Cooking Live Blue Crabs


  1. Add equal parts beer (non-alcoholic beer or water work also) 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.
  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 high boil.
  4. Cover and steam for about 8-12 minutes, depending on size. They are done when they turn bright orange.
  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 crab seasoning, melted butter, and corn on the cob.

Some say the females, also called sooks, are sweeter than male crabs.

Male crabs, known as Jimmies, can grow bigger than sooks, so they're meatier and perfect for feasting. 

You can tell the difference between a male crab and female crab by flipping them on their backs and looking at the apron.

Male crabs have a long pointy apron down the center while females have a larger, wider apron with a small pointed tip at the bottom. Females also have red tips at the end of their blue claws.

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