How to Clean and Crack Hard-Shell Crab


Dungeness crabs have more meat in proportion to their body weight than any other hard-shell crabs - and they're easy to eat, too. You can clean and crack crabs before or after cooking, but be sure to cook hard-shell blue crabs before cracking.

Things You'll Need

  • Dungeness Crabs
  • Heavy Knife
  • Kitchen Shears
  • Lobster Picks
  • Nutcrackers
  • Mallets
  • Small Hammers
  • Place crab on a table, belly-side up.

  • Pull off triangular-shaped belly flap, or "apron."

  • Turn over and remove shell by inserting your thumb between body and shell at rear of crab and pulling shell up.

  • Twist off claws and legs.

  • Use a nutcracker or small hammer to crack open the leg shells.

  • Pick out meat with a lobster pick, fork, or tip of a crab claw.

  • Use a spoon to scoop out crab meat and roe (also called "crab butter") from the inside of the shell. Keep the roe or discard it, depending on your preference.

  • Pull off the spongy gills and small paddles at the front of the crab and discard.

  • Use a knife to cut the crab's body in half lengthwise and then into quarters, if desired, or simply snap the body in half. Pick out meat.

Tips & Warnings

  • If crab is alive, kill it by placing a heavy knife over its belly lengthwise and hitting the knife with a mallet to cut through the crab.
  • Watch out for live crabs' pincers.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Clean Crab

    Like all shellfish that come straight out of the sea, crabs are covered with dirt and other residues on them that should...

  • How to Crack Crab Legs

    There are many different types of crab, depending upon the region your dinner came from, and the types vary greatly in size....

  • How to Cook Hard Shell Crabs

    Hard shell crabs are typically prepared by boiling in a pot with various seasonings. Once boiled, the shells can be cracked and...

  • How to Open a Whole Crab

    Crab meat is delectably sweet, and whole crab is widely available when crab is in season. Cleaning and cracking a whole cooked...

  • How to Raise Soft-Shell Crabs

    A soft-shell crab is actually just a common blue crab that has recently molted. When eating seafood, typically blue crab is what...

Related Searches

Check It Out

13 Delicious Thanksgiving Sides That'll Make Turkey Insignificant

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!