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We just started doing the crab pots this year and have done real well. The first couple times out I had someone cook them for me, which is Ok but if you fish late it's hard to find somewhere to go. So I bought a cooker and am wondering what temp and how long to cook those tasty critters. Also,are their some spices I could add? do I clean them afterward or before cooking? I've heard both ways. Just need a little help.
 

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Hi King Fisher,

I would suggest that you start with your water, get it right from the Ocean. Then get it to a rocking boil and add the crab.

Give them about 20 minutes. Give me a call and I will be right over to demonstate the proper eating methods, it should only take 10 or 15 crabs, in that time I think I can show you all you need to know

I clean them after cooking. If I can't get sea water then I will usually add Old Bay.

El!

[ 09-02-2003, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: El-Kabong ]
 

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KF,

Hopefully an expert will chime in, but the numbers I remember from last year were: rolling boil for 17 to 20 minutes. I clean them after the cooking, but I know it can be done before as well. Good luck.
 

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We cook for 20 minutes after the pot returns to a full boil. We have also been know to use ordinary tap water with a handful of rocksalt thrown in. Gotta tell you though, a nice sheen of oil from the top of the South Beach boat basin water gives the finished product a nice tang.

I keep hearing about cleaning the crabs before cooking, the last guy who told me about it had three fingers left. I suspect that cooking them whole adds to the flavor. Besides, I would have to change a habit to clean them first and I am too old for that.

I know of some heathens who toss in pickling spices, garlic, onions, you name it. I am more basic and dull. To quickly cool the crabs after cooking, plunge them into clean cold water.

Then, invite me and my fork over.
 

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Did you try a search on this? There was at least one extensive thread on this subject earlier this year.


As I recall, lots of good information and suggestions re: cleaning before/after cooking; boiling in sea water versus salted fresh water with spices, versus steaming instead of boiling. I've done it a couple different ways and have come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a bad tasting dungie. :dance: :cheers:

Wish I could make an offer like El-Kabong's, but it'd take me a little longer to get to your house from Boise. :grin:
 

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Keep the crab you catch in ice and they become dosile(sp) Then you clean them before you cook them. But bring the water to a boil, add crab and once it begins to boil again then I set my timer for 16 minutes.
 

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Have seen a guide in Tillamook clean them live by holding them upsidedown and splitting them over a straight edge. He had a cleaning station with a piece of stainless fixed to the backsplash. After splitting them, he just flung the guttywuts into the water. Pretty cool. Just left two halves of nuthin' but love.

I recommend Zatarain's crab boil spice bags. Freddie's sells them. Directions tell you how much salt to add and cayenne to taste. The directions say to throw the spice bag into the boil, but I recommend ripping open the bag and dumping into the boil.

enjoy
 

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I'll try to explain the way we cook the crabs! Three gallons of clean water and 1/2cup salt. (ocean water works) bring the water to a boil and drop in the crabs cleaned or not. When the water starts boiling again continue for 15 to 20 minutes. The crab will be done, after this time period. Remove them from the boiling water and drop them into a bucket of ice and water the cold water helps realease the meat from the shell. good eats!! Prior to cooking keep the crabs on ice always!!!!! I hope this helps.
 

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Originally posted by me on 7-2-03

Here's a good one from the Oregon Sea Grant. Available from the OSU extension service in a hard copy free of charge with lots of good pic's not included on the html version.

http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/onlinepubs/g98005.html

Actually if you have Adobe this one includes the pic's and there is lot's of good info here (pdf).

http://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/sgpubs/onlinepubs/g98005.pdf
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">That was posted on Crab Experts - I need info - Pleez? .

There is some pretty interesting crab biology there that I dug up on the net a couple days prior to that post.

The extension sevrice has changed their cooking reccomendations in recent years (revised 1998) and it used to say 12 minutes from a reboil for cleaned and 15 minutes from a reboil for whole crab.

I see they give the salt to water ratio's now and a stronger ratio of salt for the whole crab which seems to make since to me. A Coast Guard chief told me 7 or 8 years ago to use 1 cup of salt to 2 gallons water and I have used that or just guessed and done quite well.

I have seen a few folks use pickling spice in their crab and they swear by it but I'd rather have my crab taste like crab and not pickling spice.

I prefer to clean my crab first before cleaning just like any other critter I'm going to eat. I hold the crab with both hands in a manner where I am holding the front legs and pinchers in against the body so they can't get you and hit the front part of the shell against the table and off comes the back. This does a pretty good job at slowing them down. :grin: Then I just pick off the lungs, etc. and blow it out with a garden hose. This leaves the body cavity whole the way I prefer to cook it.

Might just have to go knock the webs off the rings and make sure they still work before I get moved out of here. :grin:

Dan

[ 09-02-2003, 07:12 PM: Message edited by: DepoeBayDan ]
 

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Thanks for the website Dan.
There is also a recently published book about crabbing that includes cooking them and it's called: Recreational Dungeness Crabbing (Haugen) and I believe it is available at Fisherman's.
 

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Well lemme see here......since im eating crab that I caught yesterday, maybe I can shed some light on this.

Cooking is very easy.
Put enough water in pot to cover top of crabs. Bring to a boil, put crabs in and let it come back to a rolling boil. 15 minutes boiling is plenty of time.

Fresh vs sea water? Doesnt make any difference IMO. Salted fresh water is fine.

Clean before cooking or after? Either is fine, but I think cleaning after holds in more 'crabby goodness'.......besides some folks (like the wife) dont want to start cracking them apart when they are still moving around.

Seasonings? Maybe some Old Bay, but really none is needed with good fresh crab :smile:

Have fun
 

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I am not an expert but I can tell you to definately cook the crab before cleaning. You want the flavor of the crab butter to cook. If you do clean the crab first make sure you cook them immediately. If you wait more than a few hours the meat will be mushy and taste bad. This is from experience.
 

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Originally posted by Freakwater:
Have seen a guide in Tillamook clean them live by holding them upsidedown and splitting them over a straight edge. He had a cleaning station with a piece of stainless fixed to the backsplash. After splitting them, he just flung the guttywuts into the water. Pretty cool. Just left two halves of nuthin' but love.

I recommend Zatarain's crab boil spice bags. Freddie's sells them. Directions tell you how much salt to add and cayenne to taste. The directions say to throw the spice bag into the boil, but I recommend ripping open the bag and dumping into the boil.

enjoy
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">I processed crabs in AK and this is exactly the way we did it. I had a blade that was shaped like an axe head. Hook the mouth on the top and push. It cuts it in two and knocks the shell off. We had hydraulic rotary brushes to clean off the gills but you can pull them off and scrub it with a potato brush. IMMEDIATELY boil as everyone has mentioned in a brine of your choice and dip in ICE cold water when done. This will separate the meat from the shells and vastly expedites the devouring stage. I wish I had the recipe for the brine we used. It was way more salty than your average sea water.

Have any of you ever heard of Bairdi crab? The only time I've ever heard of it was in Alaska. The said that virtually all of the product is purchased by the Japanese. If you ever get the chance to eat a Bairdi crab I strongly encourage it. It is the best meat by far. I had the pleasure of eating King, Snow and Bairdi virtually everyday and I will tell you that without question I took the Bairdi everyday. Dungeness is my second fave and all I've eaten since 92 which was my last trip to AK.
 

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To clean crab before cooking, just lay them on the ground upside down, set a shovel blade in the middle and push down. Voila! Two dead halves. Pick them up and shake once. No guts! Pick out the few remaining lung tissues and you are ready to cook. Takes one minute per crab, max.
 

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King Fisher-

Do a search as this has been discussed, but the key to good crab isn't salt water its steaming them. I have a crab cooker with a basket. I put about 2-3 inches of water in the bottom, add 1 cup or so of vinegar and a couple table spoons of old bay seasoning. Get that whole mix boiling rapidly.

Then I steam them hard for 12+ minutes. Give it a try, I think you will be impressed...

Rip'N'Lips
 

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King Fisher

I like to steam them in a coverd cooker for about 20 minutes. Seems to keep more of the flavor in the crab. Also, clean them after cooking seems to work better for me.
 

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If you clean them first you do not end up with funky colored stuff on the meat. It isn't to hard to clean them alive if you hold the legs with a foot, and then take the shell off from right to left etc. Try adding a can of beer to the water, seems to add flavor, and yes, the alcohol cooks out so if you want a buzz add the crab to your beer! :cheers:
 

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We have always used fresh water with enough rock salt to give a very salty taste. Once boiling rapidly, we add the uncleaned crab and set the timer for 22 minutes. Next, pull the cooked crab from the water, allow to cool then clean and ice down for dinner.

Spices? We have tried them and our taste calls for just good old salty water boiled crab.

Good eating,

Sore Back

:dance: :dance: :dance:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good stuff!! I'll be at the koa this weekend cooking crab and hopefully lots of salmon! Thanks for the help, the only missing ingredient was salt with water. I may try a few spices too. Thanks!!
 

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"Good stuff!! I'll be at the koa this weekend cooking crab and hopefully lots of salmon! Thanks for the help, the only missing ingredient was salt with water. I may try a few spices too. Thanks!! "

what time should we all get there? which KOA is that?

EK
 
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