The photographs I've taken on the right hand side of the page show the crab cleaning process
other than washing out the viscera after removing the
gills. The crab pictures which show the back being opened have had the claws
removed first in hopes of better showing you how to
clean the insides. Normally you would leave the claws on. Many people
overlook all of the meat which is contained within the back and
as you can see from the photos that's a considerable amount
of waste. You will notice the inside meat has a very white
texture while the claw meat is much browner. The crabs are very plentiful during the late fall and winter provided you know
just when and where to go.
Cooking: Place the live crabs in boiling, salted water. When the water begins to boil, cook for 18 to 20 minutes. The crab will turn bright orange. Immerse the crab in cold water before cleaning.
Cleaning: Refrigerate you whole-cooked crab until you are ready to eat them.
Step 1. To remove the back, hold the base of the crab with one hand, place your thumb under the shell at the mid-point, and pull off the shell.
Step 2. The leaf-gills are now exposed. Gently scrape them away with your thumb or the edge of a spoon.
Step 3. Wash away the "crab butter" (viscera) under a heavy stream of cold water.
Many people feel that the Oregon Dungeness crab is best served warm, straight from the shell and dipped in drawn butter or seafood cocktail sauce.
To find out more information about the dungeness crab you will find the crabbing 101 page very useful.