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How to Crack Dungeness Crab Legs Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide

May 25, 2023

How to Crack Dungeness Crab Legs Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Crack Dungeness Crab Legs Like a Pro

Cracking open crab legs can be a daunting task for many seafood lovers, but with a little practice and the right technique, anyone can do it like a pro. In this post, we'll show you how to crack open Dungeness crab legs with ease.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools

Before you start cracking open your crab legs, you'll need to gather a few essential tools. These include a pair of kitchen scissors, a nutcracker, a seafood fork or pick, and a small bowl for the discarded shells.

Step 2: Start at the Joint

Begin by locating the joint where the leg meets the body of the crab. Use your kitchen scissors to snip away any small pieces of shell or cartilage around the joint.

Step 3: Crack the Shell

Next, use your nutcracker to gently crack open the shell at the joint. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as you don't want to crush the meat inside the leg.

Step 4: Remove the Meat

Once you've cracked open the shell, use your seafood fork or pick to extract the meat from the leg. Be sure to remove any remaining bits of shell or cartilage as you go.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Crab Meat

Repeat these steps with each of the crab legs until you've extracted all of the delicious meat. Serve your crab meat on a platter with lemon wedges and your favorite dipping sauce.


Q: Can I use a different type of crab for this technique?

A: Yes, this technique can be used for any type of crab with legs.

Q: Do I need a nutcracker to crack open the shell?

A: While a nutcracker can make the process easier, you can also use a small hammer or the back of a heavy knife to crack open the shell.

Q: How do I know when the crab is cooked?

A: Look for a bright red color and a firm texture when cooking your crab. You can also check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, which should read 145°F (63°C) for cooked crab.


Now that you know how to crack open Dungeness crab legs like a pro, you can impress your dinner guests with your seafood cracking skills. Remember to gather your tools, start at the joint, crack the shell, remove the meat, and enjoy your delicious crab meat with lemon wedges and your favorite dipping sauce. Happy cracking!

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