Grilled Blue Crabs with Garlicky Mop

The best blue crabs come from the crisp, blue wonder that is the Chesapeake Bay. Thanks to the unique weather of the Mid-Atlantic and the biodiversity of the bay, we are blessed with crabs that are sweet, delicate, buttery, and delicious. 

To determine the right blue crabs for you, there are some grading options to choose from. Crabs are graded by size, from colossal (being the largest) to small. Camerons Seafood offers whole crabs in colossal (6 1/4 inches from tip to tip), premium large whole crabs (5 1/2-6 1/4 inches from tip to tip), and standard  (5-5 1/2 inches from tip to tip). To prepare for your guests, average out about 4-6 crabs per person, depending on the size. 


What is a Mop? 

A mop is a thin sauce that you apply to ingredients throughout the grilling or smoking process. You’ll often see BBQ pitmasters slathering large hunks and chunks of meat with a mop sauce. The same methodology that works for the pitmaster, works for our whole crabs too. These sauces not only infuse flavor they also act as a moisture barrier, keeping our crabs nice and juicy. In addition to moisture and flavor, the mop enhances the smokiness, since smoke sticks best to wet surfaces. 


Grilled Blue Crabs with Garlicky Mop 


Garlicky Mop Sauce for Blue Crabs

  • 1 1/2 cups clarified butter
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 2-3 dashes of hot sauce


Make the Mop

  1. Place butter, ketchup, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and hot sauce, and whisk until blended and combined. 

Prepping Whole Crabs for the Grill

  1. The nice thing about Cameron’s whole crabs is that they come already cooked! Our purpose for grilling and mopping is to reheat and complement the already spectacular flavor of blue crabs. Making sure that our sauce (and all that grilled, smoky goodness) seeps into the crab meat, we recommend partially ‘cleaning’ before grilling.
  2. Remove the apron, that triangle of shell on the underside of the crab
  3. Remove the top shell
  4. Remove the gills and mandibles.
  5. Rinse the crab to remove the ‘mustard’ (guts) and pat dry with paper towels.

Grilling and Mopping your Whole Crabs

  1. Preheat one side of a gas grill to medium heat or prep charcoals for a charcoal grill (once the charcoals are hot, push them over to one side of the grill).
  2. Place prepped and clean crabs on a large platter and brush with some of the mop.
  3. Place the crabs on the side, away from the direct heat source, and grill for 5 minutes, covered.
  4. Repeat this brushing and grilling process for 15 minutes, brushing the crabs with mop every 5 minutes, rotating the crabs if necessary for even reheating.
  5. Once the crabs are hot, throughout, they are ready to eat and enjoy!

Ready to get Grilling? 

Is it time to stock up on seafood? Say goodbye to the hassle of dealing with fake, undersized, and overpriced blue crabs! You deserve the best crabs in the world, delivered right to your door. All the crab sizes listed in this article are available at our online store! Click the link here to explore more. 

Are you looking for more inspiring summer grilling recipes to sustain your inner pitmaster? Check out our online blog! We have oodles of recipes that are bound to suit all! 

About the author

Patterson Watkins is a professional chef with over 17 years of experience. With a robust career in restaurants, contract dining and catering (including 4 Summer Olympic posts preparing food for the athletes!) Patterson joined the Cameron’s Seafood team at the end of 2018 to concoct some delicious recipes with our premium seafood items as the centerpiece.

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