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Author Topic: Steaming blue crabs  (Read 1064 times)
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bigcountry
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« on: October 04, 2021, 05:02:37 PM »

So I have two prong question.

I am able to steam up less than 1/2 bushel at a time in my stainless pot with a handmade stainless steamer rack 2" from the bottom.  I put in 2 cup vinegar, and 1 or 2 water.  This seems to work out for me at 35min.

So I get this fancy bayou classic pot that will hold 1 bushel.  Same recipe as above and 2" rack from bottom.   One, the liquid from the crabs fills up the bottom with a bushel.  How do you guys cook a whole bushel at a time?

Second, 80% of these crabs were over 7" but was super lite, and was filled with water.
 

Is there  a method for steaming light crabs?  any help would be appreciated
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arti0972
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2021, 11:37:30 PM »

In my observations,  light crabs will always take on steam and be watery. I don't necessarily like a totally full crab either. Just because they are drier. I like my crabs to be about 75 to 80% full with a little moisture in them. Those, in my opinion,  tend to be the sweeter better crabs . But, I'm sure you'll here many differing opinions on here as to how people do things. I just try not to keep anything that has too much flex in the shell. Those will definitely be the watery crabs.
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double E
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2021, 05:57:54 AM »

Try raising your rack. I like about 4 inches from the bottom. I use stainless steel bolts as legs to raise the rack. For light crabs I get the steam rolling hard then cut way back on the heat just enough to still produce steam. Also I cook them about 7 -10 minutes longer. Stabbing them at the tip of the apron also seems to help with the water build up plus they retain their claws better.
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KC_Jones
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2021, 06:34:55 AM »

Try raising your rack. I like about 4 inches from the bottom. I use stainless steel bolts as legs to raise the rack. For light crabs I get the steam rolling hard then cut way back on the heat just enough to still produce steam. Also I cook them about 7 -10 minutes longer. Stabbing them at the tip of the apron also seems to help with the water build up plus they retain their claws better.

The stabbing kills them prior to cooking, which is why they retain their appendages better.  Quick death is best, for large volumes a lot of us use a cooler and ice water to stun them, this too will help them retain their appendages during cooking.

As far as cooking lights, the best solution is to not keep the light crabs, cull them out and throw them back.  The light crabs have a lot of empty cavities in their body since it isn't filled with muscle, the empty cavities will fill with water and there isn't much that I'm aware of that can be done about it.
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double E
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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2021, 09:49:31 AM »


[As far as cooking lights, the best solution is to not keep the light crabs, cull them out and throw them back. /quote]

I personally don't care for light crabs at all, but I do know people that actually preferer them as odd as it sounds.
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bigcountry
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2021, 10:39:05 AM »

I generally don't keep the lites, but these were all 7.5 to 8".  So I figured they would have enough meat to make up for it.  Crazy big.

But I found the packed 6" I caught had more meat than the 8" lights surprisingly.

So basically there is no good way to cook lites, is what I am gathering. 
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Wallco99
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2021, 10:53:44 AM »

I generally don't keep the lites, but these were all 7.5 to 8".  So I figured they would have enough meat to make up for it.  Crazy big.

But I found the packed 6" I caught had more meat than the 8" lights surprisingly.

So basically there is no good way to cook lites, is what I am gathering. 

I know what you mean. I threw three of them back yesterday and almost jumped in the water to grab one of them back. But then I remembered just how lousy he was going to steam up, so I just let him go.
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KC_Jones
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2021, 11:14:05 AM »

I generally don't keep the lites, but these were all 7.5 to 8".  So I figured they would have enough meat to make up for it.  Crazy big.

But I found the packed 6" I caught had more meat than the 8" lights surprisingly.

So basically there is no good way to cook lites, is what I am gathering. 

I'm working with my 11 year old on this.  "But dad look how big he is", nope, throw him back.  Next week, or the week after we can keep him.  Wink

My father taught me this, he is the strictest I have ever seen.  He would pinch as hard as he could and only keep the absolute best crabs, I'll admit my standards are slightly less than him, but I'm still fairly strict.

I think this issue is people don't realize how much they grow after a molt.  In some cases an inch or more isn't unheard of (typically less as they get bigger).  I attached an old picture of one I did many years ago for perspective.
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arti0972
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2021, 10:39:04 PM »

I'll gladly take a half basket of smaller fuller crabs over just catching and tossing anything in a basket for the sake of getting a bushel. Especially if you have a longer ride home in warmer weather.  The dead loss would be significantly higher . Take your time and get the good ones.
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bigcountry
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2021, 09:08:17 AM »

I'll gladly take a half basket of smaller fuller crabs over just catching and tossing anything in a basket for the sake of getting a bushel. Especially if you have a longer ride home in warmer weather.  The dead loss would be significantly higher . Take your time and get the good ones.

I think we all have that figured out.  But that wasn't the question.
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Wallco99
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2021, 09:23:13 AM »

I think we all have that figured out.  But that wasn't the question.

Maybe not, but it was the BEST ANSWER!!!
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bigcountry
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2021, 11:40:07 AM »

Maybe not, but it was the BEST ANSWER!!!

You ever watch those capt obvious commercials?  But people insists on saying stuff anyway?  Pretty funny.
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Wallco99
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2021, 02:57:14 PM »

LOL.
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Harford Crabber
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2021, 03:52:48 PM »

You ever watch those capt obvious commercials?  But people insists on saying stuff anyway?  Pretty funny.

Some always have to have the last word...  lol
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Wallco99
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2021, 09:45:30 AM »

LAST.
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U812OHNO
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« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2021, 01:40:16 PM »

I know what you mean. I threw three of them back yesterday and almost jumped in the water to grab one of them back. But then I remembered just how lousy he was going to steam up, so I just let him go.

That one you almost jumped in after...was that the one you were telling me about, that had the mask on?
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Wallco99
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« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2021, 08:05:37 PM »

That one you almost jumped in after...was that the one you were telling me about, that had the mask on?

No, that one I tried to drown.
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U812OHNO
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2021, 02:38:16 PM »

No, that one I tried to drown.

You tied it off to the back cleat and drug it backwards?  Lol
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Wallco99
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2021, 09:24:11 AM »

You tied it off to the back cleat and drug it backwards?  Lol

OH [shiz]!!! You saw me??
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