How to Crack Crab Legs

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There are many different types of crab, depending upon the region your dinner came from, and the types vary greatly in size. Still, the way to go about eating them all is pretty much the same. You can use your hands alone, but it’s better to grab a seafood utensil like a lobster cracker or a lobster picker, or both for help getting all the meat out of the shell. It takes a little extra work, but once you get through a few crab legs you’ll practically be a pro, and the sweet succulent meat is every bit worth the trouble.

Things You'll Need

  • Lobster cracker
  • Picker

How to Crack Crab Legs

  • Grab a crab leg at the base, where it connects to the body of the crab.

  • Gently twist the base of the leg and pull it away from the body.

  • Separate the sections of the crab leg one at a time.

  • Use a lobster cracker for large crab like a King Crab, as their shells can be extremely rigid like a lobster. It’s shaped like a V and it works by placing the crab leg in the middle of the two tongs and squeezing the tongs together. The pressure will break the shell allowing you to remove the meat inside.

  • In addition to the lobster cracker, you may use a picker designed especially for eating shellfish. Pickers have a long, thin tong with a sharp end so that you can cut through some of the crab shell and split the shell or push the meat out. If you crack at one end of a long leg, it should be easier to gently push or pull all of the meat out from that section.

Tips & Warnings

  • Crabs have teeth-sharp bumps on some of their legs. It is a good idea to wrap the leg in a towel and then snap it to avoid cutting your hands on the sharp shells.

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