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Enjoy the Crabs!

Steamed Crabs on a Tray

Picking and Eating Steamed Crabs...A Baltimore Favorite.

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How to pick 'em & eat 'em

EATING CRABS...where adults are encouraged to wear a bib, eat with their hands, get food on the table, pound on the table, throw their leftovers in a pile, generally make a mess...and have a great time picking crabs.

There are probably as many ways to pick and eat steamed crabs as there are "crab pickers" in Baltimore. The following photos and descriptions should serve to get you started.

Just a few hints:

  • Don't bother about the mess.
  • Don't rub your eyes until you have thoroughly washed your hands.
  • Have fun. Share stories with your friends (and maybe a cold beer or soda).
  • Enjoy!
Crab mallet for steamed crabs
Hot steamed crabs in Baltimore sign

Tools: All you need are a mallet, a dull knife, and plenty of Kraft paper (or maybe newspaper) to cover your table.

Remove the steamed crab claws
Remove the front claws: Put them aside, you can come back to them later.
Steamed Crab Legs Being removed
Pull off the rest of the legs: Sometimes, you get lucky and some crab meat pulls out with them. Just enjoy it.
Open the steamed crab apron
Open the apron: Pull up the apron on the bottom of the crab and break it off.
Open the steamed crab body and remove the shell
Open the crab: You can now easily pull the hard shell off of the top of the crab.
Clean our the innards of the steamed crab - remove the lungs
Clean out: Scrape out and discard anything that does not look appealing to you - the yellow "mustard" and the lungs (sometimes called the devil's fingers).
Break the steamed crab body in half
Break in half: You are now down to the main part of the crab. Simply grasp it in both hands and break it in half to expose the sweet crab meat.
Enjoy the sweet meat from your steamed crabs
The crab meat...
...can be found in all of the little nooks and crannies. This is some of the finest tasting seafood to be had anywhere.
Oh yes, what are the mallet and knife for? The knife (not sharp, please!) helps to pull the crab meat out from all the little nooks and crannies. And the mallet - well, each large claw also contains some fine-eatin' meat - use the mallet to crack the claws. Actually, the only essential "tool" is the paper to cover the table. The mallet and knife only make things a "little" easier, but they definitely add to the fun.

If you are in Baltimore you can find all of this fun and great eatin' at an authentic, family-owned and operated crab house. Be sure to visit L.P. Steamers in Locust Point (on the way to Fort McHenry).

Can't get to L.P. Steamers right now? Don't want the mess? Want Seafood at home - delivered fresh to your door? The Crab Place has everything you need for a succulent seafood feast. From crab to soups and spices, they quickly deliver the highest quality products to your door.

Fresh seafood makes a great gift, and The Crab Place has a top-quality assortment to choose from. Not sure what to get or when it should be delivered? The Crab Place gift certificates are available.

*Note, please, that seafood and other products are not actually "sold" on this site - SouthBaltimore.com. This resource is provided solely as a convenient tool for our Maryland seafood-loving readers and does not specifically recommend or endorse any particular product(s) or merchant(s). If you do order products after clicking through to a product supplier we may be compensated with a small commission. Don't worry that you may pay more by clicking here - any such commissions are paid by the vendor(s).

June 16, 2019


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