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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to cook and clean live crab

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One of the great reasons to live in the Pacific Northwest...catching live crab!
But how long do you cook them? And what will I make with crab meat if I am getting tired of just eating it straight from the crab?

First you need to either catch live crab or buy it alive at your local store. 

I caught mine from the mukilteo fairy dock here in Washington State. 
I brought my 4 year old for the first time. We like to start around 8 or 9 and go til up to 2 in the morning or until we limit. Always make sure you check Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for changes before you head out!

Once you have your crab keep it in water and alive until you get home COOK RIGHT AWAY!

First choose a pot that will fit all your crab. I recommend putting same sized crabs together to cook for the same minutes. You can set your crab in the pot with out water to see how many will fit. You can use several pots or make in batches Once you choose your pot, fill 2/3rds full with water and add 2 tbls. salt and bring to a boil.

Once your water comes to a boil. Put your live crab in. (Put it in head first for the humane death:)

Cover with a lid and cook any average size crab about 8 minutes (but blue crab about 6 minutes).
Cook 2-4 minutes more for larger crab.

Another way to tell they are done is to look at the color of the shell. Most crab will turn red when they are fully cooked.
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Rinse crab in cool water for a few minutes. Eat warm or place in gallon zip lock baggies until eaten (to avoid crab smells:) Use with-in 3 days or freeze. 
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  • Once cooked, place crab in sink and turn on water slightly running over the crab to help get rid of the waste. 
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  • First remove top shell first by placing one thumb slightly under the crabs eyes and one thumb above the males pointed section underneath the crab gently lifting upward. Discard shell and rinse the yellow waste off.
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  • Next pull off and discard the white looking gills.
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  • Next break the crab in half and rinse well removing all the yellow innards.
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