ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Main Dish & Side Dish Recipes

How to Cook Maryland-Style Blue Claw Crabs

Updated on December 16, 2017
Copyright 2010 Bill Yovino
Copyright 2010 Bill Yovino

One of my favorite things about summer is the availability of blue claw crabs. Nothing captures the essence of the season like a steaming pot of crabs smothered in Old Bay seasoning. Add some locally grown corn on the cob, and an ice cold beer (or six) and I'm a happy man.

Size Matters

I usually go down to my boat and hang a crab trap over the side. After a few hours, I bring up the empty trap and head over to the local fish market to buy crabs.

Buy the largest crabs you can, even if that involves paying a premium. The difference in the amount of meat between medium and large crabs is well worth the additional price. The crabs must be alive and feisty. If you're buying crabs in a fish market, have them cleaned for you. When you get home, run them under cold water and remove any unsightly gunk (a technical term). If you've harvested them yourself you have two choices: Clean them or cook them whole. The safest way to clean live crabs is to put them in the refrigerator for about a half an hour. This will make them dormant. Even still, take care when handling them and keep your fingers away from the business end. Use a kitchen knife to pop the top shell from the crab, then remove the feathery lungs and miscellaneous viscera. Rinse under cold water.

Traditionally, crabs are steamed whole (and alive). This is fine, especially if you've managed to catch them yourself and don't want to risk your fingers. I prefer cleaned crabs, which are little easier to eat and I find that more of the seasonings work there way into the crab meat.

Cleaning a Live Crab

Ingredients


  • 1 dozen live blue-claw crabs
  • 1 cup of beer (plus many, many more for drinking)
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt


I Came to Steam Caesar, Not to Braise Him

(Assuming that you've named your crabs and at least one of them is called Caesar)

We want to steam the crabs, so we need to keep them out of the cooking liquid. The best way is to use a steamer pot with a removable basket. If you don't have one, you can use an ordinary pot with a heat-proof cup or bowl on the bottom and a metal rack or screen resting on top, a few inches above the bottom of the pot.

Add equal parts beer and vinegar so there is an inch or so of liquid in the pot. I suggest you steam the crabs outdoors on a grill or side burner because boiling vinegar emits a pretty pungent aroma.

Layer the crabs in the basket or pot and coat each layer with a 50/50 mixture of Old Bay Seasoning and kosher salt.

If using a steamer pot, put the pot on the fire. Once the liquid comes to a boil, insert the basket, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. If using an ordinary pot, put the crabs on the fire and cook for about 15 minutes from the time you start to see steam. Steam until the crabs are red and cooked through.

Serve with grilled or boiled corn on the cob, coleslaw, and ice cold beer.

Eating a Blue Claw Crab

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Bill Yovino profile image
      Author

      Bill Yovino 21 months ago

      Thanks Paula. I could go for a couple dozen crabs right now.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 21 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bill.....I can put a huge dent in a large plateful of crab.....Love them~ and seafood in general. I make a whole live Maine Lobster, stuffed and baked that I'm told is "to die for." Thanks so much for the recipe.

      (Please check you HP email, Bill. I have sent you a note.) Paula

    • Bill Yovino profile image
      Author

      Bill Yovino 3 years ago

      I haven't tried that but I love spicy food.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      this reminds me of singapore hot chilly crab. Have you tired that?

    • Bill Yovino profile image
      Author

      Bill Yovino 6 years ago

      @Lilleyth - I'm not from Delmarva, but have been in that area many times and love Maryland Blue Crabs. I used to travel to Wilmington, Delaware on business and used to frequent a place called "Dinardo's". They had great steamed crabs and the best Clams Casino I've every had. I'd love to hear about Delmarva Chicken, which I've never tried.

    • Lilleyth profile image

      Suzanne Sheffield 6 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

      You must be from my neck of the woods where we love Delmarva chicken and Maryland Blue Crabs. Gotta have the Old Bay. Nice hub.

    • Bill Yovino profile image
      Author

      Bill Yovino 7 years ago

      No, it's just celery salt, red pepper, black pepper, paprika, and some other spices (nutmeg, ginger, etc)

    • profile image

      Theresa 7 years ago

      Someone told me that Old Bay is straight up MSG .I love it ,but is that true ?

    • Bill Yovino profile image
      Author

      Bill Yovino 7 years ago

      2besure, Thanks! They're easy to cook and a lot of work to eat, but I just love them.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Oh yeah! I remember the Old Bay. Mom used it when she made crabs. Great hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)