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How to Steam Crabs and Other Seafoods

Use the process below to steam crabs, as well as lobsters and other seafoods.

Crabs, clams, lobster, and other seafoods should be steamed in a large steampot with a basket to hold the seafood above the water.

How Long to Steam: Crab steaming time varies, depending upon the size of the pot, amount of crabs, whether they are live or frozen, and heating source. In general, steam crabs for at least 20-30 minutes. The top of the shells will be orange when they are done.

Note: You can boil crabs and other seafoods, but the flavor will not be as good, texture is affected, and nutrients are lost to the boiling water.

Here's how to steam crabs:

  1. You can steam both live and frozen crabs.
  2. Keep both live crab and frozen crabs cold, until ready to put into the steampot.
  3. Pour water into the pot to just below the bottom of the basket.
  4. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. Place the crabs into the basket and add crab seasoning, if desired.
  6. Place the basket inside the steampot.
  7. Put the lid on tightly.
  8. Check the water level from time to time, to assure it does not all evaporate.
  9. Plan on 15-20 minutes steaming time, longer if you have a lot of crabs in the pot.
  10. As the crabs near being done, steam will start to come out from under the lid.
  11. Continue to steam for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  12. When cooked, the top shell of the crabs will be a shade of orange.
  13. Just before the crabs are done, melt ample amounts of butter.
  14. Remove cooked crabs from the steampot and serve hot.
  15. Turn off the steampot and keep extra crabs in it until ready to serve.

Celebrate International Crab Fest Day!

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