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Crab cracking 101

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MADISON (WKOW) -- It's still summer out there for a little longer; at least, we hope.  For some during the summer, there's nothing better than some seafood.  However if crab is your go-to, you know the art of cracking it can be tough to master. 

Saturday morning on Wake Up Wisconsin we brought in some of the experts.  Thomas Spencer from Red Lobster joined us live in studio with a demonstration.  Below are some of the steps he went over.  You can see his demo in the video version of this story. 

TIP #1 -- CHOOSE
- King Crab is the largest of Alaska's crab species. It's prized for its leg meat, rich flavor and tender texture. It has large spikes on its shell.
- Snow Crab is known for its large clusters, snowy white meat and delicate flavor.
- Alaska Bairdi Crab is larger in size than traditional Snow Crab. It has a more delicate and sweeter flavor and a tender texture.

TIP #2 -- PREP
Once you've chosen the variety of crab legs you want to enjoy, make sure you have all the right tools.
- Crab cracker -- You'll need this to help crack open the tough shell.
- Cocktail fork -- This will help you get every last bit of meat out of the shell.
- Bowl for empty shells -- You can use a side plate or a part of your plate to keep the shells, too.

TIP #3 -- PULL
Pull each of the legs from the cluster.

TIP #4 -- BEND
Loosen the meat of the leg by bending forward and backward at the middle.
The leg should separate at the middle and easily pull apart.

TIP #5 -- CRACK
Take one part of the leg, crack it in half and pull the shell off to slide the meat right out.
Repeat these cracking steps for each of the additional legs.
The claw is the hardest part of the crab, so use your crab cracker to loosen up the shell. Then, pull out the meat with your cocktail fork!

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