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Old 11-25-2008, 02:10 PM   #1
HOOKUP
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Default Freezing crab in the shell

Got this email today, thought I would pass it along

You can freeze it in the shell. The fisheries do this all of the time. That is how they pick the crab meat year round. There is a secret to it.
The formula is:
1 cup rock salt to 1 gallon water
Immerse the crab in shell into a container with this mixture. Leave about an inch or two at the top and place in the freezer. The next day pull it out of the freezer and because the product will float in the salt water there will be shell exposed. That is why you left room at the top. Pour more of the mixture to the top and replace in the freezer. This will make a salt ice cube on top of the already frozen ice cube. Cover and thaw when ready to enjoy later. Rinse well and the crab should be very tasty.
In the Processing plants, they freeze the crab in this brine mixture to preserve it and keep it from drying out.

Any more questions, let us know.

Enjoy!

Hugh Link
Assistant Administrator
Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission

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Old 11-25-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
Hare's Ear
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Default Re: Freezing crab in the shell

Dumb question - you do this AFTER cooking the crab, correct?
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Old 11-25-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Freezing crab in the shell

Yes, you always want to cook the crab while it's alive. That way you can hear them scream.
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Old 11-25-2008, 03:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Freezing crab in the shell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hare's Ear View Post
Dumb question - you do this AFTER cooking the crab, correct?
yes
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: Freezing crab in the shell

Sounds good, but two questions.

1: With a mixture of 1/32 wouldnt you have to use warm water to disolve the salt, and whats the salinity of ocean water if you broke it out in percentages?

2: how cold would a freezer have to be to freeze salt water?(at 1/32)

I have a regular fridge/freezer and a standup sub zero, so it wouldnt be a problem for me. but im thinking you might need a sub zero freez to do this.

wonder if you could stack them in a bucket, or would the bottom ones crush due to the expansion from the ice....hmm
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Old 11-25-2008, 04:54 PM   #6
adobe wall
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Default Re: Freezing crab in the shell

I'm a little doubtful that this is a widespread practice- maybe so but it seems like it would really add a lot of salt to the crab meat (even in the shell)

I am really resisting buying another freezer- seems like they just turn into a bottomless pit to store stuff in. My freezer pretty well stays full of fish but we try to rotate it out, eat it at about the same rate I catch it. Storing crab in the shell is just not an efficient use of space at my house.

That being said, we've had really good luck freezing crab picked, in milk. Not a lot of space and while not as good as fresh cooked, it's plenty good enough for crab cakes. We'll be eating that this winter!

regards, aw
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:01 PM   #7
rainrshine
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Default Re: Freezing crab in the shell

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOOKUP View Post
Got this email today, thought I would pass it along

You can freeze it in the shell. The fisheries do this all of the time. That is how they pick the crab meat year round. There is a secret to it.
The formula is:
1 cup rock salt to 1 gallon water
Immerse the crab in shell into a container with this mixture. Leave about an inch or two at the top and place in the freezer. The next day pull it out of the freezer and because the product will float in the salt water there will be shell exposed. That is why you left room at the top. Pour more of the mixture to the top and replace in the freezer. This will make a salt ice cube on top of the already frozen ice cube. Cover and thaw when ready to enjoy later. Rinse well and the crab should be very tasty.
In the Processing plants, they freeze the crab in this brine mixture to preserve it and keep it from drying out.

Any more questions, let us know.

Enjoy!

Hugh Link
Assistant Administrator
Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission
Sounds like a good way to keep em, the only thing I'm trying to figure out is how I could make this work in just a reg stand up or chest freezer given that I dont own a commercial size deep freeze Great info none the less. Thankyou
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Freezing crab in the shell

What about using the stainless steel trays from food service? I think they are about 6 inches deep, and although they lack covers, they should work fine. It might work better to freeze them upside down, exposing only the tips of the legs.
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