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Cleaning Blue Crabs at Your Own Risk!

Updated on May 19, 2011

Maryland is known for their world famous blue crabs. But what you may or may not know is blue crabs are in the waters all down the Atlantic coast to Florida and over into the Gulf of Mexico. The sweet tasting meat of the blue crab is sought after by many. If you are lucky enough to live near the coast you should take the opportunity to have a blue crab dinner.

Crabs Are Usually Cranky

Cleaning the blue crab can be challenging but rewarding. Here is how you do it.

Take your crab and poke it with a fork or knife. If the crab is alive you just ticked him off. Now you have an aggravated crab on your hands. This means you haven't cooked it yet!

It's More Than Giving It a Bath!

Now you need to boil a pot of water. Once the water is boiling you need to figure a way to get the crab in the pot. Talking to it won't do any good because it's probably still aggravated from getting poked. So you will have to figure out a way to get it in the pot. (You are on your own.)

Once you get it in the boiling water the crab will start to turn red. The crab will be cooked within 10 minutes.

Now remove the crab from the water. You can poke it all you want because you won the battle!

Turn the crab on it's back. There is a flap that you want to pull and break off. Discard the flap.

Turn the crab back over and pull off the shell. Discard the shell.

Now you want to remove the guts. The gray stuff is the gills. Remove and discard. Then there is the yellow stuff called the "mustard". Some people eat this but I personally could never bring myself to try it.

Now clean out anything else that doesn't look appetizing. Everything that isn't white you'll want to discard.

All that should be left is basically the claws, legs, and some meat where the legs cluster together. Get a small fork, a nut cracker, and/or a small mallet or hammer. Proceed to remove as much meat as you can.

After 10 minutes or so of struggling you should have a few ounces of that sweet tasting crab meat. (Maybe 3 or 4 bites) Dip in melted butter and enjoy!


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