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Old 03-20-2017, 06:02 PM   #1
Deanrt
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Default First time cleaning crab before cooking

Today I thought I would try cleaning the crab before cooking it and I was a bit surprised at what I saw inside of them. After backing them a few of them had a pinkish colored 'stuff' along the top of the body part. I was able to pinch it off and then rinse it after which there was no sign of it and a few others had what looked like a marble size, blood filled 'thing' near the mouth. Maybe this is common maybe not but it wasn't a very pleasant sight to say the least. In the end they all cleaned up nice and clean but I just can't stop thinking about what the heck that stuff was. Any Ideas?

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Old 03-20-2017, 06:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

No idea on your guts question other than yes they look different precooked.

If you didn't do it this round, try steaming them instead of boiling them. Add a little rock salt to the steaming water.

As a life long cook then clean, I finally became a convert to clean then cook after moving to steaming instead of boiling.


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Old 03-20-2017, 06:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

splitt them in half with a hatchet/paddle/oar, pull the shell and gills out, and fling the rest out.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Originally Posted by The Pew View Post
No idea on your guts question other than yes they look different precooked.

If you didn't do it this round, try steaming them instead of boiling them. Add a little rock salt to the steaming water.

As a life long cook then clean, I finally became a convert to clean then cook after moving to steaming instead of boiling.


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Best advice ever! I advise everyone to try this way. It saves a ton of time and the crab are even more delicious. I flunked biology in H.S. so I don't have the faintest idea whats on the inside. I give them a pass if it all looks the same for each crab and it doesn't have some funky smell.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:12 PM   #5
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Preclean an steam ! The Best ever. you can cook twice as many at a time and it doesn't take as long to cook. You wonto be sorry. Now my mouth is watering for fresh crab..
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

This is the video that taught me how to clean them. Quick, easy, complete.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tdf0zejdUY

Still bouncing between boil and steam. I often like to put some Sriracha in the boil and have not had very good luck infusing the flavor into the crab when I steam.

I'm willing to give free lessons to anyone that wants to bring the crab over.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Originally Posted by bendavis View Post
splitt them in half with a hatchet/paddle/oar, pull the shell and gills out, and fling the rest out.
That sounds more messy, I hit the crab on the edge of a table, 5 gal bucket, ice chest with their chest and that kills them then rip the back off in one piece, split and take off the rest. Very easy and clean you dont even need to rinse them before cooking.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Originally Posted by Tony Micelli View Post
This is the video that taught me how to clean them. Quick, easy, complete.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_Tdf0zejdUY

Still bouncing between boil and steam. I often like to put some Sriracha in the boil and have not had very good luck infusing the flavor into the crab when I steam.

I'm willing to give free lessons to anyone that wants to bring the crab over.
You should get a dory, Steve. There have been trailers on the beach the last three days.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

I've always just boiled my crab, but would like to try steaming, only because you can cook far more at one time.

I do have a question however. When I boil my crab, I always add Zatarains to the water, and really like the result. When you just steam them, do you add anything to the steaming water? - Thanks - Radke
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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I've always just boiled my crab, but would like to try steaming, only because you can cook far more at one time.

I do have a question however. When I boil my crab, I always add Zatarains to the water, and really like the result. When you just steam them, do you add anything to the steaming water? - Thanks - Radke
One handful of salt, that's all I do. make sure you have seawater to steam them also.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Originally Posted by Deanrt View Post
Today I thought I would try cleaning the crab before cooking it and I was a bit surprised at what I saw inside of them. After backing them a few of them had a pinkish colored 'stuff' along the top of the body part. I was able to pinch it off and then rinse it after which there was no sign of it and a few others had what looked like a marble size, blood filled 'thing' near the mouth. Maybe this is common maybe not but it wasn't a very pleasant sight to say the least. In the end they all cleaned up nice and clean but I just can't stop thinking about what the heck that stuff was. Any Ideas?
My idea is: don't look at that stuff, or at least don't stand over it pondering what it is.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

hit middle of chest on edge of table, then hook shell on table edge and pull. pull gills give them a good shake and done. Takes me about 12 seconds to clean one. i like the no mess and more room in the pot of pre cleaned usually.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Originally Posted by Radke View Post
I've always just boiled my crab, but would like to try steaming, only because you can cook far more at one time.

I do have a question however. When I boil my crab, I always add Zatarains to the water, and really like the result. When you just steam them, do you add anything to the steaming water? - Thanks - Radke
If you like your crab seasoned. Steaming is not for you. Unless you like to eat the shells.

I'm with you. I like to add seasoning, be it Zatarains old bay or something else, and boiling is required for us.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

For those who steam, how long do you steam?




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Old 03-20-2017, 09:36 PM   #15
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That sounds more messy, I hit the crab on the edge of a table, 5 gal bucket, ice chest with their chest and that kills them then rip the back off in one piece, split and take off the rest. Very easy and clean you dont even need to rinse them before cooking.
Pretty much how I process them except after picking the gills off the halves I shake out the guts. Of course this is on the beach and it is best to be sure no one is in the spray zone.

Edit: And since the boss likes them with some seasoning I boil with a bag of Zatarain which minimizes loose spices getting into the body meat. If we are picking a lot of crab we also separate leg meat from body meat.

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Old 03-20-2017, 10:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Originally Posted by Deanrt View Post
Today I thought I would try cleaning the crab before cooking it and I was a bit surprised at what I saw inside of them. After backing them a few of them had a pinkish colored 'stuff' along the top of the body part. I was able to pinch it off and then rinse it after which there was no sign of it and a few others had what looked like a marble size, blood filled 'thing' near the mouth. Maybe this is common maybe not but it wasn't a very pleasant sight to say the least. In the end they all cleaned up nice and clean but I just can't stop thinking about what the heck that stuff was. Any Ideas?

I have been told and tell people, it's new shell (inside skeletal structure). I could be wrong though.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:53 AM   #17
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

Wouldnt you need to save the shells - in case you get checked - if you clean them in the field?
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:26 AM   #18
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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For those who steam, how long do you steam?









P


I steam for 15-20 minutes.

Another benefit of steaming is it only takes me about 10 minutes to get a few inches of water steaming in my crab pot and I'm between batches takes almost no time at all.

For a while I used a steam basket but this year I found a round rack that fits the bottom of my pot and a few rocks that elevate it a few inches off the bottom of the pot. It gives me even more capacity.


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Old 03-21-2017, 05:43 AM   #19
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

You can sprinkle some old bay on top while steaming...you just cant season the water and expect it to go anywhere.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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If you like your crab seasoned. Steaming is not for you. Unless you like to eat the shells.
.... That's just not true....

I clean my crab first, then steam.

I use:
  • Water (approx 1 qt)
  • Beer (2 cans)
  • Apple cider vinegar (approx 1/4c)
  • Old Bay seasoning (approx 2T).
When that all gets rolling, the flavor really infuses the meat.

Give it a try. You won't be disappointed.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:54 AM   #21
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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.... That's just not true....

I clean my crab first, then steam.

I use:
  • Water (approx 1 qt)
  • Beer (2 cans)
  • Apple cider vinegar (approx 1/4c)
  • Old Bay seasoning (approx 2T).
When that all gets rolling, the flavor really infuses the meat.

Give it a try. You won't be disappointed.
Is that a recipe for one crab?
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:13 AM   #22
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Wouldnt you need to save the shells - in case you get checked - if you clean them in the field?
Oregon Rules:

"Crabs may not be mutilated so that sex, size or species cannot be determined prior to landing. Mutilated crabs may not be transported across state waters."

Break and shake them onboard like in the video wouldn't be a good idea if you are coming into an Oregon port. Don't know about Washington.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:16 AM   #23
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Wouldnt you need to save the shells - in case you get checked - if you clean them in the field?
Once on shore you can take the shells off.
It's just like filleting fish.

Just don't do it on the boat before getting back to port

LEO and fish and game usually meet you at the dock or outside of the cleaning station before you start processing the catch
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Old 03-21-2017, 10:53 AM   #24
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

Back to the OP's original question
My first thought was demonic acid and I'm kinda surprised no one brought that up. I'm confident the government would be all over it if it was present but who knows. So, am I way out in left field on this one or?
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:16 AM   #25
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Is that a recipe for one crab?
Do you ever just catch ONE crab???

No, that's my "recipe" for a pot full. I might adjust it down a little if I only had a few crabs to steam, but you don't want to run out of 'water' when cooking. Trust me.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:26 AM   #26
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

The pink stuff could have been from eating tuna crab.
I've had crab that had horrible blackish gut that made me wonder if I should toss them in the trash but after trying a bite I couldn't wait to eat more

I'm convinced that the guts are different colors based on what the crab has been consuming
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:30 AM   #27
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Wouldnt you need to save the shells - in case you get checked - if you clean them in the field?
The WA regulations pamphlet:

Under Statewide General Rules, Harvest and Possession Rules, You May:

"Clean or portion fish or shellfish while in the field with the following exceptions: It is unlawful for an angler to fail to retain proof of compliance with species, size, number, weight, sex, or wild or hatchery origin restriction."

Under Crab Rules reads in pertinent part:

"It is unlawful to possess crab in the field without retaining the back shell."

My take on those is that the Crab Rule provides specificity to the Statewide General Rule defining exactly what needs to be retained since the two most significant criteria can be reasonably established from the shell; sex and size.
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Old 03-21-2017, 11:36 AM   #28
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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The WA regulations pamphlet:

Under Statewide General Rules, Harvest and Possession Rules, You May:

"Clean or portion fis
h or shellfish while in the field with the following exceptions: It is unlawful for an angler to fail to retain proof of compliance with species, size, number, weight, sex, or wild or hatchery origin restriction."

Under Crab Rules reads in pertinent part:

"It is unlawful to possess crab in the field without retaining the back shell."

My take on those is that the Crab Rule provides specificity to the Statewide General Rule defining exactly what needs to be retained since the two most significant criteria can be reasonably established from the shell; sex and size.

In the field is the determining factor.
My understanding is that in the field is where you are harvesting and while transporting across the water or from the docks to a cleaning facility.

Otherwise we would have to keep everything whole and in tact until we got home with them
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:45 PM   #29
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanrt View Post
Back to the OP's original question
My first thought was demonic acid and I'm kinda surprised no one brought that up. I'm confident the government would be all over it if it was present but who knows. So, am I way out in left field on this one or?

I hate that demonic acid!





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Old 03-21-2017, 01:13 PM   #30
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In the field is the determining factor.
My understanding is that in the field is where you are harvesting and while transporting across the water or from the docks to a cleaning facility.

Otherwise we would have to keep everything whole and in tact until we got home with them
Hmmm, interesting observation that they specifically use the "in the field" language thereby leaving out "in transit." It would seem a reasonable position that "in the field" would be up to the point of leaving the dock/launch/cleaning facility on your way to your destination but I can envision a grey area where a cooler has been moved from a boat (field) to the truck (transit) causing some difference of opinion.
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:31 PM   #31
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Hmmm, interesting observation that they specifically use the "in the field" language thereby leaving out "in transit." It would seem a reasonable position that "in the field" would be up to the point of leaving the dock/launch/cleaning facility on your way to your destination but I can envision a grey area where a cooler has been moved from a boat (field) to the truck (transit) causing some difference of opinion.
I once got pulled over by the OSP about half way home with everyone's catch still in the cooler on ice in the boat. There were only two of the four people who fished that day in the transport vehicle.
The officers sited both of us for illegal fish and took 4 of the salmon .
Went to court about two weeks later and the judge dismissed the case after seeing all for tags but we didn't get the fish back.
The judge also told the one cop that came to testify that he should not have confiscated the fish.

There are indeed a lot of gray areas in the regulations but it boils down to the intent of the law

Cops seem to be a lot more reasonable these days but there are some that don't care what the intention of the law is only what their interpretation is, so we have to go to court and contest his or her interpretation.

It's never going to be cut and dried.

But I will still take my chances and process my catch to get the best quality
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:38 PM   #32
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

Ive read lots of reports on the web and seen TV episodes where wardens watch someone doing something and then catch them after they leave the dock/lake/etc and pull them over and they get busted.

I think "in the field" includes the drive home. I dont particularly want to spend time in court so Im going to play it safe.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:00 PM   #33
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Ive read lots of reports on the web and seen TV episodes where wardens watch someone doing something and then catch them after they leave the dock/lake/etc and pull them over and they get busted.

I think "in the field" includes the drive home. I dont particularly want to spend time in court so Im going to play it safe.
Again, w/r/t WA regs the "in the field" or "in transit" are not separately defined in the pamphlet but are used in the definition of Possession Limit as follows: "The number of daily limits allowed to be kept in the field or in transit."

That was why I found the the wording as to retaining the backs while "in the field" rather interesting as it clearly left out "in transit." But I agree with you, keeping the backs until you reach an ordinary residence is probably a wise decision.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:43 PM   #34
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Originally Posted by motoxaaron03 View Post
Do you ever just catch ONE crab???

No, that's my "recipe" for a pot full. I might adjust it down a little if I only had a few crabs to steam, but you don't want to run out of 'water' when cooking. Trust me.
Didn't catch that you were steaming them, my bad...
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Old 03-21-2017, 04:41 PM   #35
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Hmmm, interesting observation that they specifically use the "in the field" language thereby leaving out "in transit." It would seem a reasonable position that "in the field" would be up to the point of leaving the dock/launch/cleaning facility on your way to your destination but I can envision a grey area where a cooler has been moved from a boat (field) to the truck (transit) causing some difference of opinion.
You guys are talking about two different states. Oregon uses the term "landing"
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:14 PM   #36
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

Shoot! We were talking about steaming crab.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:37 PM   #37
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Shoot! We were talking about steaming crab.

Or the weird stuff that we find inside of them!
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:38 PM   #38
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Or the weird stuff that we find inside of them!
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:20 PM   #39
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

Yeah my bad for getting off topic sorry.
But sometimes I just can't keep from relaying an experience
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:21 PM   #40
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Originally Posted by huntntrap View Post
You guys are talking about two different states. Oregon uses the term "landing"
Probably, but I was very clear in defining the State to which I was referring. The original inquiry about retaining backs was from Larry3215 who doesn't have a location listed. Anyway, OR folks can crab from the WA side of the CR or even brave Pugetropolis traffic to crab Puget Sound so having that info may be valuable to them.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:58 PM   #41
Josh Fisherman
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Default Re: First time cleaning crab before cooking

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Originally Posted by Deanrt View Post

Or the weird stuff that we find inside of them!

I gave an honest answer to your to original OP. As stated above I was told and tell people it's new shell(interior structural shell). I believe that it is like cartilage and will harden over time into shell. It's always there and not always in the same place. Was hoping someone would have said yeah or nah to that. Josh
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