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Steamed Blue Crabs

Atlantic blue crab, also known as Chesapeake blue crab, is native to the western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. It plays an important role in the economy and cuisine of people in Louisiana, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and New Jersey. 

Blue crab shells have been found in archaeological sites throughout the Chesapeake Bay area, revealing the dietary habits of the Native Americans and early settlers of the 17th and 18th centuries. Today they are typically prepared simply, steamed and lightly seasoned and then cracked open with a wooden mallet.

Recipe Servings: 4

Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free



  1. Place a steamer pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Add beer, apple cider vinegar, ½ cup of Old Bay seasoning, and water, and bring to a boil.
  2. Put a few crabs on the rack in the pot. Then add another layer and more seasoning. Repeat until all are in pot.
  3. Steam over medium-high heat 25–30 minutes, until they turn bright orange with no trace of their original color.
  4. Remove with tongs and sprinkle generously with the remaining ¼ of Old Bay seasoning before serving.

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