If you want to buy fresh crabs for a special dinner, they usually fall into two general categories: hard shell crabs or soft shell crabs. Depending on which you buy, you will prepare them differently for cooking. In addition, cooking soft shell crabs will be done differently than hard shell crabs.
How to Prepare Crabs for Cooking
There isn’t really much to do to prepare crabs for cooking. If you are working with hard shell crabs, such as Alaska king crabs or snow crabs, then you will need to scrub the crab so it is clean for cooking. In addition, you will want to get rid of any parts that cannot be eaten. You can get rid of these parts after the crab has been cooked or you can do it before cooking them.
Blue crabs will also need to be cleaned before you cook them too. However, since they have soft shells, you won’t scrub them down, but instead you will remove their shell. The top shell can be easily pried from the body of the blue crab and you will also need to remove the apron, mouth and gills from the crab before it is ready for you to try out any blue crab recipes.
Cooking Methods for Hard Shell Crabs
Hard shell crabs can be cooked in many different ways, but they are commonly steamed or boiled. However, you can also bake or grill crab as well. Making crab is easy to do, no matter which cooking method you use. Most suppliers sell crab legs or crab clusters, but they can still be quite large, so you will need to have a big pot for boiling or steaming them.
You just add them to water with some seasoning and boil them for a few minutes or, if you are steaming them, add a rack to place the crab on so they are not boiled. Once they are cooked, they can be eaten as is or you may wish to shell them to use the meat for crab salad, crab sandwiches or delicious crab cakes. You will be able to find a variety of recipes for cooking with crab meat.
Cooking Methods for Soft Shell Crabs
Soft shell crabs can be cooked in a wide variety of ways. Many blue crab recipes call for them to be fried, but they can also be steamed or boiled as you would a hard shell crab. However, since they are much smaller, you can cook several at a time. You will find several blue crab recipes online or you can get advice on cooking them from your supplier. Summertime is a great time to try crab recipes as they are in season and ready to eat.