10 Tips For Picking Chesapeake Bay Crab

Brian Raines of Calvert News offer tips on picking the meat out of a Chesapeake Bay steamed Blue Crab, using Old Bay and Budweiser (other regions use other beers).

Before starting — Create a small pile of Old Bay, or your own mixture, near the crabs (Brian Tip: don’t use too much salt or you’ll drink too much beer).

1) Be the quickest to crab the biggest crab in the pile on the table. 

2) Pull the big claws off & set aside. Leave the little legs on to use as a handle later on.

3) Pull the apron off (pulling up the long end of the the “T” part of the shell on the underside).

4) Grab the back of the shell and pull the two sides of the shell apart shell.

5) Scrape the inside of the crab away with your knife & cut the front end off (“Nothing in there will hurt your, don’t worry about it.”)

6) Snap the crab in half, with one leg on each half.

7) Start picking away the white/clear, inside shell from the back-forward. If you left the little legs on, “You’ll end up with a bunch of meat that’s on a little handle.”

8) After removing that back-fin meat, you’ll be left with a hollow center. Pinch it and snap it in half. “Now we have sections with a number of chambers” with more meat.

9) The Claws – snap them apart against the joint. If the meat doesn’t come out when you pull, take the sharp end of your picking-knife and put it — blade down — across the crab leg. Hit it with the back of your hand just enough to get the knife’s edge in and snap it sideways, breaking the shell.

10) Use a similar technique with the claw. Get the knife as close as you can to the joint, hit it with the heel of the hand just enough to snap the shell and twist, breaking the shell.

Brian Raines and his friend, Fred, are with CalvertNews.info.

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