Knowing how to cook Blue Crab is one of the gifts that practically every Marylander possesses. That is because if you are from these parts then you have plenty of Blue crabs available to you and the cooking preparations are fairly simple.
All you need is a double boiler for an easy steaming bath and you good to go. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
If you want to learn how to cook Blue Crabs there are a few must have’s before you get started:
- Some alive Blue Crabs
- A large double boiler, steaming pot, a large pot with a screen or just a large pot to accommodate your crabs.
- Seafood seasoning, like Old Bay Seasoning.
- A timer
Blue Crabs need to be alive before you start cooking them. When you have first purchased or caught your crabs you can keep them alive for a couple of hours by refrigerating them. Put them in the bottom of the fridge with a damp cloth covering them., or keeping them in the cooler with some ice. Don’t keep your crabs in water or they will drown due to lack of oxygen.
Blue crabs will become very slow and lethargic when they are cooled, sometimes making it hard to tell if they are alive. To check for life simply blow on their face and look for a reaction.
If you find a dead crab discard it immediately. Don’t even think about eating it, read here to find out why…
Steaming is the most commonly used method to cook Blue crabs but you can also boil live Blue crabs as well.
Ready to start cooking?…Great!
Put the water in your pot so it’s just under the steamer and boil it on high heat with the lid closed. Once the water is boiling remove the lid and add a layer of crabs. Add your seasoning to the crabs, then add another layer of crabs with seasoning. You can stack the crabs up until there is just a few (5) inches away from the top. Make sure you put the lid back in place and start your timer.
Steam your Blue crabs for twenty five minutes. Your crabs will be a bright orange color. Once they are cooked take them out of the pot and put them into cold water to stop the cooking process. If you prefer, you can add spices to the cold water rather than to the crabs while they are steaming.
In a big pot, add enough water to fully submerge your crabs (you can also add spices, herbs and vegetables to the water at this point). Boil the water on high and add your crabs. Bring the water to a boil again and start your timer. Blue crabs take six or seven minutes to cook by boiling.