How do you kill live crabs?

How do you kill live crabs? Replied:- I have to guess that want you want to know is hoe to clean crab (Dungeness is our case) while they are still alive and so will answer your question with that in mind.
I have read that it is possible to kill them before cleaning by literally shoving a sharp knife into their carapass (body) right between and slightly above their eyes in the "crack" between their upper shell and body. I personally have had no luck doing this but apparently it can be done.
I, on the other hand, have resorted to a more primitive method that not only kills the crab but also begins the cleaning process at the same time.
To begin with,you will need your live dungeness crab (of course) and a sharp-cornered object of some kind. I usually use the corner of a 2x4 or 4x4 board but the corner of a pick-up tail gate or picnic table with do just fine. Once you have your object decided upon you will need to get a hold on your crab by ALL the legs to avoid being pinched and hold it top-shell side up with it's eyes facing away from you. Next you will strike the crab against the sharp corner of your chosen object being sure to do the following two things: 1. Hit the crab right between the eyes and 2. FOLLOW THROUGH with your motion.
This striking motion will not only kill the crab but also rip the top shell away from the rest of the body in one smooth stroke. After that, break the crab in half with your hands and shake it in a downward motion. This will basically clean the crab with the exception of some minor hand clean-up.
I must caution you however that this method is not for the squeamish; not easy at first but... with practice is a very good way to store fresh crab on ice for an extended period of time (2-3-days max.) before boiling. Enjoy the crab! "Catch 'em! Clean 'em! Cook 'em! Eat 'em!"

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Should crab be killed before boiling?

by John
(New Jersey)

Before boiling blue crab should they be killed first? Replied:-First off, I normally deal with Dungeness Crab but the concept is the same. In light of this, I would say no! Do not kill them first unless of course you plan on cleaning them immediately after killing them and BEFORE boiling them. Otherwise, there is no reason to kill any crab before boiling them.

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Cool Down Time on Cooked Crab

How long can you leave crab set after they are cool before you clean them? Replied:-Well....technically you can let them set for a year or more depending on you handle them. Let me explain; After cooking your crab, whether they be Dungeness, King Crab, Blue crab, etc... you have several options available to you.
To begin with, you can clean them as soon as they are cool enough to handle so as not to get burned. Or if you prefer you can wait until they are good and cooled down before cleaning them (a couple hours, give or take). Your other options would be to go ahead and refrigerate them, for a couple of days or so maximum before cleaning them. However, if you know you won't be eating them for a few weeks, then go ahead and freeze them for Enjoy!-ment later. The final option I would suggest is what we do most often and that would be to vacuum seal your crab and then freeze them! That way you can enjoy your crab for months to come. The method you choose should really depend on long it will be before you will be enjoying your crab again!

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Why can't you eat crabs or crawfish when they have died before cooking??

by Jeannie

Why can't you boil a dead crab or crawfish? Is it because of bacteria? Replied:-Not totally sure about crawfish but the same principle may apply here. The reason you should NOT cook and eat a crab after it has died is this: In the process of dying, crab (crawfish too I suppose)release toxins into their bodies which permeate ALL the meat in the animal therefore making it unfit for human consumption. Glad we could help!

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