Cracking and Cleaning Cooked Crab

Cracking and cleaning crabs may be intimidating to the inexperienced, but the reward is well worth the effort.

The rich, flavorful meat of a crab is delicious simply dipped in butter, chilled, and tossed in salads, or as an added surprise to soups or stews. Follow these simple steps to get every last bit of the sweet-tasting meat.

Take a look at these tips for preparing Cooked Crab:

View this recipe

Try This Technique:

crab underside
Step 1.

1. Turn the crab on its back. Using your thumb, fold back the tail flap (or apron), twist off, and discard.

opening top of shell
Step 2.

2. Holding the crab with the top shell in one hand, grasp the bottom shell at the point where the apron was removed. Pull the top shell away from the body of the crab and discard.

cutting away shell
Step 3.

3. Discard the crab's internal organs, mouth, and appendages at the front; rinse crab. Using a small knife, remove the spongy gills from each side of the top of the crab.

pulling away crab legs
Step 4.

4. Twist off the claws and legs. Use a nutcracker to crack each joint, then pick out the meat. Cut the crab body into quarters. Use a small fork to remove the meat.

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