Best Liquid Crab Boil Substitute + 3 Other Alternatives

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Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by Toya

Check out the best liquid crab boil substitute plus 3 other tried and true ways to substitute for liquid crab boil in a pinch!

Liquid crab boil is a concentrated liquid blend of spices like marjoram, thyme, black pepper, cloves, bay leaves, and red pepper used to make crab boil recipes, shrimp boil recipes, seafood boil recipes, vegetables, other seafood, and more.

liquid crab boil substitute

If you want to know where to buy liquid crab boil, I’d recommend getting this item on amazon since it’s quite affordable and always available there. 

However, if you’re making a recipe that calls for liquid crab boil and you have none, or you can’t find any at the moment, there are a few options available to you that I’m glad to share below.

Common ways to substitute for liquid crab boil

Zatarain’s Crab boil 

The best substitute for liquid crab boil is Zatarain’s crab boil. Zatarain’s crab boil is basically the dry version of liquid crab boil and can be used in much the same way one uses liquid crab boil. Simply add 1 – 2 tablespoons of dry Zatarain’s crab boil seasoning powder into a pot of boiling water, then use this to cook up your seafood or your vegetables. It infuses a similar bold flavor into seafood.

Homemade crab boil seasoning

crab boil seasoning blend

If you happen to have this mix of spices that are used to make crab boil seasoning on hand, make your own crab boil seasoning and use it in place of liquid crab boil. Simply add 1 -2 tablespoons of homemade crab boil seasoning in a pot of boiling water then cook your seafood or vegetables and enjoy.

Homemade seafood boil seasoning

homemade seafood seasoning mix

Seafood boil seasoning has a different mix of spices and herbs compared to crab boil seasoning, however, it can work as a great liquid crab boil alternative in a pinch.

To use homemade seafood seasoning mix in place of liquid crab boil, place 1 -2 tablespoons of seafood boil seasoning into a pot of boiling water, then cook your potatoes, corn, shrimp, crab legs, lobster tails, or sausages while all the amazing flavors are infused into the food.

Bay leaves

bay leaves

If you happen to have some bay leaves on hand, you can also use them as a substitute for concentrated liquid crab boil.

The flavor of bay leaves on its own is not as complex as the flavor of liquid crab boil concentrate. However, in a pinch, it does add a minty flavor with notes of black pepper and pine to the water used to cook seafood and vegetables for seafood boils or other such seafood recipes.

In fact, bay leaves are often used in combination with other ingredients like old bay, crab boil seasoning, seafood boil seasoning, etc. To use it, simply place a few bay leaves into boiling water and use this water to cook your food. 

Old bay seasoning

old bay seasoning blend

Lastly, if you have old bay seasoning, you can also use it as a Zatarain’s liquid crab boil substitute. Old bay seasoning is a bold, zesty, all-purpose seasoning made with spices like celery salt, black pepper, paprika, bay leaves, mustard, cardamom, cloves, ginger, etc.

It is used in many of the same recipes that call for liquid crab boil like homemade seafood boil, shrimp, crab legs, and other seafood dishes as well as vegetables. Like any other dry seasoning, add some old bay seasoning into a pot of boiling water to infuse its flavor, then use this boiling water to cook the seafood or vegetables.

There aren’t many substitutes for concentrated liquid crab boil, but these 4 simple options can do a great job of replacing the flavors of liquid crab boil in a pinch!  Also, check out these easy crab boil seasoning substitutes for more ideas. 

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