How to Cook Box Crab
How to Cook Box Crab
1 live box crab
Butter for dipping
In a large pot (make sure it is large enough to cook your crab, I had a 2 lb crab and used an 8 quart pot that was half filled), add water and a heavy amount of salt. Bring to a boil.
Using tongs, lower your crab into the water and cook 8 minutes per pound of crab. My crab was 2 lbs, so I cooked it 16 minutes. Once the time is up, remove from the pot with tongs and cool. You can either chill it in a bowl of ice water if you want to immediately get to work, or let it sit for 20 minutes to cool off for handling.
Prep your station for deconstructing the crab. I use a cutting board, a bowl for shellfish scraps, a trash bowl, and a bowl for the crab meat. I also use kitchen shears and an oyster shucker to help pick the meat out. If you do not have an oyster shucker you can use a fork, or a small knife to help pick the meat out!
First step to deconstructing the crab is flipping it onto its back, hold it over the bowl and remove the “apron” which is the small flap on its underside, and drain all of the liquid into the bowl. Reserve this bowl for shellfish stock and any shell scraps we have. Transfer the crab back to the cutting board.
Remove the leg / underside section from the top shell called the carapace. Put the carapace into the scrap bowl.
Using your hands, crack the remainder underside sections and legs in half. From there I remove each leg section by cracking it with my hands. Pull out any meat from the middle section that you cracked in half, there won’t be much, the majority of the meat is in the legs.
Next we remove the meat from each leg section. I work on one leg at a time, breaking the legs where the joints are using my hands. If it is too spiky, use a dishcloth to help break the legs.
Once the legs are broken at the joints into smaller sections, remove the meat from the inside. To do this I use the oyster shucker to get into the legs and pull out the meats. If the section is too small to do this, cut the leg with kitchen sheers to break open, and then remove the meat. Do this with all of the legs, reserving the meat in a separate bowl.
Once you have finished picking out all the meat, you can eat the meat immediately by dipping in butter, or refrigerating to use in another dish!
Make sure to use those shells in a homemade shellfish stock!