White Gull Inn's
Door County Fish Boil

White Gull Inn's Fish Boil Recipe for Home Cooks

At the White Gull Inn, the fish is cooked outside over a wood fire, using a 22-gallon pot and two nets; one for the fish and one for the potatoes. For a home cook, you will need a 5-gallon pot plus two removable baskets or two pieces of 24-inch by 24-inch cheesecloth.

Makes 4 generous servings


12 small skin-on red potatoes, scrubbed well

8 quarts water

2 cups salt

4 whitefish, heads and tails removed, gutted but skin-on, cut into 2-inch-wide pieces

melted butter

lemon wedges 


5-gallon pot

Removable basket for pot, or two pieces of 24"x24"pieces of cheesecloth               


Keep potatoes whole but cut a small slice from each end. This will add flavor to the potato during the cooking process. Bring the water in the pot to a boil. Keep it boiling as much as possible throughout the cooking procedure. 

Add the potatoes and one cup of salt. Cook for approximately 20 minutes. Check doneness of potatoes with a fork. The potatoes should almost be cooked through.

When potatoes are almost done, add whitefish with the remaining one cup salt.  Cook approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Fish should be firm and begin to pull away from the bone when lifted with a fork. At a traditional outside boil, a small amount of kerosene would be thrown on the fire at this point. The fish oils, which have risen to the surface of the water, to boil over the sides. Do not attempt this at home; simply skim the oils off the surface with a spoon while the fish is cooking. 

Lift cooked potatoes and fish from the water; drain.  Serve immediately with melted butter and lemon.


Photo Credit: White Gull Inn