This seafood seasoning is generally used on Blue Crabs, but it is equally great to use of fish filet’s, shrimp, clams or even grind the seasoning into mashed potatoes. These days you can even buy potato chips seasoning with “Crab Seasoning”.
NOTE: To review and/or select the meat you wish to use, please refer to the “Recommendation Guide to selecting your beef, pork, chicken, turkey or seafood” PDF, located in the Recipe link in the heading at the top of the Home page.
1) For steamed Blue Crabs, which is the preferred cooking method, spray a little cooking oil all over the crabs, so the spice seasoning can stick to the crabs and allow the spices to bloom (open up the flavors) during the steaming process. Remember, you are steaming, NOT boiling the crabs in water. When you boil anything, the flavors of the food you boil, end up in the water, which you don’t use, thus wasting all those flavors. Steaming food keeps a much larger majority of the nutrients and flavor in the food.
2) If you are going to cook fish, shrimp or even chicken, spray or rub a little oil over the entire surface of your food. Let it rest under refrigeration for at least 20 minutes before cooking. Roast, grill or sauté as you normally would.
NOTE: It is best to use fresh live crabs, because when they die they spoil very quickly. Also, do not store then in water as they will suffocate.
3) Grind a generous amount of Maryland Seafood Seasoning all over the crabs or fish, Figure 1, below. If you prefer not to grind the seasoning, you can just pour it all over the crabs, it’s not a crime, but grinding the spices opens up the spice flavors. Additionally, if you have a lot of the Maryland Seafood Seasoning to use, you can pour the spices into an electric grinder for faster results.
NOTE: One word of caution, these rubs are self-contained, meaning that they already have salt in them in the proper ratio to the spices and herbs, so don’t overdo it with grinding the rubs or add any additional salt.
Figure 1. Raw Blue Crabs with Maryland Seafood Seasoning.
NOTE: Always buy your meats from a quality reputable stores. Keep all meat under refrigeration as much as possible during preparation. Don’t leave any meats out at room temperature for more than 30 minutes, except when you are ready to cook it. Then let it just reach room temperature prior to cooking, but don’t let time exceed an hour. Food safe guidelines recommend that any proteins (meats in this case) are not exposed to the “Temperature Danger Zone” (40 F. to 140 F) for more than 4 hours for its entire journey to you cooking it. We are informing you of these food safety guidelines, because we want you to have a wonderful flavorful safe food experience, every time.
4) Prepare a steaming pot large enough to hold the crabs and add half water and half cider vinegar into the pot. Bring to a boil.
5) Steam the crabs covered for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how many crabs you have in the pot. They will turn bright orange when they are cooked and have firm white meat.
Figure 2. Blue Crabs steaming on a large double boiler pot.
6) Carefully remove the crabs with tongs and serve with melted butter, disposable table cloth, bowl for empty shells, crab claw crackers, a small wood mallet, cocktail forks, lemon wedges and more Maryland Seafood Seasoning. A messy process but worth the flavor and fun. Serve with French fries and coleslaw, if you like.
7) There is an entire process for taking off the top shell, removing the gray lungs on both sides of the body, remove the under flap and break the body in half to expose the meat. Depending on the size of the crabs, the smaller ones don’t have much meat the legs, but there is some in the claws.
NOTE: Our Recommendations of crab size: Buy the largest ones you can find or afford. The larger they get more expensive per pound they are, but the rewards of all that tender rich crab meat are worth the price. The smaller ones are the same amount of effort, but much less prized rewards of crab meat.