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Stone crab is delicious, but the hard shell can make it hard to eat if you don’t know how to prepare it quickly. You can’t remove the crab’s shell in the cooking process, so it’s traditionally served with the shell still on—which is why you should read this step-by-step guide on the best way to eat stone crab.
To start, you need to either cook the crab yourself or have it cooked for you. Typically, any stone crab ordered online is precooked when it arrives, so you only need to heat it up. Most people boil the crab to get it hot and ready for a meal, but you can steam it or oven-bake it as well.
Once you have cooked it, you need to let the meat cool down a bit. Hot crab meat will stick to the shell, making it harder to separate and eat. Letting it cool will help when you separate the meat from the shell.
After the crab has cooled, you’ll need to crack its shell to get to the meat inside. There are tools that help break crab shells, but you can use a mallet or spoon. Hold the crab and strike it with the tool till you crack the shell. It’ll most likely take a few hits. Repeat this on the other side of the crab as well.
Once you’ve broken the shell, it’s time to remove the meat. Peel off the shell from the meat, which will leave the meat intact without the shell. Use your fingers to peel it off. If you’re having problems, the meat might still be too warm, or you might need to crack the shell more.
Now that you have the meat free from the shell, the stone crab is ready to eat. You could use the claws to grab the meat if you want to dip it in a sauce. What sauce you want with your meat is up to you—however, garlic butter is a common companion for this dish.
Now, this step-by-step guide on the best way to eat stone crab should help you properly clean and serve stone crab meat.