How to Cook a Crab

With the big feast holidays now behind us, how about offering your palette a new taste beyond turkey and pot roasts—seafood. From crab to salmon or shrimp, make homemade sushi or soups. Seafood is usually easy and quick to cook and offers a light change after all the feasting.

Let’s face it, cooking crab can be intimidating if you’ve never tried it before. But it’s truly one of the easier things you can do. You can choose between different ways to cook crab: boiling, steaming, grilling and roasting. Uncooked crab shells are typically greenish-brown. Watch for the crab shell to turn orange or red to verify that it is cooked. If it is already red when you buy it, then it is already cooked and simply needs to be reheated.

Serve crab with melted butter, garlic and lemon. Or try a hot sauce of your choice.

Cleaning a crab: Steam or boil the crabs first before cleaning them. If grilling or  roasting crabs, steam or boil them for a few minutes first and clean them before grilling and roasting. To clean a crab, turn the crab upside down. You’ll see something called “the apron,” a triangle-like shell cover on the bottom of the crab. You can remove it by pulling it off. Flip the crab over and pull the top off as well. Clean out the gills and the guts from the inside of the crab.

Boiling. Boiling is the most common way to cook crab. Simply bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the crabs and cook for roughly 10 to 15 minutes or until the crabs float on the top of the water. Season the water with salt and any other flavorings you like including wine or beer. When you remove the crab from the boiling water, run it under cold water or place it in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Steaming. Just like steaming veggies, put several inches of water in a large pot. Add a touch of salt. Bring water to a bowl. Place the crabs in a steamer basket and place over water. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the steam and let them cool before serving.

Grilling. To grill a crab, you’ll want to boil them for about five minutes to start and then clean them. Toss them in some olive oil with the seasonings of your preference and then place them on the grill on medium to medium-high heat. Cook approximately 4 minutes a side.

Roasting. Set the oven to approximately 450 degrees Fahrenheit. As with grilling crabs, you’ll need to boil the crabs for approximately 5 minutes before roasting them. After boiling, clean the crabs. Toss them with olive oil or melted butter and seasonings of your choice. Place the crabs flat on a roasting pan and cook for approximately 10 minutes.