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Author Topic: Steaming a bushel of crabs  (Read 343 times)
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BaltColt
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« on: June 01, 2022, 11:00:03 PM »

Looking to get a pot that can steam 5 or 6 dozen crabs all at one time. My first question is what size pot is best. Next, I am good with layering and seasoning crabs but how much liquid (vinegar and water) should I use at the bottom? 2 inches? Finally, how long should they steam? 25 minutes? I am always trying to avoid oversteaming or having crabs full of water.

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Derwood
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2022, 12:00:19 PM »

I posted this question two years ago and the brain trust recommended the Hartford Metal 1.5 bushel size one sold by Eastern Marine. It's pricey but easily the best purchased I've made in terms of crabbing gear and cookware in the past few years. I burned up two poorly/China made Bayou classics before biting the bullet and getting a quality made in the USA product. I just looked at the Eastern Marine site and it says they are sold out, but you might try calling them.

For liquid, I add enough that the liquid almost touches the bottom of the steaming rack, which is about 2 inches. I do 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 beer -- so it works out to like 3 beers plus vinegar.

I have tried different methods of cooking, from putting the crabs in room temperature and turning on the burner, to longer vs shorter cooking times. The way I do it now that works every time is 20 minutes of steam done this way:

1) put the crabs in a cooler with 50/50 water and ice for about 5 minutes to put them into semi-hibernation -- this helps keep the claws on
2) while the crabs are chilling, turn on your burner and put the pot/lid on
3) after 5 minutes, stack the crabs and season them in layers in the steaming rack
4) once there is strong, visible steam coming out of the sides of the pot lid, add the steaming rack with crabs and put the lid on
5) lower the burner a little bit to keep the steam/boil rolling, but do not walk away (ask me about the time I literally burned my crabs and pot in a complete inferno)
6) set a timer for 20 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, shut off the heat and wait 5 minutes
7) remove the lid and serve/add more spice

https://www.easternmarine.com/harford-metal-1-1-2-bushel-s-s-stockpot
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