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Bon Appetit! How to Eat Stone Crab in 7 Easy Steps

Our favorite food on the planet, stone crab, is one of the most delicious delicacies available. With the season in full swing, you might be tempted to get your fix, especially after the pandemic cut the last season short and a shorter season ahead this year.

If you’re new to the delicacy, a hearty welcome! But you might be wondering exactly how to eat stone crab. It can be a bit fiddly to get the best meat out, but so worth the fuss!

Our guide will take you through the seven easy steps on how to eat stone crab.

But First, What’s So Special About Stone Crab Anyway?

Before we dive into the details of how to eat stone crab, let's take a moment to appreciate what makes Florida stone crab claws truly exceptional. At George Stone Crab, we believe this succulent crustacean deserves the spotlight for many reasons that showcase its uniqueness.

Florida's Coastal Bounty

Florida — with its pristine waters and abundant marine life — has long been renowned for its seafood offerings. Among these treasures, Florida stone crab claws stand out as a delicacy that embodies the essence of the state's coastal cuisine. 

Nestled in the heart of this seafood haven, George Stone Crab is dedicated to bringing you the finest Florida stone crab claws straight from the source.

A Taste of Miami

When you think of Miami, you probably envision vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and a culinary scene that tantalizes taste buds. Florida stone crab is a star player in Miami's gastronomic repertoire, embodying the city's zest for flavor and freshness. 

At George Stone Crab, we take pride in being a part of this culinary legacy, offering you the opportunity to savor Miami's seafood tradition no matter where you are.

The Florida Keys Connection

Our roots run deep in the Florida Keys, where the rhythm of life is set by the tides and the bounty of the sea. It's here that we've honed our craft and cultivated a deep respect for the ocean's gifts. The Florida Keys' influence is evident in every succulent bite of our stone crab claws, ensuring you experience the authentic taste of this remarkable region.

The Freshest Stone Crab Claws

At the heart of our operation is a dedicated fishery where more than 80 skilled fishermen embark on daily journeys to bring you the freshest stone crab claws during the Florida stone crab season. We understand that freshness is paramount, and our commitment to delivering stone crab claws within 36 hours of being caught and cooked ensures that you enjoy the very best.

The Allure of Large Claws

When it comes to stone crabs, size does matter. Our offerings include large claws that promise a hearty and satisfying dining experience. These sizable treasures — brimming with succulent crab meat — are the perfect main course for your seafood indulgence.

Sustainability at its Core

Our commitment to sustainability runs as deep as the ocean itself. We adhere to responsible harvesting practices, ensuring that stone crabs are not killed for their claws. 

Instead, only we take what they can regenerate, allowing these remarkable creatures to thrive and contribute to the ecological balance of the ocean.

How To Eat Stone Crab

Some of how you eat stone crab will depend on how you prepare it. If you order with us, your stone crab will come perfectly cooked and ready to eat. But this isn’t always the case, so we’ll include brief cooking instructions, too.

  1. Boil your crab claw. For the best stone crab claws, this should be done immediately after catching. Boil for about eight minutes, depending on size, and then dip the claw into cold water to stop the cooking process.
  2. Let it cool — it’s best served cold!
  3. You need to crack into your stone crab claw shell. Hold your crab claw in one hand and use your other to strike the shell about three times. Ideally, you’ll want a wooden mallet, but you can use a spoon too.
  4. Flip your stone crab claw over and hit it a further three times.
  5. Remove the meat. Your shell should be cracked and loose enough now that the outer shell pulls off with ease. Use your fingers to peel the shell away from the meat inside.
  6. Hold your crab claw by the pincer and dip into a delicious sauce — we’d recommend homemade mustard sauce.
  7. Dig in!

Tips for a Perfect Stone Crab Feast

As you prepare to indulge in the sumptuous world of Florida stone crab, let us provide you with some valuable tips to ensure your dining experience is nothing short of exceptional. These tips will not only enhance your appreciation for this delectable crustacean but also make the entire process smoother and more enjoyable.

Opt for Freshness

When buying stone crab, prioritize freshness above all else. Whether you're sourcing them from a local fish market or ordering them online, ensure that the stone crab claws are as fresh as possible. Freshness is the key to unlocking the true flavor and succulence of this delicacy.

Size Matters

While larger stone crab claws promise a heartier meal, consider your preferences and the occasion. Our Medium Stone Crab Claws can be an excellent choice for appetizers or pairing with other dishes, while our Colossal Stone Crab Claws are ideal for making a grand main course statement.

The Right Tools

Invest in proper crab crackers and a sturdy seafood mallet to make the cracking process effortless. These tools are essential for ensuring you extract every bit of succulent crab meat without the hassle.

Perfectly Cooked

If you're cooking stone crab at home, timing is crucial. Boil the crab claws immediately after catching them, ensuring they cook for about eight minutes (adjusting for size) before swiftly dipping them in cold water to halt the cooking process. The result? Stone crab meat that is tender and perfectly cooked.

Gentle Cracking

When cracking the stone crab claw shell, remember that a gentle approach is key. Avoid using excessive force, as it can lead to small shell fragments clinging to the meat. The goal is to maintain the integrity of the succulent crab meat inside.

Master the Peel

Peeling the shell away from the meat is an art in itself. Use your fingers to delicately remove the outer shell, ensuring you don't leave behind any precious crab meat. A gentle touch will result in pristine, shell-free crab meat.

Dipping Delights

While homemade mustard sauce is a classic choice, don't hesitate to explore other dipping options. Consider pairing your stone crab claws with melted butter, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, or a zesty lemon juice-based dip. These accompaniments can elevate the flavors and add variety to your meal.

When Is the Best Time To Buy Stone Crab?

As we mentioned in our introduction, it’s stone crab season as we write this. Stone crab season starts in October and runs until May. 

It’s important to understand and know about the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) rules. Crabs allowed to be caught and harvested must have larger claws than in previous years. To be exact, they need to be an eighth of an inch bigger. It sounds like nothing in terms of eating them, but it’s all in an effort to trap more sustainably.

The change means many crabs that would have been harvested in previous years will no longer be allowed for harvesting. This means these crabs will be allowed to grow for an additional season, giving larger and better claws the following year.

Much of this new interest in sustainability is because of the way stone crabs are harvested. Still a little-known fact, stone crabs generally aren’t actually killed for their claws. Crabs have the ability to regenerate their claws and other tissues.

This means when stone crabs are harvested. Usually, it’s just the claws being taken. Fishermen are allowed to take both claws, but taking both stops crabs from being able to feed and protect themselves as successfully.

Due to the growing popularity of stone crabs and the way they can sometimes be unsustainably harvested, the FWC has brought in these new regulations to ensure we can all keep enjoying great stone crabs for years to come.

What To Serve With Stone Crab Claws

Though we’d eat an entree of nothing else but stone crab claws, we realize it’s not for everyone. So, if you're looking to round out your stone crab feast with some tasty companions, here are some mouth-watering suggestions:

Seafood Salad

Consider putting together a light and refreshing seafood salad. It's a fantastic way to balance the rich flavors of stone crab claws with some crisp greens and a variety of other seafood. Think of adding shrimp, scallops, or even some grilled grouper to create a delightful seafood ensemble.

Surf and Turf

For a bit of culinary indulgence, why not pair your stone crab claws with a sumptuous turf counterpart? A perfectly grilled filet mignon or a juicy ribeye steak can provide a satisfying contrast to the sweet and succulent crab meat, offering a delicious combination.

Selection of Wines and Beers

To complement your stone crab feast, select a few wines and beers known to pair well with seafood. A crisp white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc can enhance the freshness of the crab meat, while a light and citrusy beer can be a refreshing choice.

Where To Buy Stone Crab Claws

We believe that the best stone crab claws are never frozen. That means we have a dedicated team of more than 80 fishermen bringing in the freshest stone crabs from the season. We pack and deliver all our claws in less than 36 hours of being caught and cooked and get them to you overnight within the US and Canada.

Now that you know how to eat stone crab, you can order your stone crab claws with us while they’re still in season.

Sources:

Miami Nice: Food City Of The Year | Forbes

What is Sustainability? | Sustain

The importance of ocean management: balancing economy and nature | UNESCO

Matching Wine with Food | The International Wine & Food Society (IW&FS)

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