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Jul 16, 2008 09:31 PM

ordering blue crabs online?

hello all,

i posted on the boston board as to where i could find a place that would sell me a bushel of blue crabs for a crab boil that my friends and i want to have. i wanted to post here to see if anyone had any experience with any of the online sources. do they come live or are they already cooked? live is preferred. i live in boston.

thanks everyone!

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  1. I don't know about ordering online, but I've lived in Baltimore all my life. You do not want them already cooked. You def need to steam them yourselves. And I'm not sure what you mean by boil. I've had crawfish down south that were boiled. In MD, we do not boil, but steam crabs. I think boiling them would make them very watery and soggy. To steam, you need a very large stock pot with a strainer-type basket that sits in the top. Fill the bottom with a little water, and keep the crabs in the basket out of the water. Throw tons of Old Bay on them, put the lid on and steam away. As far as prices, down here we just got 3 doz med-large for $104.

    I did find these links:

    4 Replies
    1. re: carey24

      that's how i was planning on preparing them. though i add some beer to the water for a little extra something. i've only heard of such a feast referred to as a "boil" even though there was no boiling involved. maybe i should have said "crab fest". the same thing holds true up here in new england where we refer to a lobster feast (with clams, chorizo, mussels, corn, and a hole in the ground) as a "bake" or a "boil", though it's all steamed and nothing's really baking or boiling, except for the water i suppose.

      anyway, thanks for the links!

      1. re: rebs

        It's the best with 1/3 white or cider vinegar, 2/3 water -- bring to boil; throw crabs in steamer basket; then -- like carey24 says - throw tons of old bay on them. steam for 25-30 minutes. Voila.
        I'm a Baltimore lifer too and I steam crabs regularly.

      2. re: carey24

        < "I think boiling them would make them very watery and soggy.">

        Boiling does NOT make them in the least "watery or soggy."
        It is the preferred method in the Gulf Coast region which has the IDENTICAL blue crab, Callinectes sapidus, found in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic Seaboard from New Jersey south through the Carolinas to Florida, along the entire Gulf Coast and in the inland waterways.

        Steaming vs. boiling is a matter of individual taste. In the Chesapeake Bay and Tidewater area of Virginia, people prefer to steam crabs and eat them hot. In the South, they are boiled and eaten cold.
        Both ways are excellent as long as they are done well.

        There is a high mortality rate for live crabs that are shipped long distances. Make sure to discuss this with the vendor from whom you purchase the crabs. You may be able to find a local wholesaler in your area who handles live crabs if you live in a large metropolitan area.

        1. re: MakingSense

          I also grew up eating boiled crabs served cold here in Texas. They are not watery or soggy, just firm and sweet. I have taken to eating both hot and cold, the hot ones fresh out of the pot while the others chill.

      3. Maryland is famous for their blue crabs and I would definitely investigate carey's links.

        Just thought I'd mention this link

        Kyle LeBlanc's Crawfish. We ordered 60lbs of mudbugs from these guys, had it shipped to upstate NY, then the 'ole smuggle shuffle over the border and voila a wonderful crawfish boil party.

        They also have crabs, live or cooked. They advertise live ones ranging from $2.95 to $4.45 per pound (minimum 45lbs), but call; when we ordered, the crawdads were cheaper than their website showed.

        BTW, Shipping costs will bulge your eyes...

        1. Check this site and places that will ship live and/or steamed