How To: Crabbing, Prepare The Catch

How To: Crabbing, Prepare The Catch

Right, so where I left you last your crabs were hopefully on ice and wrapped in a damp cloth. Or at least in a bit of water. If you’re not following me, then perhaps you haven’t read How To Go Crabbing yet? Better catch up on that!

So now you have your crabs at home, it might be late at night and the last thing you feel like doing is cooking up crabs. Well suck it up princess because to obtain maximum freshness of your catch there’s a little more work to be done. Apparently just leaving them in the freezer until you’re ready to cook them can result in the meat going mushy, so if you plan on storing them a while it is ideal to cook them before storing.

First thing to do is throw the crabs straight in the freezer at home for 20 minutes. If you have them on ice I would say it is also acceptable to bury them under that on your way home to save a bit of time. The reason we do this is to send the crabs completely dormant. Meanwhile, get a big pot of water on the boil, big enough to submerge the crabs in.


Pierce the crab here….

After 20 minutes in the freezer your crabs will no longer be moving much. Now is the time to properly put them out of commission. Flip each crab onto its back and use a sharp knife to lift up the flappy thing underneath (only the most technical terms here!). Stab right at the top section as pictured. Then move straight up to the head and stab here as well. These are the two nervous systems of a crab and dispatching them this way is more humane than just dropping them straight into boiling water.


And pierce the crab here...

And pierce the crab here…

Okay, so now that your crabs are dead as door knobs you can put them in that pot of boiling water. Crabs don’t take long to cook at all, 6 or 7 minutes should do the job for a regular size crab. Once they are deemed ready, let them sit in some cold water for a while and cool down a little. This prevents them over-cooking from the boiling water left trapped within the shell. At this point you can put the crabs away in the fridge or freezer and crawl yourself into bed if you wish.



All that’s left to do now is peel them apart and get all of the meat out, which is actually rather tedious work! Pull back the weird flappy thing underneath again and get your fingers in there to pry the top shell away from the bottom part. Sounds tricky but it’s not too bad once you’ve done a couple.

prepare-eat-blue-manna-crabPretty well anything white in colour is the tasty stuff, you want to scrape out the grey and brown bits cos I’m pretty sure they’ll leave a foul taste. Actually getting all the meat out is the tricky part, you really just have to pick through and crack apart pieces of shell to get to it. The claws contain a good amount of meat, and there is a little bit in the legs also which can be removed by snapping the legs off and squeezing em like a tube of toothpaste!

remove-meat-blue-swimmer-crabAs for crab recipe’s, I kind of like just eating the meat as is! A bit of lemon juice doesn’t go astray though, or some sweet chilli sauce is pretty awesome too. If you want to give a real recipe a go, why not look at my Campin’ Crab Dip recipe? Just substitute the canned crab meat for some real stuff and it’s bound to be even better!

Got a recipe you’d wanna share? Or do you think I did a terrible job telling you how to cook and prepare crabs? Let us know you’re thoughts in the comments.


Alex Garner


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  1. Blackie
    January 29, 18:14 Reply
    Great help, thanks Alex! Just started getting into crabbing with my brother and I'm keen to get some in my stomach!
    • Alex Garner
      February 02, 13:01 Reply
      Yeah it's great fun catching crabs! And eating them :)
  2. Quinn
    May 06, 14:48 Reply
    Hey Alex. Very helpful hints especially the could water dip after cooking but a couple added hints that could've helped me would be: How many crabs to cook at one time for the 6mins boil? (I put to many in and slightly undercooked my first batch) Thanks mate. 😉👍🍻
    • Alex Garner
      May 12, 19:01 Reply
      Hey Quinn, thanks for the feedback! I put 3 in at the example I used for this blog post, how many did you find worked well? I've only ever done 4 at a time; so maybe I'll take how many you used and find a middle ground to amend the article by.
  3. Aktivexkontrol
    July 22, 04:05 Reply
    For asians the yellow fat is the best part of it. At first its a bit yuck just by the looks but its actually taste nice. By the way another way of cooking it is just add 1 tsp of salt, no water put the lid. It will cook using its own water inside the shell and more tasty

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