Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs – This is your complete guide to everything you need to know about cooking and eating Maryland Steamed Blue Crab from start to finish.
Made with live blue crabs, beer, Old Bay seasoning, melted butter and more, your mouth will be watering before you even start cooking.
Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs
Don’t forget to cool down before you start. Crab boils are not complete without cold beer.
Welcome Home Blog: Maryland Steamed Crabs
Has crab season made you hungry? Check out 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 summertime staple. The smell of those fresh Chesapeake spices and blue crabs is unmistakable.
Most people just call their local crab house and place an order, but why not up your game and steam your own.
Crab All right, seafood lover, you’re going to need half a bushel of live blue crabs. This is an average of 3-4 dozen crabs.
Blue Crab Recipe
Seasoning Every Marylander knows the condiments. So the only seasoning you throw into your stock pot is J.O. It is 16 oz. #2 Can of Crab Seasoning and Old Bay Seasoning 1. No substitutions. If you replace it, don’t let me know.
Wet ingredients: In addition to having enough water…scratch that, forget the water, make sure you have enough beer. You’ll need 6 light beers for the steamer (yes, we’re cooking with these), 2 sticks of melted butter, and 1 bottle of apple cider vinegar.
Beer. It’s for king (or queen) of the dish while it’s cooking. I recommend a bucket of cold drinks, however you can increase it to two if you don’t plan on driving.
The ice Keep your blue crabs cold and on ice until it’s time to steam them. Make sure you have plenty of ice.
Lintonseafood.com: Medium Male Blue Crabs (bushel)
Add Beer. Fill your stock pot with beer to the bottom of the insert. This will hold about 6 beers.
Stack and Layer. Stack the crabs using tongs in circular layers, searing each layer as you stack them until the bowl is almost full. Leave room for the ears of corn and still be able to close the lid tightly.
Steam the crab. Steam the crabs for about 25 minutes, until the crabs turn a bright orange-red color.
With just a few ingredients and equipment you can steam crabs like a pro and save a lot of money at the same time.
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Craving crab? I have more recipes for you! Check out my Cedar Plank Smoked Crab Cakes, Creamy White Crab, and Chesapeake Crab Butter Sauce
Crabs can cost up to $400 per bushel depending on size and availability (
) most of the time we get together as a group and everyone brings chips and a side dish.
Recently, my brother and I decided to dust off the old crab steamer and try steaming live crabs ourselves. It was actually really easy and I think it’s safe to say we’ll be doing it more often.
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That being said, on average you’ll end up with 7 dozen small to medium crabs in a bushel or about 5 dozen medium to large crabs.
I usually tell people that a ½ bushel will feed 6-8 people and a whole bushel will feed 10-12 people.
That also depends on the experience and seriousness of the crab eaters, because I’ve seen 4 people plow through crabs and a case of beer in 2 hours… If you’re wondering, yes, I was one of them!!
If you’re from Maryland, chances are there’s a lady on the road selling live crabs; at least it is from my side.
Hot Steamed Blue Crabs Symbol Maryland Stock Photo 127748831
$20 per dozen or $110 per half bushel. We have aptly named it “The Crab Lady”. He is out every weekend selling beautiful crabs to the experienced crab steamers in the area. I brought a cooler with a bag of ice and grabbed half a bushel of medium/large male crabs.
When buying live crabs, make sure they are crabs that are…you guessed it, LIVE!! It was a sight to see the woman picking up the crabs with tweezers and knowing if they were alive or not by feel.
Almost how the skilled angler can tell by the subtlest of movements whether he has a fish on the line or not. Dead crabs were immediately discarded.
Crabs have to be kicked and fought to get into your fridge. The key to keeping crabs alive is to minimize stress. Do not throw or mix with them more than necessary.
Steamed Blue Crabs Recipe
When transferring to a refrigerator, place them using tongs and try to place them right side up.
We weren’t going to steam the crabs until later in the day so we left the fridge slightly open with the drain plug loose to let the melted water out.
The carbs won’t be as fussy as on ice and will be easier to manage during prep.
Male crabs are known as “jimmies” with a Marrow T-shaped apron on the bottom. In contrast, female blue crabs called “sooks” have a rounded, dome-shaped apron. An easy way to remember is that the men’s apron looks like the Washington Monument and the women’s apron looks like the dome of the Capitol Buildings.
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Due to fishing restrictions, you will almost always see males keeping the crab population at a sustainable level. Some crab connoisseurs will say that female crabs are slightly sweeter, but I don’t notice any noticeable difference.
I always use a long folding table covered in newspaper or what is known as crab paper. Use a few layers so that you can roll up the paper after the meal and dispose of all the shells and trash.
After covering the table with newspaper, I like to place a large bowl of cold drink in the center of the table. A cooler is fine but I don’t want to lift it once I’ve started collecting the crabs.
Each guest should have a slender knife, a crab mallet, and multiple rolls of paper towels on the table, preferably with a vertical paper towel holder.
Steamed Blue Crab Images, Stock Photos & Vectors
After the crabs are cooked, they can be piled around the bowl in the center of the table or served in pans if space permits. Get everything set up before the crabs start steaming.
I’m a big fan of steaming crabs with beer. You don’t have to use anything fancy and you can even use a 50/50 beer to water ratio if you want.
I usually go with a light lager that I will drink while I eat the crabs. I won’t say one brand over another, I know people take their beer brand seriously.
You will need a large pot with a steamer basket. We actually used a basket that had been in the family for years.
Don’t Bother Me, I’m Crabby
You’ll also need a propane burner to steam the crabs, so again I’ll leave a link to one that I recommend.
I also recommend a pair of these Oven Safe BBQ gloves for handling the crab pot and also to protect your hands from the crab claws.
I know it’s a lot to buy, but the money you’ll save steaming your crab will pay for it all in just a few uses.
Once your steamer is full of beer and the propane is on, it’s time to start layering on the crabs. Use long tongs and a pair of gloves to protect your hands from crabs.
Amazon.com: Cameron’s Seafood Jumbo Maryland Blue Crabs
I’m a big fan of J.O. #2 Because crab seasoning is a little too spicy or J.O. #1
I don’t recommend old bay to season crab because it’s too finely ground and frankly too expensive to use in that amount.
After each layer of crab is cooked, leave an inch of space at the top of the pot for a few ears of corn.
This is obviously an optional step, but it goes really well with crabs and is always a big hit. In the size pot I recommend you will be able to steam ½ bushel at a time.
Steamed Large Male Hard Crabs
The crabs should be steamed with the lid on for 25 minutes. When they are done cooking, they will have a bright orange-red color and it is time to eat them.
The crabs will be piping hot so you’ll have time to gather them all around the table, so don’t worry about them being cold. I prefer to let my crabs cool closer to room temperature.
You’ll know you’ve cooked the crabs perfectly if the newspaper remains fairly dry while eating. Watery crabs are a sign that you have used too much liquid or cooked the crabs too long.
I wish I could skip this thread because I’m sure what I write will be wrong. I have been eating blue crabs for over 30 years and have seen them probably a dozen different ways.
Steamed Blue Crabs At A Maryland, Usa Crab Shack. They’re Blue Before They’re Cooked Stock Photo
Some people eat the claws first, then peel off the shell and get the back fins and lumpy meat from the blue crabs.
Some people keep their legs on the crab to help remove the meat. Others
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