Steamed Crabs Maryland Style

These steamed crabs are prepared Maryland style with lots of Old Bay and a few family secrets to make them extra delicious.

My dad lives on the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, Maryland, and this is our favored means to enjoy impertinently caught blue claw crab at base ( with cancer cakes as a identical close second ! ). While it ‘s more popular to boil cancer in Louisiana and other southern states, Maryland vogue crabs are typically steamed with lots of Maryland crab seasoning aka Old Bay .

Why this recipe works

  • A simple, beginner friendly recipe that anyone can make!
  • Steamed in a mixture of beer, vinegar and Old Bay for incredible flavor.
  • The addition of vinegar helps to soften the crab shells which makes them easier to pick.
  • Any type of crab or crab legs can be steamed Maryland style.

hands holding two large live blue claw crabsJimmies aka large male blue claw crabs in Maryland

Essential Ingredients

  • Crabs – Blue Crabs are traditional, as that’s the species local to Maryland, but this technique can be applied to any type of crab.
  • Old Bay Seasoning – Aside from the crabs, Old Bay is the most essential ingredient for making Maryland Style crabs. It’s a mixture of celery seed, cayenne pepper and other spices that give the crabs that iconic Chesapeake flavor. In Maryland, it’s common to see homemade Old Bay seasoning or Old Bay that’s been doctored up with added sea salt, mustard powder and red chili flakes.
  • Vinegar – Vinegar adds amazing flavor to the crabs, but it also helps soften the shells and make them easier to pick. Plain white vinegar is all you need here, but if you don’t have any, white or red wine vinegar is fine. Avoid balsamic or anything with a lot of flavor.
  • Beer – National Bohemian or “Natty Bo” is traditional in Baltimore, but any basic light beer is ideal. If you’re avoiding alcohol for any reason, substitute a non alcoholic beer or just plain water instead.
  • Steamer Pot – A steamer pot, with a lid, is essential for steaming crabs, otherwise they will just boil in the liquid. If you don’t have a steamer pot, you can place a heat-safe rack on the bottom of the largest pot you have.
  • Tongs – A sturdy pair of stainless steel, long handled tongs are helpful for both getting the crabs into the pot and out of the pot.
  • Claw Crackers – While not totally necessary, a good set of claw crackers can make eating the crabs a little bit easier for your guests.

Step by step instructions

  1. Add equal parts beer and vinegar to the bottom of a large steamer pot, about 1 inch.
  2. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add a single layer of live crabs. Be careful, they’ll put up a fight!
  3. Sprinkle the crabs liberally with Old Bay seasoning, then repeat with 2-3 more layers of crabs, but no more than 4 total. Make sure the liquid is at a rolling boil.
  4. Cover and steam for about 8-12 minutes, depending on size. Larger crabs (#1’s) will take 12 minutes, slightly smaller crabs (#2’s) about 10 minutes, and smaller crabs about 8 minutes. Set a timer.
  5. Line a big table with newspaper or brown paper bags, then dump the steamed crabs out on top. Repeat with the rest of your crabs until they’re all used up.
  6. Serve immediately with extra old bay, melted butter, corn on the cob and plenty of ice cold beer.

Freshly steamed crabs on brown paper with cans of Old Bay Seasoning.

Tips for success

  • This is more of a method than an exact recipe. The quantities and cook time will vary based on the size of your pot and the size of your crabs.
  • Don’t overcrowd the pot with too many crabs or the crabs on the bottom will overcook while the crabs on top might undercook. It’s best to work in batches. The amount will depend on the size of your crabs and the size of your pot, but keep each batch to 4 layers or less.
  • Some people like to remove the backs from the crabs and lean out the lungs and guts prior to steaming. This makes them a little easier and less messy to pick, but it takes away some of their flavor and adds more work for the cook. We prefer to cook them whole because they taste better that way.
  • Don’t be shy with the Old Bay Seasoning. Most of it will stick to the shells and won’t actually make it to the crab meat, so the more the better.

Horizontal photo of cooked crabs and corn with cans of Old Bay seasoning.

Faq about Steamed Crabs Maryland Style

How should you store live crabs before you cook them? It ‘s best to store live crabs in a cool, with the eyelid perched open so they can breathe, with a level of damp wallpaper towels, newspaper bags or old rags on lead to keep them damp. How long will crabs stay alive after being caught? Crabs typically wo n’t stay alive for more than 24 hours out of the water, so it ‘s best to cook them as soon a possible.

Do you need claw crackers and special tools to pick crabs? No way ! We never use claw crackers in my house. A butter knife is all you need to help you break open the crab. To crack the claw, give them a good knock with the grave rear side of the knife, or if they ‘re soft enough, crack them with your teeth. Can you still cook a crab that’s dead? No, any lifeless crab should be discarded before cooking for both base hit and taste. once a crab dies, the kernel becomes bathetic and off-tasting. They can besides make you sick. You ‘ll know a cancer is all in when it looks lifeless and its hook hang limp. What can you do with leftover steamed crabs? Pick the kernel out of all remaining crabs and use it to make gripe cakes, a crab salad or a crab soup. if making a soup, be certain to save and use the shells for the broth a well ! Two hands holding up pieces of jumbo lump crab meat over top of a pile of crabs and corn.cheers!

Did you make this recipe and LOVE it? Please leave a star ⭐️ rating and/or comment to help other readers. I absolutely love hearing from you and do my best to answer all questions and comments.  I love seeing when you make my recipes, so please tag me @ColeyCooks on Instagram and I will repost!
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Close up of a pile of steamed crabs and corn on the cob.

Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs

5

from

3

reviews

  • generator : Nicole Gaffney (ColeyCooks.com)
  • homework time :

    10 minutes

  • cook time : 15 minutes
  • full time : 25 minutes
  • yield : 1 twelve
  • class : seafood
  • method acting : steamed
  • cuisine : american

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Description

These steamed blue crabs are the best you’ll ever have! Steamed Maryland style with lots of Old Bay and a few family secrets to make them extra delicous.
This is not a recipe as much as it is a method. Your amounts will depend on how many people you’re serving, how big of a pot you have, and how much seasoning you prefer.

Ingredients

  • light beer (about ¾ cup)
  • plain white distilled vinegar (about ¾ cup)
  • Live blue claw crabs (about 3-6 per person, depending on size)
  • Old Bay seasoning, to taste, plus more for serving
  • melted butter, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add equal parts beer and vinegar to the bottom of a large steamer pot, about 1 inch.
  2. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add a single layer of live crabs. Be careful, they’ll put up a fight!
  3. Sprinkle the crabs liberally with Old Bay seasoning, then repeat with 2-3 more layers of crabs, but no more than 4 total. Make sure the liquid is at a rolling boil.
  4. Cover and steam for about 8-12 minutes, depending on size. Larger crabs (#1’s) will take 12 minutes, slightly smaller crabs (#2’s) about 10 minutes, and smaller crabs about 8 minutes. Set a timer.
  5. Line a big table with newspaper or brown paper bags, then dump the steamed crabs out on top. Repeat with the rest of your crabs until they’re all used up.
  6. Serve immediately with extra old bay, melted butter, corn on the cob and plenty of ice cold beer.

Notes

  • This is more of a method than an exact recipe. The quantities and cook time will vary based on the size of your pot and the size of your crabs. 
  • Don’t overcrowd the pot with too many crabs or the crabs on the bottom will overcook while the crabs on top might undercook. It’s best to work in batches. The amount will depend on the size of your crabs and the size of your pot, but keep each batch to 4 layers or less. 
  • Some people like to remove the backs from the crabs and lean out the lungs and guts prior to steaming. This makes them a little easier and less messy to pick, but it takes away some of their flavor and adds more work for the cook. We prefer to cook them whole because they taste better that way. 
  • Don’t be shy with the Old Bay Seasoning. Most of it will stick to the shell and won’t actually make it to the crab meat, so the more the better. 

Keywords: crab, boil, steam, seafood, mollusk, beer, vinegar, the best, Chesapeake, maryland

beginning : https://thaitrungkien.com
Category : Tutorial

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