Steamed Crabs Baltimore County – I have fond memories of being a little girl in 1980 going with my grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins. Odiferous chicken wings were tied to a rope hanging from the pier while we walked around all our theaters looking forward.
Finally, one of the ropes would come off the boat and tell us that a blue crab had fallen into our trap. My uncle started working with the crab in the net while another bystander slowly dragged the crab to its sandy habitat. Then SWOOP! A Maryland Blue Crab was caught.
Steamed Crabs Baltimore County
If the crab was a male, a pre-measured block tree was used to judge whether the crab was destined for the pot of fire or destined for the coming year’s profit. If the crab is a female, we throw it back in the hope of spawning more crabs.
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Blue crabs congregate in May and October in the Bay’s saltwater, according to the Department of Natural Resources’ website. Although females only have one male partner, she stores the remaining sperm to fertilize an egg in the future.
It is illegal for recreational crabbers to have any type of female crab. This includes hard crabs, egg-laying crabs, peeler or soft shell crabs.
To tell if it is a male or female crab you need to examine the crab’s apron. Turn the crab upside down, if you see a triangular or round shape, those are females. If the bottom of the crab has a long, thin apron that looks like the letter “T,” it’s male. You will see an example of a male crab in the video below.
Before heading out to catch crabs this time of year, check the Department of Natural Resources’ website for more information about the fishing season and related rules and regulations.
Best Crab Seasoning For Your Maryland Steamed Crabs
In this post, I did not get my wealth of salt water from string chicken. I stopped at Bob Evan’s Bayfood. This is a family owned and operated seafood business since 1976. We have been buying crabs from them for over 15 years. Support local small businesses!
We picked a dozen 1 men and a dozen 2 men for our little dinner. We use a 2:1:1 water to beer to white vinegar ratio. The amount of liquid to use will depend on the size of the pot. The important thing to remember is to keep the crabs out of the explosive liquid. You want crabs that are cooked, not boiled.
First, fill the bottom of the crab pot with 2 parts water, 1 can of Natty Bo and 1 part white vinegar. It’s not an exact science here. We put a brick in the bottom of our big pot to make sure the basket of crabs doesn’t swim in the pot. I prefer to bring the liquid to a simmer before adding the crab basket. This prevents the crabs from overcooking.
While bringing the liquid to a boil, add the bottom of the basket with the red potatoes, then the crab, corn on the cob, salt (optional) and a little Old Bay Seasoning (mandatory). J.O. Crab Seasoning is a delicious alternative to Old Bay. I find it a little salty. (Uncle will read me the mess with that statement)
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When you get high steam, put the basket in the pot, set the timer for 22-27 minutes and do the magic. This time around, 22 minutes was the perfect time!
When the time is up, use oven mitts to carefully remove the basket and dispose of the bounty in the prepared work station. Brown paper is best, but layers of old newspapers will also work. This makes it easy to clean!
Time to choose your dinner. You will need a mallet and a knife. Watch the video at the end of this post for a tutorial on picking up a small crab. Serve the crabs with Natty Bo, melted butter, apple cider vinegar and some Old Bay Seasoning.
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Best Places To Eat Steamed Crabs In Baltimore
Made with blue crab, beer, Old Bay Seasoning, melted butter, and more, your mouth will be watering before it’s even cooked.
Don’t forget to grab some cold ones before you start. Crab boils aren’t complete without a cold beer.
Crab season hungry? Check out other fan favorites like Air Fried Crab Cake Egg Rolls w/ Old Bay Aioli, Maryland Style Smoked Crab Cakes, and Jumbo Lump Crab Burgers!
Steamed Crabs are a Maryland dish of Summer. The smell of those Chesapeake spices and fresh blue crab is irresistible.
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Most people just call the local crab house and place an order but why not step up your game and make your own.
A crab. Okay, seafood lover, you’re going to need ½bushelof live crabs. This is equivalent to about 3-4 dozen average sized crabs.
Perfume. Every Marylander knows the spice issues. So, the only seasoning you’re allowed to throw in your stock pot is 16oz of J.O. #2 Crab Seasoning and one can of Old Bay seasoning. No replacement. If you take a place, don’t tell me about it.
Liquid ingredients: Unless you have enough water…scratch that, forget water, make sure you have enough beer. You’ll need 6 light beers in the steamer (yes, we cook with them), 2 sticks of melted butter, and 1 stick of apple cider vinegar.
Ultimate Guide To Steamed Blue Crab
Beer. This is the king (or queen) of the stock pot while cooking. I recommend 1 bucket of cold drinks, however, up to two if you don’t plan on driving.
The ice. Keep your blue crabs cold and frozen until it’s time to steam. Make sure you have plenty of ice.
Add Beer. Fill your crawfish pot (stock pot) with beer just below the bottom of the insert. This will take about 6 beers.
Stack and Layer. Place the crabs using ladles in circular layers, saving each layer as you stack until the pot is almost full. Leave room for corn cobs and you can still close the lid tightly.
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Steam crab. Steam the crabs for about 25 minutes until the crabs take on a bright red-orange color.
With a few ingredients and tools, you’ll be able to grill crabs like a pro and save a ton of money at the same time.
Craving Crab? I have more recipes for you! Check out my Cedar Plank Smoked Crab Cakes, Chili Creamy White Crab, and Chesapeake Crab Butter Sauce
Crabs can cost up to $400 per bushel depending on size and availability in my area (
The Crab Truck And Seafood Stop
) most of the time we get a group together and everyone pitches in and brings a side dish.
Recently, my brother and I decided to dust off the old crab pot and try burning live crabs ourselves. It was really, really easy and I think it’s safe to say we’ll be doing this often.
That said on average you will get somewhere in the range of a dozen small to medium crabs to a bushel or about a dozen medium to large crabs.
I usually tell people that ½ bushel will feed 6-8 people and a full bushel will feed 10-12 people.
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It also depends on how experienced and determined these crab eaters are because I have seen 4 people plow through a bunch of crabs and a bowl of beer in 2 hours… If you are wondering, yes, I was one of those people!!
If you’re a Marylander, down the road there’s more than a lady selling live crabs; at least, there is about me.
For $20 a dozen or $110 a half bushel. We aptly nicknamed her the “crab lady”. Every weekend he goes out and sells good crabs to experienced crabbers in the area. I brought a cooler and a bag of ice and picked up a half bushel of medium/large male crabs.
When buying live crabs make sure the crabs are…you guessed it, ALIVE!! It was exciting to see this woman holding the crabs with her claws and knowing that they are alive just because of their emotions.
About Baltimore Food
Almost like how a skilled fisherman can tell by a subtle movement if they have a fish on the line. Any dead crabs are immediately discarded.
Crabs have to kick and fight to get into your cooler. The key to keeping crabs alive is to reduce stress. Don’t throw them around or mess with them more than necessary.
When you switch to a cool place put them on
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