Steamed Maryland Blue Crab

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Summer is in full swing! In this short film Jon Peake shows not just how he catches this Maryland classic but how to prepare them as well, providing a great recipe below that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. 

Serving Size      Time To Make

10+                       45min

Special Equipment

Turkey Fryer

Steam Pot & Basket 40 quart or Bigger

Crab Knockers (Wooden Mallets)

Alternate Cuts That Work

Dungeness Crab

Ingredients

Maryland Blue Crabs 1 bushel 55-60

2 cups water 

2 12oz beers Pilsner or Lager

½ cup Apple cider vinegar 

Old Bay Seasoning 

1 stick salted butter 

Preparation 

In a clean steam pot add (2) 12 ounce beers, ½ cup apple cider vinegar and 2 cups water. Place your steam pot on your turkey fryer, set to medium-high heat and cover. Wait until you begin to see steam coming out from under the lid. This should take around 15 minutes. Once you have a nice steam going, let’s add the crabs!

Grab the Old Bay, a pair of tongs and the basket from your steamer.  Start by adding a layer of crabs in your steam basket. Sprinkle Old Bay directly onto your first layer of crabs. I go heavy with the Old Bay, trust me, it’s good! Continue layering the crabs and seasoning with Old Bay to fill the basket. Once the basket is full, put the basket in the steam pot and put the lid back on. Set a timer for 45 minutes. You can also add optional goodies like corn and potatoes to the pot with about 15 minutes left on the timer if you choose. When the timer goes off, it’s time to check the crabs! Your crabs should be bright red and easy to separate. Grab one of the crabs with your tongs and pull a claw off. Crack the claw open and the meat inside should be flaky and tender. If they aren’t done, continue steaming, checking every 5 minutes until done. Once finished leave the crabs uncovered to allow them too cool before handling. Now for some added flavor, combine one stick of melted butter and 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar together. Then place mixture into individual bowls for dipping. Find yourself a nice picnic table in the shade, a few crab knockers, beer of choice and some good friends and prepare to enjoy one of the greatest past times of Maryland – Steamed Blue Crabs .

Enjoy Y’all

A note on Blue Crabs

Each area of harvest is different with regulations on size and sex. The best way to sex blue crabs is by their aprons. The flap on the underside of the crab. Male aprons resemble the Washington monument, long and thin coming to a point. The female apron resembles the Capitol Building large and domed. Another commonly known indicator of sex is the red tipped claws or (nail polish) found on females but this is not a fool proof method. In some instances the males can have red tipped claws as well. That is why the apron method is preferred.

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Jon Peake

I was born in Anne Arundel County, Maryland on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. My family moved to Southern Maryland when I was seven. Southern MD was where my parents instilled in me a love of the outdoors. Summers were spent fishing, crabbing and camping. Blue crabs, rockfish, perch, and croaker were always plentiful in my youth. Many summer days were spent out on the Patuxent River and its tributaries, casting rods and pulling trot lines. Winter time was spent hunting for food to fill the freezer. The winter menu in the Peake household consisted of White tail deer, ducks and geese.

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