While an old-fashioned crab boil, steam, or Low Country boil are the traditional methods of cooking blue crabs, they aren’t the only way. Grilling up steaks, burgers, or sausages? Clean a few crabs and toss them on the cooking grate.
Grilling crabs give the meat a smoky, roasted flavor. It also makes the shells brittle and easy to crack apart at the table. Wonder about flavor? The sweet briny meat is perfect when seasoned with a bit of wood smoke, but we add a healthy dash of Cajun seasoning and a bit of beer for a spicy kick. The steam from the beer carries the spice flavor into the body meat and first claw section of the crab.
You can grill blue crabs over hardwood, charcoal, or even on a gas grill with a small foil packet of wood chips for a little smoke. They don’t take long, five to 10 minutes per side, depending on the heat of the fire and the size of the crab. Once the shells are bright red all over, the crab is probably ready.
Start the crab with the cleaned side down so that, once flipped, the body cavity makes a small well to hold spice and a drizzle of beer or water to steam.
2-3 blue crabs per person (or more if you are feeding a hungry crowd)
16 ounces of your favorite beer
Keep your blue crabs on ice until you are ready to clean and cook them.
If using charcoal or hardwood, allow your fire to burn down to a bed of coals. Position the crab, cleaned side down, over the coals and allow to grill for 5 to 10 minutes.
Flip the crab so that the clean side is now up, forming a shallow bowl with the crab’s body. Spinkle the crab liberally with Cajun seasoning.
Drizzle your favorite beer (or water) into the crab body until the depression formed when the crab was cleaned is full.
As the crab continues to grill, the beer will begin to boil and steam the crab from the inside.
Pick the crab as normal, removing the meat from the claws and body at the table. Since the grilling process makes the shell brittle, very little pressure is needed to break even heavy claw shell. Serve with melted butter for dipping.
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