How To Eat Maryland Crab

Picking a blue crab can be quite intimidating if you don't know what you're doing. How exactly are you supposed to get at the meat, and where exactly in the crab is it? Well, have no fear: here's a step-by-step guide to picking a crab, courtesy of Hammer & Claws founder Joshua Morgan.

1. Remove the Legs
Pop off the small legs, suck the little nubs of meat off the ends of them if you like, and discard. Pull the claws off as well, and set those on the side for now.

2. Crack it Open
Grab hold of the crab from the rear, with your two thumbs on the shell and body, and crack it open like a book, separating the top shell, which you can discard (for die-hards, there are some juices in there you can scoop out).

3. Clean it Off
Looking at the crab, you'll be able to tell right away what's edible and what's not. The feathery things on the side are the gills, which you should strip off. Anything that's not meat can go, and there won't be too much of it exposed right now. 

4. Crack it Open Again
What you're left with should be a little white bottom shell, with pockets on either side filled with meat. Hold it firmly with both hands and crack that in half down the middle.

5. Get Pickin'
Meat from the big pockets is the best part of the crab, the fabled jumbo lump. You've just got to get in there and extract as much meat from the shell as you can. You can eat it as you go or pile it up on the side, but make sure that you give it a drag through some Old Bay before you eat it. 

6. The Claws
You can bang the claw with a mallet to get at the meat, but Morgan advises placing a knife high up on the claw, near the pincer, then hitting that with the mallet, in order to make a clean break. Then carefully pull the claw meat out, and scrape the meat off with your teeth.