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The 5 Best Substitutes for Liquid Crab Boil

When it comes to seafood boils, liquid crab boil is an essential ingredient.

This concentrated blend of spices imparts a unique flavor and helps to ensure that the seafood is properly cooked.

However, liquid crab boil can be difficult to find, and it may not be suitable for everyone.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to cook with liquid crab boil and provide some substitutes for those who can’t use it.

What’s Liquid Crab Boil?

Crab boil is a liquid seasoning typically used to flavor crab or shrimp.

It is usually made with a combination of spices, such as mustard seed, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, and paprika.

Some versions may also include ingredients like lemon juice or garlic.

Crab boil has a long history in the United States, dating back to the 18th century.

It was originally used as a way to add flavor to salt pork, which was a common ingredient in New Orleans-style cooking.

Today, crab boil is often used to season seafood before it is cooked.

It can also be added to rice or couscous for extra flavor.

When using a crab boil, it is important to be careful not to overcook the food, as the spices can become very intense.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Liquid Crab Boil

If you’re looking for a good alternative to liquid crab boil, there are plenty of options to suit your taste and preferences.

Here are five of the best substitutes you can use:

1 – Old Bay Seasoning

If you’ve never tried Old Bay Seasoning, you’re in for a treat.

This zesty blend of spices adds flavor to any dish and can be used in place of Liquid Crab Boil.

Old Bay Seasoning is a perfect addition to fish, chicken, and vegetables.

It has a unique taste that is both salty and slightly sweet.

The seasoning also has a slightly oily consistency, which helps it adhere to the food.

To use Old Bay Seasoning as a substitute for Liquid Crab Boil, simply add it to the water before boiling seafood.

You can also add Old Bay Seasoning to the breading when frying chicken or fish.

Whether you use it as a seasoning or a dipping sauce, Old Bay Seasoning is sure to please your taste buds.

2 – Zatarain’s Seafood Boil

Zatarain’s is a seafood boil seasoning mix that is popular in New Orleans.

It is made of paprika, mustard, cayenne pepper, and other spices.

The taste is spicy and savory, with a kick of heat from the cayenne pepper.

The texture is dry and powdery.

To use Zatarain’s, simply add it to a pot of boiling water.

It can be used to season shrimp, crab, Crawfish, or any other type of seafood.

It can also be used to make dirty rice.

To substitute Zatarain’s for liquid crab boil, simply use half as much Zatarain’s as you would liquid crab boil.

For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of liquid crab boil, use 1/2 cup of Zatarain’s instead.

3 – Creole Seasoning

Crab boil is a staple in Louisiana cuisine.

It’s a seasoning blend that is usually applied to crabs and shrimp before boiling.

The most popular brand is Zatarain’s, which is a mixture of salt, paprika, mustard, cayenne pepper, and other spices.

Crab boil imparts a strong flavor to seafood, so it’s often used in small amounts.

However, some people prefer to use it as an all-purpose seasoning for meats, vegetables, and grains.

If you can’t find crab boil at your local grocery store, you can easily make your own by combining paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.

Just remember that a little goes a long way.

4 – Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are a type of leaf often used in cooking.

They have a sharp, bitter taste and a tough texture.

Bay leaves are typically used to add flavor to soups and stews.

They can also be used to make a type of tea.

Bay leaves can be found fresh or dried.

When purchasing dried bay leaves, it is important to make sure they are pliable and not brittle.

If they are brittle, they will not release their flavor properly when cooked.

Bay leaves can be substituted for a liquid crab boil.

To do this, simply add two or three bay leaves to the pot when boiling crabs.

The bay leaves will give the crabs a slightly different flavor than the liquid crab boil, but they will still be delicious.

5 – Lemon Pepper Seasoning

If you’re looking for a versatile seasoning that can add a zesty kick to any dish, then look no further than lemon pepper.

This seasoning is made from ground black pepper and lemon zest, and it has a sharp, citrusy flavor that can brighten up even the most mundane meal.

Lemon pepper is also relatively lightweight, so it won’t weigh down your food or leave it feeling greasy.

Additionally, lemon pepper is an excellent substitute for a liquid crab boil.

If you want to add some Louisiana flair to your cooking without all the hassle, simply sprinkle some lemon pepper on your seafood before cooking.

You’ll be surprised at how much flavor it adds.

So next time you’re in the spice aisle, pick up some lemon pepper and give it a try.


In conclusion, there are many substitutes for liquid crab boil that can provide a flavorful and unique twist on your favorite dishes.

Old Bay Seasoning, Zatarain’s Seafood Boil, Creole Seasoning, Bay Leaves, and Lemon Pepper are all excellent choices.

Each one has its own unique flavor profile, so experiment and find the one that you like best.

Once you find your favorite, you can enjoy delicious seafood dishes with a Louisiana flair without having to use liquid crab boil.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Liquid Crab Boil

The 5 Best Substitutes for Liquid Crab Boil
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Zatarain’s Seafood Boil
  • Creole Seasoning
  • Bay Leaves
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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