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Boiling Crab Recipe

The first time I ever ate a lobster was at my uncle’s house in Maine.

He had prepared them by steaming them on top of an open fire pit until they were cooked through but still soft enough to eat.

The most memorable thing about eating those lobsters was that he would always serve them up with lemon juice.

What Type Of Crab Should You Use For Boiling?

When it comes to cooking crab, there are two main types of crabs available these days – hard-shell or soft-shell.

Hard-shell crabs have shells that are very strong and can be boiled just like any other shellfish.

Soft-shell crabs, however, don’t have shells and need special care when preparing the meat inside.

Soft-shell crabs are generally more expensive than their hard-shelled counterparts.

They also tend to taste better since they haven’t been exposed to heat from the sun, which could damage their meat.

If you want to make your own soft-shell crab boil, here’s what you will need:

  • 6 large live soft-shell crabs
  • 1 small head garlic (or 2 medium heads)
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups cold water
  • Lemon wedges
Boiling Crab Recipe

What Type Of Seasoning Do You Recommend?

There are many different types of seafood, so it can be tricky to know which one to buy.

If you want to make sure your food is safe to consume, you need to check out where it came from.

Seafood may come from various parts of the world, including the United States, Asia, or Europe.

You also have to consider how it will be stored before shipping across continents.

For example, if you purchase fresh fish online, make sure you get it within 24 hours of purchasing it.

Otherwise, there isn’t much you can do besides freezing it right away.

When buying seafood, look for signs like “USDA Choice,” “Dolphin Safe Certified,” or “Wild-Caught/Sustainably Farmed.”

These labels indicate whether the product comes from American fisheries or not.

If you aren’t entirely comfortable with what kind of seafood you plan to order, try asking the store owner what their recommendations are.

They probably won’t mind sharing because they want to keep customers coming back.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid any products labeled “Imported” unless you are absolutely certain they haven’t been exposed to harmful chemicals.

That goes for anything imported from other countries, too.

If you don’t want to worry about all this stuff, just stick to canned seafood.

There are plenty of varieties available at supermarkets these days.

Some people prefer to cook fresh seafood over canned versions since it doesn’t require refrigeration.

However, when preparing raw foods, you need to take precautions against bacteria and parasites.

Thankfully, there are several ways to prevent contamination while handling seafood.

For starters, wash hands thoroughly after touching any dirty surfaces.

Make sure everything you touch has been properly sanitized beforehand.

Also, never leave your kitchen unattended while cooking.

When you aren’t looking, someone could sneak into your home without your knowledge and contaminate whatever they bring inside.

Keep your refrigerator closed whenever possible and clean under the sink regularly.

Use plastic bags instead of paper towels to cover your cutting boards and plates.

Lastly, wear gloves when working around potentially contaminated items.

Now that we’ve covered some basic safety measures, let’s talk about spices!

Boiling Crab Recipe

How Long Should You Boil The Crab For?

Crab boils are typically served with some sort of dipping sauce or cocktail sauce.

If you want your boiled crab to be delicious, it’s important to choose high-quality ingredients that will make sure the entire experience is enjoyable from start to finish.

  • Crabs are very perishable seafood items so plan accordingly if you’re going to buy more than one serving (or two).
  • If you don’t have any special equipment, try using a stock pot instead of a pressure cooker.

What Is The Best Way To Clean The Crab Before Boiling?

Cleaning crabs can be tricky if you don’t know what you are doing.

If you want to make sure your crabs are safe to eat then follow these simple steps:

  • Remove any dead or dying tissue from the shell (you may need to pry it apart).
  • Use a spoon to scrape away any barnacles from the underside of the shell (they look like little black dots).
  • Rinse the crab thoroughly under cold running water.
  • Remove all large pieces of meat including legs, eyes, and gills.
  • If there are small bones inside the body cavity, remove them using tweezers.

Now that we have cleaned our crab let us move onto how to cook it!

How Much Water Should You Use When Boiling Crab?

If your goal is to make sure the meat inside the claw shells remains tender then you need to add some liquid to your pot of crabs while cooking.

But if you want to get all of the delicious crab flavor out of the shell then you may not need any extra liquid.

To learn how much water you need to cook your crab properly, we will be using our basic crab recipe from earlier this week.

You can find that article here.

First off, let’s look at what happens when you boil enough water to cover the total weight of the crab.

If you have 10 pounds of live crabs (which is about 5 or 6 medium sized ones) then you would want to bring the water level up to 8 cups (1 gallon).

Once the water reaches 8 cups then you are ready to start adding more depending on whether you plan to keep your crabs whole or crack them into pieces.

  • For whole crabs: Add 2-3 tablespoons salt per 1 pound of crabs. Then fill the rest of the pot with cold water. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.
  • Once the water boils, drop in your live crabs. Make sure the claws point down so they don’t float away.
  • Keep the lid on the pot for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the lid and carefully check the crabs. They shouldn’t be tough yet. Let the crabs cool completely before cracking them open and removing the meat.
  • For cracked crabmeat: Crack each one of the crab legs after removing the meat. Do not discard the empty halves because they contain lots of flavorful crab stock. Save the stock to use later in other recipes like crab cakes.

What Should You Do With The Crab Once It Has Been Boiled?

Crabs are delicious and versatile seafoods.

You can enjoy them raw or cook them using different methods.

One way to prepare crabs is to boil them.

Boiled crabs have a rich flavor that makes them easy to digest and absorb nutrients from their meat.

If you want to make your own boiled crab dish, here is how you can cook crab legs.

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 whole bay leaves
  • 5 pounds live blue crabs

How Do You Know When The Crab Is Done Boiling?

Crab boils are tricky because there isn’t really any hard-and-fast rule for how long crabs take to cook.

But if you boil your crab too long, then it will be tough and chewy rather than tender or juicy.

You want to make sure that the meat inside those claws is firm but not dry or rubbery.

To test this out, give the crab a squeeze—if the claw feels like rubber, then the crab is probably overcooked.

If you don’t feel anything after squeezing the crab, then the crab is perfectly cooked!

What Are Some Other Things You Can Add To The Boiling Water For Crab?

Crab has been around since the days of the ancient Greeks.

They found it in the Mediterranean Sea where it was known as “Lumpfish”.

In its original form, it was boiled or baked whole.

After being caught, it would be placed into barrels filled with seawater so it could soak overnight.

When it came out of the barrel, it was then ready to cook.

In modern times, we have learned how delicious the meat from this crustacean can taste.

There are many different ways to prepare it, including steamed, boiled, broiled, fried, roasted, sautéed, grilled, or even barbecued.

One method of preparation that is often overlooked though is frying.

If you want to try your hand at preparing crabmeat, here is a simple way to fry it.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat (about 10-12 pieces)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Paprika for dusting

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Once melted, whisk in the flour.

Cook for 3 minutes while constantly stirring.

Slowly pour in the milk, whisking continuously until smooth.

Turn down the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes without allowing any lumps to form.

Add the crabmeat, salt, and pepper, mix well, and remove from heat.

Allow mixture cool slightly before pouring onto a baking sheet lined with paper towels.

Dust lightly with paprika.

Serve immediately.

Boiling Crab Recipe

What Are Some Other Methods Of Cooking Crab Besides Boiling?

You may have heard of “crab boil” or even seen it advertised online.

A lot of people think this refers to using actual crabs in a pot of boiling water, but there are actually many different ways to cook crab besides just boiling it!

In fact, crab is one of the easiest seafood items to prepare because you don’t need any special equipment (other than your hands).

You could choose from all kinds of recipes like baking it, grilling it, broiling it, sautéing it, frying it, smoking it, poaching it, etc., so long as you use fresh crab meat.

Here we will focus on how to make crab cakes, a popular way to enjoy crab.

Grilled Crab Cakes Recipe

You will typically find this type of dish sold in a restaurant setting and served hot off the grill.

To make these grilled crab cakes, simply combine 2/3 cup of bread crumbs, 1 egg beaten well, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, ½ cup milk, ⅓ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs, ¼ cup melted butter, and salt and pepper to taste, then mix together thoroughly with your hands.

Form into patties and place onto skewers.

Next, brush both sides with melted butter and grill over medium-high heat for 3 minutes per side.

Serve immediately while hot.

Poached Crab Cakes

If you want something more delicate, try poaching instead.

For this method, soak 4 cups of white wine in 1 quart of cold water overnight.

Once soaked, drain out the liquid and rinse away the sediment.

Place 6 ounces of lump crabmeat into a saucepan with 1 cup of heavy cream and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until desired consistency is reached.

Remove pan from heat and let cool completely before forming into patties.

When ready to serve, dip each patty into the reserved wine mixture and bake in a 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes.

Serve immediately when done.

Sautéed Crab Cake Recipe

For another option, sauté crab cake makes a great appetizer if you prefer not to use raw fish.

Combine 2 eggs lightly beaten, 1 cup flour, 1 pound crabmeat, 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and salt to taste.

Shape into patties and saute in olive oil over high heat until golden brown.

Serve warm.

Fried Crab Cakes

This fried crab cake recipe uses the same basic process as above except that the batter has been replaced with a light tempura batter.

First, coat 8 pieces of thick cut french fries with ½ cup self-rising flour mixed with ½ cup cornstarch.

Then, whisk together 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning.

After coating the fries evenly with the batter, fry in 350 degree F vegetable oil until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels and set aside to cool slightly before serving.

What Are Some Tips For Making The Perfect Boiled

There are many ways you can cook your crabs and it all depends on what exactly you want out of your meal.

If you just want something easy to make while having fun with friends or family then you should probably try one of these recipes below.

Baked Crab

If you don’t have any seafood allergies this is a great option because it doesn’t involve much work so it will be ready in no time!

You can use anything from blue crabs to Dungeness crabs so feel free to pick whatever flavor you like best.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg beaten (optional)
  • Crab meat (about 1 pound)
  • Butter for coating pan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pepper sauce for dipping

Mix together the flour, salt, and butter using a pastry blender or two knives until crumbly.

If possible, press into the bottom of the baking dish.

Whisk the egg if desired.

Place crab meat on top of crust.

Season generously with salt and pepper.

Drizzle remaining butter over crab mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes and remove from oven.

Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper before serving.

Grilled Crab Boil

Another super-easy way to prepare crab is to boil it in a pot of water.

This method works well when you only need a small amount of crab for dinner and you don’t mind waiting around for it.

To begin, fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a rolling boil.

Once the water reaches a full boil add 2 tablespoons of Old Bay seasoning and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove crab from pot and place onto paper towel to soak up excess moisture. Serve immediately.

Poached Crab

You could also poach your crab in its shell and crack it apart after it cools down.

Just pour hot water into a bowl big enough to hold your crab(s) and cover with foil.

Add 4 sprigs of fresh parsley, 3 cloves of garlic, and 6 peppercorns.

Let sit for 30 minutes. Take off the lid and carefully remove each crab from the water.

Crack shells and pull legs and claws apart.

Put crab back in the liquid and heat on medium low temperature for 5 more minutes.

Serve warm with cocktail sauce.

Fried Crabmeat Recipe

One method of preparation that is often overlooked though is frying. If you want to try your hand at preparing crabmeat, here is a simple way to fry it.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Fried Crabmeat
Servings: 5
Calories: 345kcal


  • 1 Frying Pan


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • salt and pepper
  • paprika


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Once melted, whisk in the flour.
  • Cook for 3 minutes while constantly stirring.
  • Slowly pour in the milk, whisking continuously until smooth.
  • Turn down the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes without allowing any lumps to form.
  • Add the crabmeat, salt, and pepper, mix well, and remove from heat.
  • Allow mixture cool slightly before pouring onto a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Dust lightly with paprika.
  • Serve immediately.



Calories: 345kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 1mg
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