What’s the Right Way to Eat a Crab?

Eating crabs in seafood restaurants can be a labor-intensive process. For the inexperienced and impatient, you’ll be better off selecting large-sized crabs, as these are easier to break, and the meat easier to get to. Still, regardless of size, the routine that one goes about eating crabs remain the same.

A Very Good Place to Start

The easiest way to start eating a crab is to pull back the crab’s white underside. This will give you a handle to pull off the red upper shell. Once the top shell is removed, remove and discard the gills—the white feathery things lying on top. Then, take the body and break it in half. Many believe that it’s best to remove the legs before doing so, but they can be useful when it comes to removing the inner meat, so it will be smarter to pull the legs out later.


When pulling off the legs, make sure to grasp as close to the body as possible, then use the leg as a sort of lever to pull off the attached meat. If any crab meat remains, use your fingers or a fork to scoop them out.


You may need to use a crab mallet or cracker to break open the claw’s shell and get at the meat inside. When it comes to claw meat, the larger the crab, the juicer the meat will be.


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