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Episode 110 - Gulf Coast Grill

Gulf Coast Shrimp Boil with Texas Toast

Other Recipes from Planet Barbecue Episode 110 – Gulf Coast Grill

The shrimp boil is a Gulf Coast institution, with the ingredients varying according to where you are on the Gulf Coast. The Planet Barbecue version brings one unique technique to the preparation, and it involves, you guessed it, the grill. Grilling the vegetables and seafood prior to adding them to the broth imparts a distinctive smoke flavor—think of this as shrimp boil meets live fire. Use the Texas toast for mopping up the broth.

Serves: 4 to 6
Method: Direct grilling


Gulf Coast Shrimp Boil with Texas Toast


For the broth:

  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 12-ounce cans beer
  • 1/4 cup your favorite shrimp boil seasoning
  • 1/4 cup your favorite Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds fingerling (B-size) potatoes, Yukon golds or redskins
  • 3 large carrots, trimmed, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 small bunch cilantro or parsley

For the vegetables and sausage:

  • 20 fresh okra pods
  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn, husked
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 poblano, stemmed, halved lengthwise, and seeded
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut crosswise into chunks

For the seafood:

  • 1 dozen littleneck clams
  • 2 pounds large shrimp in the shell (heads on)
  • 4 to 6 soft shell crabs (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

  • Texas Toast (see below)

You’ll also need:

  • Large heavy-duty grill-safe pan for the boil, such as a roaster; bamboo skewers; rimmed sheet pan

Recipe Steps

1: Heat your grill to medium-high. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place a large rectangular roasting pan over the heat on one half of the grill, reserving the other half of the grate for grilling. Bring the water and beer to a boil. Add the shrimp boil, Cajun seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the remaining broth ingredients and return the mixture to a boil.

2: Skewer the okra and onion wedges on bamboo skewers and place on a rimmed baking sheet, along with the corn and poblano. Brush the okra, onion, and corn with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables and the sausage on the unoccupied half of the grill grate and grill, turning as needed, until browned. (Work in batches if space is at a premium.)

3: Unskewer the okra and onion. Cut the corn into 1-inch rounds with a sharp knife. Cut the poblano halves into chunks. Add the grilled vegetables and sausage to the boiling broth. Once again, brush and oil the grill grate.

4: Add the clams to the boil. Toss the shrimp and crabs, if using, with extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on the grill grate. Grill until lightly charred, then transfer to the boil.

5: To serve, transfer the solid ingredients to a platter or plates with a slotted spoon. Ladle the broth into soup bowls. Serve Texas toast with the boil.

Note: To make Texas Toast Brush 6 ¾-inch thick slices of Texas-style white bread with melted butter. Sprinkle lightly with cayenne pepper and / or garlic salt and grill over a medium-hot fire for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue is a production of Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2023 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein