View Full Version : Steaming Crabs?

06-20-2009, 09:29 PM
I was reading an article and it said something about steaming crabs instead of boiling them. I guess the message it was sending was that the crabs dont get waterlocked or sometin... I dont know. Has anyone ever tried this?
I personaly love that craby water smell while boiling... ::)

06-20-2009, 09:43 PM
Someone told me here to boil them with some coconut milk added to the water and also had a co-worker tell me that. I tried it and it turned out great. I have never steamed them but should work.

06-20-2009, 10:01 PM
Did they have a coconut flavor at all?

06-20-2009, 10:10 PM
I used to steam them when I lived in the bay area. I have a large SS pot that I fill half way with water. Put in a packet of crab boil to the water when getting up to heat. I put the crabs in a wire basket and lowered them in putting on the lid. Steam for about 15 to 20 mins depending on how many and what size. Let them rest, cool and clean them up.....Good Stuff......Jetspray

06-20-2009, 10:47 PM
Ask HFC, that is the only way he does it. I think you just put some water in the bottom and steam them. It seems like it take 2 hours though. :o ;D

06-21-2009, 12:41 AM
Isn't that the way they do it at Fisherman's Wharf? That is some good stuff :D [smiley=chowtime.gif]

06-21-2009, 05:51 AM
It should not take long to cook, too long and you are chewing shoe leather. Thing is the water is clean before starting, when you drop in the boil pack the water should be boiling. The size of the pot and basket height above the water is important, otherwise you would just be boiling them. The lid captures the steam and seals in the juices to the crab. Have fun with making them and if you can't get good live one's go to the Half Moon bay docks and buy some from the fishermen there........Jetspray

06-21-2009, 09:13 AM
Alaskan #1 King Crab Legs only take 12 minutes to steam and a 2 lb. Australian Tiger Tail, "Lobster," only takes 14 minutes to steam so a batch of Dungies can't take that long. Toss some bay leaves and lemon quarters in the water before you steam them. Good eats! ;)

06-21-2009, 03:08 PM
+1 MM overcooking ain't my bag. I like my cow run through a warm kitchen before my quivering rib eye is delivered. Prime rib takes longer to dig out......Jetspray

06-22-2009, 06:32 AM
Steaming is the way to go if you're not consuming the liquid. I sprinkle the boil on the crab pieces (section the body and legs out before cooking). When it comes out of the steamer hit it with a little lemon beurre blanc. Oh yeah. [smiley=chowtime.gif]

09-23-2012, 07:56 PM
Steaming works nicely in that you bring the heat without boiling away any flavor of the crab. The taste difference to me is minimal but noticeable. When boiling to help change this up add rock salt to the water appx 1/2 cup per gallon of water. Add the salt to lukewarm tap water and bring to a boil over medium heat and give it an occasional stir to break down the rock salt. When the water comes to a boil place your crabs in the pot being sure they are fully covered with water, turn up the heat to high and watch for the water to begin boiling again. From this point 7 minutes is all that is needed to cook the crabs to a "T". Here is where the vote really gets split. Many like the crab served whole and waste nothing using things such as garlic bread to mop up parts many would not be able to stomach if they knew what was being eaten. Others want them cleaned leaving only the leg halves. If you are of the later and have many crabs to cook in the shortest time possible steaming is the way with a bit of a harsh twist if the crabs are live when you start. Crabs are as easily deshelled and cleaned when raw as they are cooked and the are killed as quickly as being scalded to death if not quiker when the shell is removed. In this way you now have a pot full of leg halves only to steam and can triple your crab volume per pot and produce more cooked crab in a hurry. You can also when boiling crab heavily season the water in different forms of bisque or chiopino style soup and flavor the crab. Not my cup of tea but different strokes for different folks. Going to the coast in 2 days to harvest some Dungeness . Cant wait !!!

10-10-2012, 05:20 PM
I worked at two different bay area businesses that were well known and respected for cooked crab... We boiled them for 20 minutes. The only time they get waterlogged is when the crabs are really light, I.e when they don't have much meat for there size. We cooked thousands of them annually, and really didn't have any noticeable complaints. Steamed should be really good too, but boiled Dungeness crabs are just fine.....a little salt or crab boil if you'd like.

10-10-2012, 06:11 PM
I hitched a ride last year at the start of crab season where the skipper set up and boiled crabs at HMB parking lot so I was picked up a tip or two. Then I went out and bought a crab davit, traps, and associated gear along with a very large pot that holds 20 large crabs. I also bought a very large propane burner so that I wouldn't have to boil two or three "load" of crabs.

As for taste, I discovered that using clean "sea" water was much more flavorful than city fresh water

Here's how I boil crabs at the parking lot. This way there's no clean-up at home being that you discard the "waste" in the dumpster and empty the water in the gutter http://www.ifish.net/board/images/smilies/whistle.gif


o Fill the large pot with sea water, enough so all the crabs are submerged
o When water starts to boil, place crabs in the pot
o Time the boil 12 - 18 minutes then remove the crabs with a large ladle
o Have a cooler filled with sea water and 2 block/bags of ice
o Place cooked crab in the cooler to cool
*Important to cool the crab quickly, otherwise it over cooks

o Once the cooked crabs have cooled
o Break off the main shell
o Clean the parts
o Break bodies in half, wash and rinse in "sea water"
o Place crabs in large freezer zip lock bag
o Store in a cooler with ice on bottom and then cover the zip bags with ice on top for the trip home.