Eating crabs is a social function. You have crabs, beer, and friends. That's what we do here. - Maryland State Senator John Astle.

 

Eating steamed crabs is a Maryland tradition. While it may look a little barbaric to the novice observer, locals will tell you that there's an art to it—or at least a method to the seeming madness. Check out this video in which Maryland State Senator John Astle visits Mike's Crab House, one of our many local establishments that serves steamed Maryland blue crabs, and offers step-by-step instructions on how to pick a crab.

  1. Find a heavy crab. Heavy means there is a lot of muscle and that's what we want.
  2. Break off the claws and set those aside.
  3. Pull off the apron. (the thing on the back) Sometimes you need to use a knife.
  4. Now you can pull the back off.
  5. Take off the lungs (dead man's fingers).
  6. Break the crab in half.
  7. Clean it up a bit, and break the half in half again. Now you can get the back fin meat. (the sweetest meat there is)
  8. Grab the other leg pieces and scoop out the meat
  9. The claws. Break the claw in half and pull the small piece off. With that will come some meat.
  10. Then, take a mallet and crack the big claw. The meat will come right out.