Crab claws have such succulent, tender meat, and the meat is buttery on its own. Once you get your hands on the claws, you have many ways to cook them up. Even though cooking the stone crab claws is not necessarily a daunting task, there are some important notes for timing. Otherwise, the meat coming out will not be in a pleasurable texture. This writing will show you everything you can do to cook these little beauties. It is thus the most comprehensive guide on how to cook the stone crab claws properly you ever found.
When receiving the package of stone crab claws, there are something you need to do before actually cooking them. Also, as the claws are actually pre-cooked when shipping, you don’t want to overheat them for too long. Otherwise, you will ruin the flavor of the crab meat. And these things are to maintain the freshness of the shipment.
- Remove the stone crab claws from the plastic bags/ wraps
- Rinse the crab claws thoroughly under the cold running water
- Leave them dry for about 10-15 minutes before putting them in a large bowl
- Add cold water and 1/3 bowl of ice cubes or leave the bowl in the fridge at least one hour before cooking. The stone crab claws should be in under 40°F temperature.
How to cook stone crab claws
Despite the diversity of the sauce recipes, there are three major ways to cook the stone crab claws. Below are the detailed instructions for them.
This method is an excellent way to keep the crab meat juicy and succulent. It also creates a beautiful water texture to the meat. Most people prefer not to season the claws before boiling/steaming. Instead, it is preferable to serve the meat with sauce after boiling/ steaming.
What you need
- Steaming pot/ cooking pot
- 2 cups of wate
Water it in
Put 2 cups of water in a steaming pot. Use the colander if you are using a large pot, it will help to keep the crab claws above the water.
Boil it up
Bring the water to a boil and place the crab claw into the pot. Cover the pot and steam the crab claws for about 10 minutes.
As soon as you smell the crab meat, put off the heat and take the crab out. An important note when boiling/ steaming the crab claws is the appropriate timing. Heating the crab claws for too long will make the meat coming out ruined.
This method is ideal for defrosted crab claws than the frozen ones. The reason is that most of the microwaves tend to provide more heat to the center of the items. Thus, too much time in the microwave can lead to overcooking in the center spots.
What you need
- Microwave-safe plate
- Plastic food wrap
Prepare the claws before heating
Put the thawed stone crab claws on a fit microwave-friendly plate. Place them evenly on the plate to optimize the heat distribution and ensure the even cooking effect. It’s advisable to have no more than one pound of claw for each microwave turn.
Wrap it up
Cover the claws with plastic food wrap, leave one small corner for the steam to escape. This is also to prevent the meat from drying out. Besides covering the claw with food wrap, you can place a wet paper towel on the plate. Then, cover the plate with another wet towel.
Heat and serve
Heat the claws in the microwave at a medium setting for 2 minutes. After heating, serve the dish immediately.
An important note for this method is that for microwave with high power, it’s essential to crack the claw before heating. Otherwise, it’s very likely that the claws will explode.
Baking/Grilling the stone crab claws is a great way to have firm and succulent meat. If you want the meat to be less watery than steaming, boiling, or microwaving, this method is a perfect choice. If you are going to bake the stone crab, don’t forget to preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit degrees.
What you need
- Oven/ griller
- Large shallow pan/ sheet pan and a cup of hot water (for baking)
- Olive oil (for grilling)
You need to place the claws on the shallow/ sheet pan. Avoid stacking them on the pan as this will lead to uneven heat distribution. Thus, it’s better to lay them flat on the plate. Then, put hot water into the pan to cover the bottom and wrap the pan with aluminum foil. Bake crab claws for about 10 minutes.
Simply put the claws on a medium heat grill for about 5 minutes for each side. The temperature for grilling should be between 300 and 325 Fahrenheit degrees. When you are grilling, it's advisable to spread the olive oil on the claws.
Again, it is crucial to check the crab claws when heating them. Baking and grilling can give out sweet meat, but overheating them will make the meat tough and lose the flavor.
Tips for cracking the stone crab claws
- Use a mallet or the back of a big heavy spoon to lightly crack the claws and the knuckles. You don’t really need to use the hammer, it gives too much force and will ruin the meat inside the shell.
- Apply gentle force when cracking the claws, then remove the shells from the claw meat and the meat in the two knuckles.
- Wrap a towel paper onto the claw to be able to hold it more firmly when cracking.
- It’s better to give the claw some whacks on both sides of it. This will help you to peel off the shell easily without damaging the meat.
Cooking the stone crab claws is not a tough task, but you need to put your eyes on it. Steaming, boiling, microwave heating, baking and grilling are all basic cooking ways. But the most important thing in cooking the stone crab claws is the timing. Overheating the meat is what you should always avoid. This writing hopefully offers useful instructions on how to cook stone crab claws properly. Enjoy your cooking!