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Author Topic: Why My Crabs Aren't Like Their's  (Read 975 times)
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shtoong
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« on: December 06, 2020, 06:36:12 PM »

When I go out to a few crab houses their crabs always seem better than what I have ever cooked. Don't get me wrong, I have caught, cooked and eaten some tasty crustaceans.  I steam for 25 minutes in a stainless pot.  I have recently started cooking with 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 water and sometimes beer.  However there are a few crab houses that I can't seem to match. Some get local Chesapeake and others Gulf. The points are great most of the time and the meat is flavorful. I don't think a crab house would even be using beer or vinegar. I have seen some places with steam lines so there is no way they do anything but H20. Does anybody else encounter this? If so what do you think the secret is.
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2020, 01:49:39 PM »

It could be the steamer pots that they use and the pressure/temperature on how they cook them, but I am only guessing. I don't eat crabs out much so I can't really compare home vs crab house cooked crabs but I started cooking my crabs upside down this year and I won't ever cook another crab shell side up. Cooking this way I have found that the crab meat is tender, juicy, has more flavor and the meat pulls out easier. The mustard, which I love the taste of, still gets into the meat, but it pulls away from the meat leaving it cleaner to pick. Also, the juice the pools into the top of the shell when you first take the crab out of the cooker is freaking delicious. I also add about a 1/2 cup or so of JO into the liquid in the bottom of the steamer in addition to the generous coating on top. Any left overs store them upside down in the fridge and the meat is still just as juicy and tender and much less mustard leaving cleaner meat.

Give this a try the next time you cook your crabs and I have a feeling you will become a fan. If you are not sure on this, ask Bob "bgfishook1" his thoughts on this method of cooking.
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2020, 04:40:59 PM »

what kind of seasoning do you use
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shtoong
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2020, 01:13:35 AM »

what kind of seasoning do you use
I've used J.O.#2, also a blend of coarse salt, Old Bay and some other spices (cinnamon, mustard powder, black pepper, paprika etc...) I'm not sure the seasoning is the issue or the quality of the crab. They just don't have the same consistency and flavor of these few crab houses I go to occasionally.
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2020, 08:15:54 AM »

Crab houses don't use beer or vinegar. Just LIVE steam and seasoning
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2020, 08:48:39 AM »

I've used J.O.#2, also a blend of coarse salt, Old Bay and some other spices (cinnamon, mustard powder, black pepper, paprika etc...) I'm not sure the seasoning is the issue or the quality of the crab. They just don't have the same consistency and flavor of these few crab houses I go to occasionally.

J.O. will make specialized blends for some crab-houses as per their direction so the spice blend could be slightly different or majorly different.  Also most use a straight steam that is almost instantaneous instead of any "extras" like we do at home
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2020, 08:49:57 AM »

Crab houses don't use beer or vinegar. Just LIVE steam and seasoning
thumbsup  Pressurized Steam...  In your cook pot you can't get the temp above 212.  I would think the pot wouldn't be the same temp all the through the cooking process too. With pressurized steam the temp could easily be 250-350 almost instantly.
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2020, 06:15:08 PM »

thumbsup  Pressurized Steam...  In your cook pot you can't get the temp above 212.  I would think the pot wouldn't be the same temp all the through the cooking process too. With pressurized steam the temp could easily be 250-350 almost instantly.
In my coming up, it was always  referred to as wet steaming (a boiled steam) and dry streaming (no liquid, just hot steam).

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shtoong
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2020, 08:54:29 PM »

In my coming up, it was always  referred to as wet steaming (a boiled steam) and dry streaming (no liquid, just hot steam).

Ron



My buddy always says they cook with dry steam and I tell him he's an idiot there is no such thing. I guess I am wrong.
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shtoong
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2020, 09:18:28 PM »

But here's the real mystery. Those crab houses that I love so much take at least 25 minutes before we see crabs. I know for sure they are cooking live. I've been to places where they bring 'em out in 5 - 10 minutes and I say uh oh, these ain't fresh live steamed crabs. So 25 to 30 minutes wouldn't make sense for high heat pressurized cooking (or would it?). Anywho the mystery keeps going.
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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2020, 07:47:59 AM »

Just my $.02. The faster something dies the less stress it goes through. A crab lingering in a pot as it comes up to temp goes through a greater stressing then one who gets hit with instant stream from those closed systems. I know a deer that isnít dispatched blandly doesnít taste beat as good as one who was harvested cleanly with a lights out shot. No time to build up anxiety and send the cortisol through the body. Not sure if that is true with a crab or not but try icing them down good or killing them right before steaming. See if that helps. Just a thought
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« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2020, 01:08:42 PM »

But here's the real mystery. Those crab houses that I love so much take at least 25 minutes before we see crabs. I know for sure they are cooking live. I've been to places where they bring 'em out in 5 - 10 minutes and I say uh oh, these ain't fresh live steamed crabs. So 25 to 30 minutes wouldn't make sense for high heat pressurized cooking (or would it?). Anywho the mystery keeps going.

I know of places that steam crabs, refrigerate then re-steam when ordered.
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shtoong
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« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2020, 04:38:24 PM »

Shedking, your point makes sense but I have been icing recently. Maybe it's the dry steam theory Grin
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« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2020, 04:56:27 PM »

Since are on a crab house theme here.  I have never been to one being in Virginia.  I see there is one called Captain John at Cobbs Island.  Anyone been there before?  I think it would be a fun day trip by boat for my family and I.  Or if there is on at Solomons Island worth going too.
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2020, 05:50:40 PM »

Does anyone know if there is a way to make a crab shocking tank for home applications?
I have a decent size rubber tank that I know will hold a solid bushel and a half of crabs. But no idea how to use a car battery or outlet to shock these tasty creatures...
Any insight would be appreciated.
Thanks all...
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2020, 07:34:58 PM »

Does anyone know if there is a way to make a crab shocking tank for home applications?
I have a decent size rubber tank that I know will hold a solid bushel and a half of crabs. But no idea how to use a car battery or outlet to shock these tasty creatures...
Any insight would be appreciated.
Thanks all...
It has been described here in detail but can be very dangerous or possibly fatal if not executed properly. Be careful
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Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding.
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« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2020, 12:17:55 AM »

 I am sure that the average crabber does not have  the kind of steam pots that most big picking houses have. They use a closed and sealed system where only steam is used under pressure . water boils at 212 degrees providing steam but steam entering a closed sealed system enters that system much hotter maybe 240 degrees instantly ( NO WAITING ) it is there.  Steam entering a sealed system with just 15 lbs of pressure is HIGH PRESSURE STEAM and nothing to fool around with. SUPER HEATED STEAM is something really to behold. I watched when a conventional coal fired boiler that was being BLOWN DOWN in preparation for a shut down. The Super heated steam was coming out of the blow down pipe roaring like helll and it was the craziest  thing that a person could imagine , That steam was so hot under pressure that when it exited the pipe at least 50 feet beyond the pipes exit it was clear as a bell nothing at all at the 50 foot mark that SUPER HEATED STEAM only condensed back into a steam cloud . Since I worked out of local # 520 Harrisburg Pa and worked on some of these places that were Steam driven I got to see it up close . There is no words to describe it other than Steam is a fascinating thing and it is something that is best not to fool around with when it is under pressure. The steam pots that we use is a different thing , as water is boiled it reaches 212 degrees and we have steam and the worst that can happen is the water that is being used will eventually  boil away and the pressure will find a way out of the steam pot as the liquid is turned into a gas . However if you could seal that same pot and keep the steam from escaping, better run away from it because it is going to blow that steam pot wide open. Shedking is right don't mess with  dangerous stuff . How do you suppose that a NUCLEAR Powered Electric Station works ? There are two basic types BWR and closed system ( VAPOR SYSTEM ) like THREE MILE ISLAND ! I worked on both of these systems at Peachbottom NUCLEAR and Three Mile Island .NUCLEAR ( * )
 

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