Owner/Crab Cooker, Capt. Jack's Crab Shack and The Virginia Crab Cake Co
Eight years ago my family stumbled into the crab business and never looked back. I spent every summer working at the crab shack to save money for college and of course help out my family. After graduating from UVa with a degree in biology, I was dazed and confused. Like most kids with a degree in one hand and zero experience in the other, I prolonged real life for a bit by working yet another summer at the crab shack. The business had grown so much and the need to expand presented a unique opportunity- for me to become a business owner. One larger retail store and an on-line store that ships seafood across the country, www.crabpie.com, I am learning something new every day. Maybe one day I'll go to grad school, but right now I'm having too much fun cooking crabs!
How to Choose Crabs
Alexandra VanCleve of Captain Jack's Crab Shack shows you how to choose the ideal crab for steaming.
This expert: 364,156 views
How to Choose Crabs
2/3 cup Old Bay
Half a bushel of blue crabs
1. Add 1/3 parts water, 1/3 parts beer and 1/3 parts vinegar to a pot. Use a pot with a basket so the crabs aren't touching the water. Pour the Old Bay in.
2. Cull the crabs, separating the live crabs from the dead crabs. Put the live crabs in the pot, put the lid on and boil them for 25-30 minutes.
3. When you put the crabs on a plate, add more Old Bay seasoning to them.
Alexandra VanCleve: Hi! I am Alexandra VanCleve with Capt. Jack's Crab Shack and I am here to tell you how to choose the ideal crab for steaming. There is three important things to remember. First, you want him to be 5 inches point to point. Second, you want him to be hard, rusty belly, the wider, not the good. You don't want to able to push through the back of his belly and he has hard rusty, so he is good. And you also want to make sure that he is male, males have got a long cylindrical chelae and females have got a wider chelae.
Females have got red tips on their claws and you can tell that this one has blue, so he is a male. We prefer males as females that are sold, our part of the reason why the Chesapeake Bay has been depleted of crabs, you may find females at your other crab shacks and that's okay, the meal is known to be a little bit sweeter but preferably around this area and for us, we use males.
Coming up next, we are going to talk about culling your crab.