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How to Cook and Crack Whole Crab: A Step-by-Step Guide

April 16, 2023

Whole Crab on a plate

Choosing and Preparing Crab for Cooking

Crab is a delicious and versatile seafood that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, cooking and cracking whole crab can be intimidating. But don't worry, with a few simple steps, you can prepare and enjoy a whole crab at home.

Step 1: Prepare the Crab

Before you can cook the crab, you'll need to prepare it. Start by removing any bands or ties on the crab's claws and legs. Next, rinse the crab under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris. If the crab is still alive, place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to make it easier to handle.

Step 2: Boil the Crab

To cook the crab, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt to the water (about 1/4 cup per gallon of water) to enhance the flavor of the crab. Once the water is boiling, carefully add the crab to the pot. Be sure to submerge the entire crab in the water.

Step 3: Cook the Crab

Once the crab is in the pot, cover it with a lid and allow it to cook for about 15 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending on the size of the crab, so be sure to check the cooking time based on the weight of the crab.

Step 4: Remove the Crab from the Pot

After the crab has finished cooking, use tongs or a slotted spoon to carefully remove it from the pot. Be sure to let the crab cool for a few minutes before handling it.

Step 5: Crack the Crab

To crack the crab, start by removing the legs and claws. Use a crab cracker or a pair of scissors to crack the shells and remove the meat. Next, remove the top shell of the crab and discard the gills and internal organs. Use a small fork or your fingers to remove the meat from the body of the crab.

Step 6: Enjoy!

Once you've cracked the crab, it's time to enjoy it! Serve the crab with melted butter, lemon wedges, and your favorite sides.


Cooking and cracking whole crab may seem daunting, but with a little practice and patience, you can prepare a delicious and satisfying seafood feast at home. Whether you're enjoying it as a main course or as part of a larger meal, whole crab is a treat that's sure to please.

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