingredient used to enhance the flavor of the boil, my family prefers not to include it. Onion rarely gets eaten because it becomes mushy in the pot. We think it is a waste of food.
  • Parsley: Often, individuals sprinkle fresh chopped parsley over a shrimp boil once it is dumped onto the serving table. 
  • Garlic: Some people enjoy adding garlic to their shrimp boil pot. Once again, this gives an extra punch of flavor. 
  • Beer: While my family never does this, some people add a bottle of beer into the boiling water. This adds extra flavor to the boil. If you are hosting a party, make sure that you do not have any guests on a gluten-free diet. Those on a gluten-free diet cannot drink beer. 
  • Further Types of Seafood: Some people also add other shellfish such as crab or crawfish! 
A table filled with shrimp, corn, sausage, and potatoes.
Do You Like Shrimp?

Shrimp Boil Tips & Tricks:

Before we get to the recipe, we wanted to give some tips & tricks to help you prepare a Lowcountry shrimp boil. Let us know if these tips help you prepare this recipe at home! If you have any questions, leave a comment below or email us at [email protected].

  • If you live near the coast, always buy local shrimp. Not only does this help smaller, local businesses, but it is better for the environment by cutting out shipping. 
  • Shrimp boils are most fun when you cook everything while you act as host to your guests. To do this, you need the right tools. Online, you can buy large boil pots with an interior basket, propane gas cookers, or a set that includes the pot and the cooker. 
  • When cooking the ingredients, timing is everything. You do not want to add the potatoes into the boiling water at the same time as the shrimp. The shrimp will become overcooked if you do this! 
  • Prepare the table before you start cooking the food. I recommend using a plastic outdoor table that you can whip off. Then, you want to cover the table with paper or plastic that you can fold up and throw away once the shrimp boil is over. NEVER dump a shrimp boil onto your nice table. This can ruin the top finish with heat and water. 

Lowcountry Shrimp Boil Frequently Asked Questions: 

Now that we learned some tips & tricks, we want to answer some questions you may have as well! If we do not answer your question, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or email us at [email protected].

What Do I Serve With Lowcountry Shrimp Boil?

In the South, we typically serve clarified butter, cocktail sauce, and lemons at a shrimp boil. 

  • Clarified Butter: People serve clarified butter during a shrimp boil as a dipping sauce. People typically use the butter to pour over their corn as well as to dip their potatoes and shrimp.
  • Cocktail Sauce: Cocktail sauce is a ketchup-based continent. While the most basic versions of cocktail sauce contain only ketchup and horseradish, other sauces include ingredients such as lemon juice and Worcestershire Sauce. You will see this favorite shrimp dipping sauce on every Lowcountry shrimp boil table.
  • Lemons: Often, people add bowls of lemon wedges onto the Lowcountry shrimp boil table. These wedges are for those who like a little lemon over their seafood. 

Note: People do not usually add salt and pepper to the table because Old Bay seasoning already contains a lot! 

A Lowcountry shrimp boil table filled with shrimp, corn, sausage, and potatoes.
Always Serve With Cocktail Sauce!!!

How Do I Store the Leftovers? 

To store the leftovers, I recommend placing the shrimp boil into plastic bags or airtight containers. Then, store the leftovers in the refrigerator. You should eat the leftover ingredients within a few days. 

What Can I Do With the Leftovers?

In our family, we use the leftovers to make other meals! Some of these meals include:

  • Shrimp Chowder
  • Deconstructed Shrimp Boil; And
  • Salads Topped With Leftover Ingredients

We Hope You Enjoyed Learning How to Make Lowcountry Shrimp Boil!

In the end, we hope you enjoyed learning about how to make a Lowcountry shrimp boil! If so, let us know in the comment section! 

If you would like to read more about cooking, you can find further recipes on our blog. We listed some of our favorite Carving A Journey Korean recipes below! For reference, many recipes are influenced by our blended Korean and Southern heritage.

Carving A Journey Summer Summer Drink Recipes:

If you have any questions or comments, you can also email us at [email protected].

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Lowcountry Shrimp Boil

Recipe by Emily
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Recipes, Southern RecipesCuisine: SouthernDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Shrimp Boil Ingredients
  • 6 Ibs Shrimp

  • 8 Ears Corn, Husked and Cut into Half or Thirds

  • 3 Ibs Small Red Potatoes

  • 24 Oz Kielbasa or Andouille Sausage

  • 3/4 Cup Old Bay Seasoning

  • 2 Optional: Yellow Onions, Quartered Into Wedges

  • Serve With:
  • Cocktail Sauce

  • Clarified Butter

  • Lemon Wedges


  • Fill a 7-gallon stockpot halfway with water (or use 2 large pots and divide the ingredients evenly between them). Add the Old Bay seasoning and bring to a quick, rolling boil.
  • Then, add the potatoes to the pot. Once added, allow the water to return to a boil and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the sausage and optional onions. Once again, bring the water back to a boil and cook for approximately 15 minutes.
  • From there, add the corn to the pot. Boil the corn for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are done.
  • Finally, add the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turn pink. Drain through a colander.
  • Serve over a table covered in Kraft paper. Sprinkle over a little more Old Bay seasoning. Serve with lemon wedges, clarified butter, and cocktail sauce.

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