Fresh crawfish delivery is popular throughout the United States. If you’ve been fixing to throw your own crawfish boil, you’re probably going to order online. A select few places in the country, clustered along the Gulf Coast, have easy access to these delectable little crustaceans. The rest of us, unfortunately, need to spend a bit more time and money on fresh crawfish. But, here’s the good news: No matter where you live in the United States, you can probably get yourself a live crawfish delivery when the seafood is in season.
Still, the world of online seafood shipping is opaque and complex. If this is your first rodeo, we have a few tips to share. Whether you’re trying to find the right price, the right crawfish company, or just a crawfish that’ll knock your socks off, this guide can help you out.
Where Does Crawfish Delivery Come From?
Crawfish is available around the world, from the United States to Nigeria. These little guys can be found in swamps, rivers, and lakes, but over 95 percent of the crawfish sourced in the United States come from the Louisiana bayou. Seeing an opportunity, a lot of smaller, mom-and-pop seafood operations popped up along the Louisiana coast, catching, packaging, and shipping crawfish across the country. They most often use overnight shipping, and your shipping rate will usually depend on how far away from this source you happen to live.
We should point out that some states place limitations on live crawfish imports. This includes Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii, Michigan, and Washington. To that end, crawfish is an extremely seasonal seafood. The best months to get crawfish delivered are March, April, and May. If you order fresh crawfish delivery in December, you can bet you’ll be getting the frozen stuff. It’s still good, but if you’re looking for live crawfish, save your money for the spring.
Crawfish Sizing Categories
Like other types of seafood, crawfish delivery comes with its own set of vocab terms. If you’re buying it online, you’re likely to see a handful of terms used to describe their size and quality.
- Field Run/Value – This is the smallest, and often cheapest, grading size. This category often includes crawfish of different sizes that were never sorted. Because of this, crawfish counts per pound can vary pretty significantly – between 25 and 55 crawfish in a pound. Field Run and Value crawfish aren’t typically sorted, and they might not always be cleaned, which is why you’ll probably see them at a discount. Some companies may sell this category as high-quality fishing bait for those who want to catch bass and catfish.
- Select – This grade is the most popular. A great option for those new to the world of crawfish, the “select” category will yield around 20-30 crawfish per pound. These guys are what we would call a decent size: not too big, but not too small.
- Premium – This is the category to choose if you’re looking to impress. Premium and jumbo-sized crawfish are reserved for big crawfish boils, parties, and special events. We’ve seen some premium crawfish that are so large they look like small lobsters. If you order a pound of premium, you should expect to get between 10 and 20 crustaceans in your order.
How Do I Find a Good Seller?
The online marketplace can seem like the wild west. That said, there are a few specific features that indicate a reliable crawfish company. Look for businesses who prioritize transparency and sustainability. You should have a good idea of where the crawfish was caught, how it was caught, and who caught the thing. If you’re looking for a place to get started, we have a few suggestions when it comes to crawfish delivery companies.
How Much Crawfish Should I Order?
If you’ve never tried crawfish delivery, you might not know how much is an appropriate amount of seafood to buy. Of course, this all depends on how hungry your guests are. But, in general, you should expect a person to eat between two and four pounds per person, so long as crawfish is not the only thing served. Remember that this poundage isn’t just the meat – it includes the shells, too. Depending on your provider, you should expect to pay between $16 and $30 per person you invite to a crawfish boil. Of course, you can always cut this price down by doubling up on corn and potatoes. Just remember to get a crawfish pot large enough to cook your order.