Handling & Preparation
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.
- Live Chesapeake Bay blue crabs
- meat or bacon grease
- salt and pepper to taste
- Old Bay seasoning
- 1 medium onion, sliced
Pull backs off live crabs. Rinse out guts with garden hose. Cut off dead men fingers, apron and mouth. Chop off crab legs and discard, but save claws. Scrub crabs with small brush to remove all dirt and rinse well. Place crabs in large pot and add about 2 cups of water. Add about 1 tablespoon of fat meat grease or bacon grease. Sprinkle crabs with salt, pepper and a dash of Old Bay. Add onion and potatoes. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, adding water if necessary, for about 40 minutes. Make dumplings and place over top of crabs. Cover and cook over low heat 15 minutes. Remove dumplings, crabs, potatoes and make gravy with flour and water paste.