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post #11 of 35 Old 04-15-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Crabs

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Steam them live.
Use beer instead of water.
Heat the kettle, use a mesh bottom to keep the crabs from swimming in the beer, wait until there's a good 'head of steam', quickly dump the crabs, liberally sprinkle the crabs with OLD BAY seasoning, jam the lid down quickly to stop the escapees .... Yum.

If there are any toxins in the backfin or claw meat ... the manner/choice of 'execution' wont make any difference. The yellow 'liver' (hepatopancreas) or 'tomalley' ... thats where most of the toxins will be concentrated, few eat the tomalley any more for this reason.
I suppose if you steam them the toxins in the liver wouldn't get all mixed about as I assume they do if you boil them.

Side note, just looking at the locations of all the posters that responded, East Coasters all boil alive and us West coasters butcher first.
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post #12 of 35 Old 04-15-2012
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Re: Crabs

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I suppose if you steam them the toxins in the liver wouldn't get all mixed about as I assume they do if you boil them.

Side note, just looking at the locations of all the posters that responded, East Coasters all boil alive and us West coasters butcher first.
I've always boiled crabs and lobsters live, and I've always lived on the West Coast.

Crabs (and crustaceans in general) don't really have a liver. They have something called a "hepatopanceas", which functions somewhat similarly to both a liver and a pancreas. Many folks consider it something of a delicacy. It can concentrate some toxins from the animal's food, particularly the toxins originating in some dinoflagellates (e.g., PSP from red tide plankton). But I've never heard of it being a particular hazard to people. Most commercial fishing is pretty far removed from places likely to have high concentrations of such toxins anyway.

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post #13 of 35 Old 04-15-2012
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Re: Crabs

I start by steaming both crabs and lobster, in a well seasoned beer mix then finish them on the grill.
garlic butter, with more old bay.
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post #14 of 35 Old 04-15-2012
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Re: Crabs

My designated cooker is a propane hotplate They only last a couple of years but very cheap so no biggie. I'd prefer a real cast iron type but heavy and no room. I mounted it on an aluminum platform fastened outboard to the davit/seat combo..Both the burner and the small Weber barbi are easily accessible from the seat and tank is in the dingy so no propane inboard.I carry two 20 lb'ers.and two separate hoses.None of this would be ideal for offshore but here in the Salish Sea it works for me. I heartily recommend the WeberQif you can figure how to mount it.I used hose clamps thru slots in the table. Just remember to change the water between the crabs and the cobbed corn.

Last edited by Capt Len; 04-15-2012 at 10:03 PM.
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post #15 of 35 Old 04-15-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Crabs

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... Most commercial fishing is pretty far removed from places likely to have high concentrations of such toxins anyway.

I'm referring more to the crabs you catch yourself. The next bay up from me (Maple Bay), has a constant warning from the DFO about consuming the hepatopanceas. I grew up boiling them alive, but that warning is one of the reasons why I clean first. Another is, if you clean 'em first you can fit more in the pot, and it takes less time to cook.
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Last edited by Agri; 04-15-2012 at 11:48 AM. Reason: horrible spelling mistake
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post #16 of 35 Old 04-15-2012
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Re: Crabs

I assume you are talking about Pacific Dungeness crabs, which are quite different from the blue crab. When I lived in Spokane, WA they were sold in the grocery stores for about 25 cents a pound, and a 5-pound crab was nothing unusual. Most everyone along the coast boiled their crabs in large caldrons, they were pretty bland tasting so most of the locals just topped their salads with them.

Then this upstart easterner shows up with a huge box of Old Bay Seafood Seasoning, picks some fresh-boiled crabs, makes some crab-cakes (Phillips recipe), some deviled crab stuffed mushroom caps, stuffed shrimp, crab imperial and cream of crab soup. Well, the neighborhood went straight to Hell. The big problem back then was I had to call my dad on the telephone in Maryland and have Old Bay shipped to Spokane. This was just a once in a while kind of thing until the neighbors created new recipes using Old Bay. It got to the point where Dad was sending a case of Old Bay nearly every month and sometimes more often than that. When I left Spokane just about everyone on Spokane's South Hill had become an Old Bay convert. You may want to check out some of the recipes at OLD BAYŽ | HOME

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post #17 of 35 Old 04-15-2012
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Re: Crabs

Does that mean we've been doin it wrong all these years? All that wasted added cholesterol, inuf to make my heart quiver, it is.Did I tell you about the bay tree I planted just so I'd have fresh leaves? Now adays ,unless you've deep pockets ,better to run your own trap. Up da coast.
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post #18 of 35 Old 04-15-2012
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Re: Crabs

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I heartily recommend the WeberQif you can figure how to mount it.
Good to know. I've been eye-balling these for quite a while. I was thinking I could removing the nylon handles/stand assembly to make it smaller and fabricating a different mount of some sort out of aluminium. My last BBQ (Kuuma) was such a piece of junk I hated having it attached to my boat. I set it out at the dumpster for someone else to have at it. I've had others in the past that weren't too bad but I think the quality of that Webber could be good.

Crab:
With the bottom of the crab facing me, I grab half the legs with one hand and the other half with the other hand and knock the shell off in one quick motion on a winch or my windlass. Then I break it in half, give it a quick clean and throw it in the pot. I pretty much always steam them...yum yum.


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Last edited by Bilgewater; 04-15-2012 at 11:33 PM.
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post #19 of 35 Old 04-17-2012
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Re: Crabs

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Does that mean we've been doin it wrong all these years?
Some folks just lead a sheltered life! Next time yer' in this part of the world, look me up and I'll be happy to introduce to the world's best tasting crab recipes.

Cheers,

Gary
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post #20 of 35 Old 04-17-2012
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Re: Crabs

I use a pressure cooker after removing the back guts and lungs. Place in the pressure cooker just until the top starts rocking then immediately remove from heat and remove the rocker top out on the deck to let the stinky steam escape. Crabs are done perfect every time and the smell is outside the cabin.
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