Hard shell crabs have been steamed with seasoning, then chilled. Refrigerate crabs immediately upon receipt. They may be enjoyed cold, at room temperature or heated.
Place a raised rack in the bottom of a large pan (minimum of 2 inches), try not to let the crabs touch the water. Add equal quantities of water, vinegar & beer to just below level of rack. Layer crabs; sprinkle each layer with mixture of crab seasoning and salt. Cover and steam for 6-8 minutes. Although they are seasoned before they are shipped, additional seasoning will add flavor. Be careful not to steam too long as the meat will dry out. There is no appreciable loss of quality from re-steaming.
Steam live crabs for 25-30 min. using the same process. Try not to get bitten!
Ordering Steamed vs. Live Crabs:
We do our best to ensure that every crab is alive upon delivery. Normal mortality rates usually does not exceed 15%. Extra crabs are usually packed to compensate for normal mortality rates. Count live ones instead of dead ones when assessing your order. Unfortunately, we can't control the shipping environment and in rare instances mortality rates may be higher due to weather conditions or handling by the courier. We strongly recommend ordering steamed crabs to be sure that every crab is edible upon arrival.
How many crabs will you need?
If you are just serving crabs, a good rule of thumb is about 8-12 crabs per person. If you are serving other food, we estimate about a 1/2 dozen crabs per person. To put it in short, a bushel of large crabs will feed approx. 8 people. Remember, these are estimates only.
Did You Know:Crab meat is an excellent source of high quality protein, vitamins and minerals that are needed for good nutrition. Per 3½ ounce serving, a blue crab or soft crab has 81 calories with 80-100 mgs. cholesterol.
Crab cookery offers endless opportunities for exploration and delight whether it be appetizers, soups, salads, crab cakes, soft shell crabs, deviled crab, or crab imperial.
Unlike other crab varieties, which are boiled, we steam all of our blue crabs. The distinctive flavor produced by steaming means that even the smallest crab will have pizazz. Steaming and eating blue crabs is a ritual, a way of life, for us and all of the others who live in the Chesapeake Bay region or come here in search of that wonderful experience.
Linton's Seafood is one of the pioneers in online shipping of Maryland's famous blue crab. Buy with confidence from a company with over 35 years of experience.
Life Of The Blue Crab:
Blue crabs are found in abundance along the eastern seaboard but prefer waters that range from ocean saltiness to fresh--thus the Chesapeake Bay provides ideal conditions. Life begins in the Lower Bay, where female or "sponge" crabs deposit their eggs between the first of June and the end of August. The baby crabs look very unlike the mature crab and more like a swimming question mark. This "zoea" sheds its shell several times, and when it begins to resemble the adult, it is called a "megalops".
Typically, crabs hatch in late June, pass through the larvae stage by August, and start to move up the Bay during early fall or until cold weather halts their migration. In the spring, their journey is resumed and full maturity is reached when they are twelve to fourteen months old.
In order to increase its size, a crab must molt (shed its outer skeleton). As it approaches a molt, it is called a "peeler." As it actually sheds its old shell it becomes a "soft" crab. It is then velvety in texture and roughly a third again as large as the discarded shell.
During their struggle for existence, crabs frequently lose legs and claws. Within a week of such loss, a new appendage begins to form, but it takes at least two moltings to fully restore the limb. For some reason, the crab population is very variable and a plentiful season may be followed by a lean one.