How to Open a Crab

Food Network Magazine put together step-by-step instructions for how to open a crab.

Photo By: Con Poulos ©Con Poulos

Photo By: Con Poulos

Photo By: Con Poulos

Photo By: Con Poulos

Photo By: Con Poulos

Photo By: Con Poulos

Photo By: Con Poulos

Summer Crab Boil

Throw a memorable summer crab boil, and cook up this Spiced Crabs and Shrimp With Potatoes dish. Tip: If live crabs are not available in your area, you can make the same dish with 4 pounds of shrimp instead.

Get the Recipe: Spiced Crabs and Shrimp With Potatoes

How to Throw a Crab Boil

Buy live crabs (they should be active, not still) and cook them the same day. Refrigerate crabs in a breathable container, covered with damp paper towels, as soon as you get home from the store. Rinse under cold running water and gently scrub with a brush to remove any sand. Boil in a large pot until bright red. Crack the shell to eat. The yellow material, known as "mustard," and the orange roe are both edible. What You'll Need: A large pot (at least 12 quarts), tongs, crab crackers or small mallets, and small picks or seafood forks

How to Open a Crab

Wriggle off all the legs; use a cracker or mallet to crack the claw shells.

How to Open a Crab

Turn the crab over and remove the apron (the flap on the underside).

How to Open a Crab

Pull back the top shell and remove.

How to Open a Crab

Scrape off the gray spongy-looking gills with a knife and discard.

How to Open a Crab

Split the crab down the middle, then split each half open. Remove the meat.

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