How To Clean A Blue Crab In 2 Easy Steps (Quick & Clean Way)


Want to learn how to clean blue crabs the fast and easy way?

Most people boil them whole, but there’s actually a much better way to cook and clean them that saves you from having to deal with the guts and the gills when you’re eating them.

I’ve enjoyed eating them much more by cleaning them like this, plus I’ll share a secret tip that makes this whole process go very quickly.

If you like eating blue crabs, you’re going to love this video!

How To Clean Blue Crab The Easy Way [VIDEO]

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There are just two easy steps to cleaning blue crabs this way:

  1. Crack off the top of the shell
  2. Clean out the guts and gills (the easiest way to do this is to blast it all out with a hose)

This leaves lots of delicious meat in the corners of the body, in addition to in the claws and legs.

By cleaning crabs before boiling them, you don’t have to deal with the guts and gills on the dinner plate, which makes things much easier and appetizing.


blue crabs cooked whole

Hope you enjoyed this two-step process for cleaning blue crabs!

I’ve also got a blue crab cooking video coming up soon that I can’t wait to share with you.

Have any questions about cleaning blue crabs?

Or have another way that you’ve found to be better?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who likes to cook blue crabs, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Robert Talbot
7 months ago

Very interesting and helpful. Been years since I went clamming Do you kill them before cleaning them.?

Robert Talbot
8 months ago

If this crab is alive how do you avoid being pinched?

Karen Castoro
1 year ago

Best cooked in marinara sauce and served with the sauce over pasta better when let sit in sauce over night and eaten next day

Last edited 1 year ago by Karen Castoro
1 year ago

After cleaning them can they be left in the refrigerator to cook the next day or should you freeze them?

A.M. Conquest
1 year ago

Do you clean the crab alive Frozen or how?

2 years ago

You can open the blue crab easier if you pull the key first ( under the bottom). Pull it back just like opening a beer can. Once you do that, the shell literally separates. Then pull shell apart.

David Eddins
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Cleaning them is my favorite way but I dont wash the mustard and stuff out. Pull the lungs of and rinse leaving the mustard and stuff It is good to eat.

Michael McMillan
2 years ago

Ouch!!!!!!! Just bit my tongue and shed a tear over watching half the taste of a dark roux or fine crab etouffee being washed out for the pin fish to enjoy. I know the clean presentation is more pleasing, but the “mustard” holds a lot of flavor. I have to agree with most…steam whole and savor the whole flavor of the whole crab.

Thomas W German
2 years ago

You just ruined that crab. For one thing, any dead crab gets thrown out. You don’t boil crabs, you steam them, alive and whole. Steamed with a mixture of beer, vinegar and water with lots of Old Bay or JO sprinkled on the live crabs in the steamer.

1 year ago

Thank you!!!!
So glad someone gave the proper instructions on how to steam crabs. I have never heard of cleaning a crab before steaming!
Born and raised in Maryland!!!
Chesapeake Bay strong!!!

Bill Bennett
2 years ago

My favorite meal, steamed crabs pilled on newspaper and cold beer. I usually cook my crabs whole, shit cooked to some. I was from NJ, Del area. I feel cleaning them dries the meat out. I also like the taste of the mustard, which isn’t guts. I usually clean them for guests. If I clean them it is to make garlic crabs. Mix some beer, olive oil, garlic, and seasonings, then pour over the crabs and steam. Also, cook some pasta and pour the juice over it. Have some good Italian bread on hand to dip in the sauce. Make you smack your momma! I also have a killer method of cleaning blue crabs after they are cooked.
Making myself hungry.

Jeffrey Dudenhefer
2 years ago

Ohh boy!! I’m from Louisiana and that is a very different way. To each his own, but…… We boil whole in a seasoned broth with fixin’s. You can put corn, potatoes, sausage, garlic, onions, celery, and Zatarain’s crab boil (liquid or complete mix powder or both). Ice the crabs live for a couple hours before you boil to make them dormant. This helps keep the legs on when you throw them in the boiling water. It keeps their muscles from tensing up and making he legs, claws fall off. Boil 10-12 minutes, shut off fire, let soak. As they soak, air pocket inside the shell cools sucking in the seasoned broth, you will notice they start to sink. You can use a couple pounds of ice to cool the water, stop the cooking and make them soak up the liquid faster. When you remove, stack upside down on a tray, this keeps the juice from running out of the crab and everyone will be great when you crack them open. The yellow is the fat, fat taste great to momma. You stated gills, we called them lungs, crabs can live out the water, not certain lungs or gills, anyway they’re not edible. All the fixin’s in the seasoned broth are edible as well, you just have to add them with the right timing so all are cooked but not overcooked. Most Louisiana natives prefer cooking crawfish whole and live, crabs whole and live, and shrimp with heads on. We just think its better. C’est ce bon!

Love your videos and tips, keep them coming.

A. Rollins
2 years ago

Just to clarify, Mr. Dudenhefer, all crabs have gills, even all species of land crabs. But, the wrong/too much humidity could kill any land crab.


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