Boiling and eating crabs

by Mary
(El Dorado, AR, USA)

Is it safe to boil and eat crabs that were alive when iced down but do not appear to be alive when taken out of ice?

Crab-O-Licious Replied:-Unfortunately, it is not! Once crab die off (which is the result when freezing them live) they give off toxins that permeate their entire body rendering the meat unfit for consumption. My best advice is to always keep them alive in aerated water until you get them home. There are several ways to aerate their water which are discussed in detail on other pages here on Crab-O-Licious. Additionally, aerators can be found in our store for your use.
The other alternative to aeration is to clean the crab while they are still alive. (NOT for the squeamish)This way they can be put on ice for days and still be good and the meat is very fresh and stays VERY white. Remember that raw crab meat should be treated as any other raw meat and should either be fully frozen ASAP or cooked ASAP. If you choose to freeze them for awhile, I highly recommend vacuum sealing them if you can. This will ensure that you will be ENJOY!-ing the fruits of your labors for many months to come!

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How long do you boil crabs if the shell is off?

How long do you boil crabs if the shell is off?

Crab-O-Licious Replied:-Since you say the shell is off, I have to make a few assumptions here.
First, you have already "live cleaned" fresh crab and have just the legs/knuckles left. If this is the case, you should boil your crab for 15-20 minutes in your favorite seasons and Enjoy!
If this is not the case then I have to believe that you bought pre-cooked/previously frozen crab and have removed the shell. If so then you must be sure to have removed all its "innards" prior to boiling them. (More details on cleaning crab can be found on other pages of our website). Once you have ensured that your crab legs are clean, then,again, you will need to boil your crab legs for 15 minutes or so to fully reheat them. Another method of re-heating your crab legs is to steam them (the preferred method at our house) but still allow a good 15 minutes of steaming time to fully re-heat them. Enjoy!

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Boiling Crab

by Ash
(Minnesota)

If you boiled crab, can you freeze it and boil it again?

Crab-O-Licious Replied: Hi, Ash! I don't know why, if you boiled the crab once, you would want to boil it again? It's totally unnecessary.
All you have to do is steam the crab legs, or even warm them up in the oven! Steaming them are more popular.
Boiling the crab "AGAIN" would totally over-cook the crab, again, unnecessarily.
Also, I noticed you are from Minnesota? If you are purchasing crabs at your local fishmonger, the crabs, either whole or just the legs, have more than likely already been boiled and process.
When you purchase them that way (not catching the crabs yourself), all you have to do is steam them for safe consumption. The processing should have been and more than likely, was already done for you! Enjoy!

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Clean Crab One Day Boil the Next

by C.Hanson
(WA)

I have crab that I caught today, cleaned and pulled apart. However, I am not able to cook them tonight. Would it be safe to leave the crab on ice and cook them in the morning?

Crab-O-Licious Replied: I don't see why you couldn't keep the crab on ice and cook them up in the morning ONLY if you have cleaned them and rinsed the legs with well. You even could just wrap them or put them in storage bags and place them in a safe place in the refrigerator until morning. You'll want to put them where they aren't being disturbed by the constant opening and closing of the refrigerator all night and in the morning. If at all possible, put them in one of the crisper drawers or meat tray. But, yes, it you can keep them on ice for the overnight keep, do so. I think that would keep them the freshest till you get to boiling the crab legs, then, in the morning.
So, sure, why not? But just make sure you do get to boiling them in the morning. I wouldn't take any chances with their freshness much after that.
Enjoy!

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Boiled Blue Crab

How long will boiled blue crab (whole) keep in the refrigerator?

Crab-O-Licious Replied: Granted they were properly/carefully boiled and frozen, your blue crabs should keep up to 9 months of longer if vacuum packed! You can enjoy them all year around when properly cared for after catching them. Catch 'em! Clean 'em! Cook 'em! Eat 'em!

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Crabs Moving While Boiling?

by J.Trent
(Rogersville, Tenn )

After cooking the crabs by boiling, is it common for them to still move for a little bit?

Crab-O-Licious Replied:-In our own personal experience, once emerged in the boiling water the crabs will at first move a little bit, but in just a few seconds they are dead and not feeling a thing. I know it sounds brutal, but, yes, for only a moment or two...The other alternative is to clean them while they are alive, which is in our humble opinions, even more brutal, (even though, the meat is nice and white and fresh!). The easiest way to get through the "still moving stage" is to emerge them quickly, safely into the boiling water and walk away for a minute...If the water is at a good boiling roll, they rarely fight when emerged. They usually die instantly, so also, make sure the water IS at a full boil.

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How much salt would I put into the pot??

by Aecia
(Kentucky)

How much salt would I put into the pot before I boil the crab?

Crab-O-Licious Replied: Add plenty of salt, about 1/2 cup of sea salt per one gallon of water when boiling the crab.

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Does anyone boil crab in water from the ocean?

by John Jefferson
(Oakland, CA USA)

I've heard of lobster cooked in ocean water. Does anyone do this with crab?

Crab-O-Licious Replied: I would suppose some people may cook crab in ocean water, but I, personally, wouldn't recommend it. Don't ask me why! I just don't think boiling crab in possibly contaminated water for fresh and safe consumption
is practical...I guess if it was all the water I had to survive I would boil the 'pee-wadin' out of it and hope it was safe to eat afterwards. That's interesting that people would do that. Then again, maybe we're missing out!? Hmm?

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Crab Boil

by Monica Flore
(Turlock, CA)

I'm trying to surprize my boyfriend with a crab boil. However, the area that we live in, fresh crab is non-existant. So, my only option is to use pre-cooked whole crab. Will this idea of a crab boil still work okay with the pre-cooked crab?

Crab-O-Licious Replied:-Absolutely! But you won't have to boil the crabs, as they have already been boiled before offered to purchase. "Unless" the crabs were alive and kicking, which, I suspect they weren't.
Also, if you haven't bought the whole crabs, yet, ask them to clean them for you before they package them. That will save you time when you get them home. And all you will have to do is steam them, no boiling the crabs again needed! Enjoy! "Catch 'em! Clean 'em! Cook 'em! Eat 'em!"

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Boiling crabs in sea water?

by Tim aka Crab_shoot
(Atascadero, CA)

I'd like to know if it's ok to boil crabs in sea water. It seems like the perfect salinity in order to preserve the crabs flavor. I would not use water that the crabs were living in, since this may contain waste. Rather I would collect a separate container, say a few 1 gallon jugs, to use as cooking water.

Crab-O-Licious Replied: Well...I don't it would "hurt" since the water would be boiled. Bare in mind however that sea water does contain certain microbes, bacterias and such, some of which may survive the boiling process. Personally, we prefer to boil our crab in fresh water, seasoned "just so" with our favorite crab-boil spices and....use ONLY sea salt in the water. We find that not preserves the crabs flavor but also eliminates the possibility of ingesting something that may not agree with us. Enjoy!

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Boiling Blue Crabs

Why does a blue crab turn red when you boil it?

Crab-O-Licious Replied: To the best of my knowledge, all crabs turn color when boiled. So do lobster and crayfish. Why that is, I don't know! This is one of those "life mysteries" that could be better answered by a biologist. We just know that if they are red and hot.... they're ready for the butter!

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Water in the shell when I boil crab.

by Sara
(London England)

I boil my crabs exactly as you have written, the last 2 had a HUGE amount of water inside when I opened them up to take out the gills and stomach, how can I stop this happening, it ruins the brown meat.

Crab-O-Licious Replied: To be perfectly honest, I only know of one way guaranteed to stop this from happening. That would be to clean your crab live before boiling them! That way all you will be boiling is the good parts adn nothing should be ruined. I must caution you, however, that this method of cleaning is definitely not for the squeamish.Enjoy!


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Boiled crabs with green foam

by Al
(San Francisco)

I picked up a few live crabs today. This is the first time I noticed green foam while boiling them. After they were cooked, I took one of the shells off and nothing but green color. Was the crab sick? Is it safe to eat?

I didnt take any chances and threw them away. Did I make a mistake?

Thanks,
Al

Crab-O-Licious Replied:-Oh no!!! Al, the boiled crabs giving off green foam is normal! The "greenish colored foam" that is surfacing in your water while boiling the crabs is from the innards. It's perfectly normal when boiling whole crabs.
So to answer your other questions...Are the crabs sick? Nope!
Are they safe to eat? Yes! Continue to boil whole crabs for about 18-20 for whole crab and 15 minutes if they are cleaned first and you're just boiling sectioned crab legs.
Did you make a mistake? Yes...sniff...but never make the same mistakes twice, huh? Next time...Enjoy!

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Crab Boil

by Darren Orshoff

I did a big crab boil and now I have a pot full of very yummy smelling water! Is there anything I can do with it?

Emerge your crab into that water, bring back to a boil and cook for another 20 minutes...Enjoy!
You don't want to reuse that yummy smelling crab boil at a later date, if that's what you are asking...

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Can you boil frozen crabs?

Can you boil frozen crabs?


Crab-O-Licious Replied:-If the frozen crabs have already be cleaned and frozen, there's really no reason to boil them again. You can just take the crabs out of the freezer and put them into a steamer. Boiling crabs twice overcooks the meat. They will be much fresher if you take them out of the freezer and steam them.

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How do you know when a crab is fully cooked?

by Rachel
(Texas)

How do you know when a crab is fully cooked?

Well,generally speaking,no matter what kind crab you are cooking (i.e. King crab, Dungeness crab, Blue crab etc.) there are certain little "rules-of-thumb" one can follow.
For instance; are you boiling fresh, raw crab? if so then I would suggest boiling them for a good solid twenty minutes in your favorite crab-boil spices. ( also the crab will change color as they cook....generally from a brownish or blueish color to a reddish orange).
Are you boiling pre-cooked, frozen crab or perhaps just some crab legs?......Then you only need to re-boil whole frozen crab for 10-15 minutes to fully heat it up. If doing some good crab legs....then all one really needs to do is steam them until hot and ready to serve. Enjoy!


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