BLUE CRAB can be bought whole, live or cooked and frozen. The claws are available as cocktail claws and the meat can be found already cleaned, fresh, frozen or pasteurized. Pasteurized will give a firmer meat with slight brownish tint. If buying just the meat it comes in different forms, lump, flake and claw meat. Lump meat comes from the body, flake meat from the legs and the claw meat which has a brownish tint is from the claws. Blue crab is also sold as soft-shell crab. The soft-shell can be fried, sautéed, or deep fried.
Place the live crab into rapidly boiling water and cook for 14-16 minutes. Start timing after the water returns to a boil. Do not cook any raw crab that have died. They spoil very fast if not kept alive. When done remove them from the heat and cool them with cold water, preferably in ice water. To clean the them, pull the shell off the crab. When the top and bottom shell are off, split the them in half with a large knife. With a spoon remove the meat from the shells. The legs and claws can be twisted off and served.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the crab in a large shallow pan. A sheet pan can be used. Place enough hot water in the pan to cover the bottom. Wrap the pan tight with aluminum foil. Bake the crab for 10-12 minutes. Check to see if they are hot enough. Remember, they are already fully cooked and you are just heating them up. You do not want to overcook them, they can get tough and lose flavor. It’s better to have them a little cool than overcooked.
Take the top and bottom shell off the Blue crab and cut it in half. Place the pieces on aluminum foil on a medium hot grill. Baste with melted butter and cook until heated through. If starting with live crab, cook until the shell turns red and the meat opaque.