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Photo: Tara Sgroi; Styling: Angie Mosier Photo by: Photo: Tara Sgroi; Styling: Angie Mosier

Cracked Crabs

Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 5 minutes. Bring all the creekside spirit of a crab crack indoors, if you have a long table covered with plenty of newspapers and friends keen on eating well! It's not unusual for Ted and Matt to order upwards of 200 live blue crabs for their crab crack parties. Because you have to cook the crabs in batches, we've scaled the recipe down to 12, so you can prepare them easily on a cooktop.

Coastal Living NOVEMBER 2009

  • Yield: Makes 1 dozen


  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 live blue crabs
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce


1. Combine first 5 ingredients and 1 gallon water in a large stockpot over high heat. Bring to a rolling boil. Add crabs, and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until bright orange-red. Remove crabs with skimmer or tongs, and let cool slightly.

2. Stir together butter and hot sauce; serve on the side with boiled crabs.


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Cracked Crabs Recipe