Crab Boil or Steamed Crabs?

Crabs have become a popular food all over the world. From crab bisque to crab cakes, there are many different ways to prepare and eat this succulent crustacean.

TTwo popular ways to cook crab are boiling and steaming. A crab boil usually incorporates other ingredients like corn and sausage with different spices and aromatics flavoring the broth. Steaming crabs, on the other hand, keeps the crabs from getting water logged.

No matter which way you choose to cook your crab, make sure to source the freshest crabs possible for the best results!

Crab Boil

Boiling crab in salted water is pretty simple. Start by bringing a pot of salted water—about ¼ cup salt per gallon—to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, carefully place your crabs in the water and cook for about 10-20 minutes. The crabs are ready when they turn orange and start to float. Remove the crabs from the water and let them cool down enough to remove the meat without burning yourself.

A crab boil usually consists of whole crabs, potatoes, sausage, corn, onions, and seasoning. The ingredients can change a bit depending on what you like to eat.

While each recipe may vary slightly, you essentially follow these steps: boil the water; add in the potatoes, sausage, corn, onions, and seasoning; and cook for 15-20 minutes. After that you add in the crabs and cook another 8-10 minutes. Once finished, arrange everything on a large family style platter and garnish it all with fresh parsley.

Steaming Crabs

Steaming is another great and easy way to cook crab. To SHOP NOW, you’ll need a two-part steamer pot. If you don’t have one of these, you can use a high pot with a circular rack placed over the water. You aren’t limited to using water though. Some people use beer and vinegar to steam the crabs, and you can add herbs and spices into the mix for even more flavor.

Whether you are choosing to use water or beer and vinegar, you want to bring 2 inches of liquid to a boil. Make sure the liquid doesn’t rise above the steam rack.

Using tongs, place 3-4 crabs belly-down on the rack. Cover these crabs with a seafood seasoning blend of your choice, and then add 3-4 more crabs on top of the first layer. Add more seasoning on to this next layer and then put the lid on the pot.

Cook the crabs for about 18-20 minutes, depending on size. The crabs are done when they turn orange and the meat flakes when tested with a fork. Carefully remove the crabs from the pot with clean tongs and serve on a platter with a sprinkling of seafood seasoning and some lemon wedges.

Recipes and Pairings

Whether you would prefer a crab boil or steamed crabs, here are some great recipes to try:

You can use Old Bay seasoning or another prepared seafood seasoning when making a crab boil or steamed crabs, but here is a seasoning recipe from Epicurious if you would like to make your own!

If you love white wine, try pairing a Chardonnay or Riesling with your crab boil or steamed crabs.

Not into white wine? That’s ok—there are light and fruity reds that will pair just as well with crab. Try a glass of Beaujolais, a light and fruity wine. Zinfandel is heavier than Beaujolais but its fruitiness still pairs well with seafood.

Would you rather have a beer? An IPA or a wheat beer will pair beautifully with your crab dinner.

Buy Maryland Blue Crab Online

Cameron’s Seafood understands that sometimes, you just don’t have time to go through the process of deciding which way to cook crab.

For this reason, we offer beautiful whole cooked Maryland blue crabs for delivery straight to your front door on our online store. We steam them right after they’re caught to ensure the freshest tasting crab.

There are various other seafood products available for delivery on our online store too—be sure to browse our selection!

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