If it’s your very first time coming across the name Dungeness crabs, you might begin to envision some kind of exotic and complex crab cuisine that’s only eaten at fancy restaurants or on expensive occasions, but that’s not even close to what it is. Dungeness crabs are very simple and easy to cook, and the crab meat is exceptionally savory.
You might not know how to cook crabs, but one glance at this recipe and the necessary steps to follow will automatically make you cook like a pro in no time. And you’re in luck! Because in this article, we’ll be providing you with some cooking instructions, guidelines, and tips that are sure to improve your skills with crabs.
Dungeness Crabs Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Dungeness Crabs
How to hold the crabs- one major reason some people don’t attempt to cook crabs in their houses often is that they’re scared to touch the live crabs. I’m not gonna lie, I’m scared of touching them too because I feel my fingers would get caught in their claws.
But there’s a way to hold crabs that’ll guarantee you not getting hurt. Just place your thumb on the top of the crab in the middle, and the rest of your fingers support the crab from the bottom. This way, the crab will be lodged in the nook of your hand and can’t slip up or hurt you if you maintain a firm hold on it. Ensure you attempt to hold the crab from its back.
Give them a light freeze- if you’re a beginner, it’s going to be hard to place the crabs into the pot, since they might just hold the sides of the pot and refuse to go in. To make the crabs more cooperative, put them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes and at most, 30 minutes. This is just to make them a little numb so there’s lesser resistance when they’re going into the pot.
Remember, you should only put them in the fridge if you’re about to cook them. If you’re not going to cook them immediately you buy them, keep them fresh and alive in salted water.
Use some salt- before you begin cooking the Dungeness crabs, ensure that the water is well salted because Dungeness crabs come from the salty ocean and if you cook them in plain water, you might end up drawing some of the salt in their bodies out, which makes them lose a lot of flavors.
Put them in ice- when your Dungeness crabs are cooked and ready, it’s best to put them in a cooler or bucket of ice blocks, or just ice-cold water; this completely stops the cooking process and ensures that the crabs don’t overcook themselves with their own juices inside of their shells.
Use a big pot- to avoid limited space for the crabs to be put, ensure you use a big pot and, then slowly put the crabs in the pot. This prevents the pot from overflowing.
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Cooking Time for Dungeness Crabs
To get the best results when cooking a Dungeness crab, ensure you pay close attention to the timing guidelines in the table below.
|Cooking Procedure||Cooking Time|
|Cooking Dungeness crabs on the stovetop at medium heat||1 hour, 20 minutes|
- 4 fresh live crabs
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 4 to 5 potatoes
- 4 to 5 corn
- 1 packet of sausages
- 2 eggs (optional)
- 1 tbsp of old bay seasoning
- ½ tbsp of lemon pepper
- 1 tsp of paprika
- 1 tsp of garlic powder
- 2½ stick of unsalted butter
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1 tbsp of hot sauce
- 1½ tbsp of lemon juice
- Ice cold water or ice blocks
- Take crabs by the butt and put them in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes. If you don’t want to use a fridge, you can always put them in a cooler of ice blocks.
- Fill a big pot with water and a tablespoon of salt, and bring it to a boil on the stovetop.
- Add your crabs to the boiling water and let them cook for about 50 minutes or an hour. Dungeness crabs take about 7 minutes to cook per pound, and the crabs are 2 pounds each.
- While the crabs are cooking, cut up the corn, sausages, and potatoes into chunks and add them to another pot of boiling water. You can also add eggs or any other protein food if you want. Cover the pot and let it cook.
- In a bowl, add the old bay seasoning, lemon pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Mix the spices well and set them aside. Keep in mind that the old bay seasoning already contains salt, so you don’t need to add salt to the mix again.
- When the crabs are fully cooked, place them in the cooler of ice to stop the cooking process. Remove and place the pot of potatoes, sausages, and corn aside once they’re cooked.
- Add two and a half sticks of unsalted butter to a large dry pan or pot on the stove. Add some minced garlic and the seasoning to the butter. Stir the mixture in the pan for about 3 to 5 minutes, then add a tablespoon of hot sauce to it.
- Add your crabs into the butter sauce. Use a wooden spoon to pour the sauce over the crabs while they’re still cooking to ensure they get enough flavor. Let the crabs simmer for 10 minutes before you add the potatoes and corn. If you have a bigger pan or pot, you can add the potatoes, corn, and sausages to the crab directly, but if your pan is smaller, remove the crabs and set them on a plate before adding the others to the butter sauce.
- Mix the potatoes, sausages, and corn well with the butter sauce. Remember that if you added other ingredients to the potatoes, you mix those two. Ensure your potatoes aren’t overcooked so they don’t become mushy when you’re serving.
- When you’re sure they’re well mixed with the butter sauce, pour the whole thing on the plate of crabs and add some lemon juice to it. Your delicious seafood boil is now ready to eat.
This is a very simple recipe that’s sure to turn out amazing once you follow all the step-by-step instructions and you’ll be surprised to see how good with crabs you’ll be.
If you’re interested in further improving your skills in cooking crabs, be sure to check out this video recipe.