Menu Enter a recipe name, ingredient, keyword...

Maryland Steamed Crabs


Eating crabs in Maryland is a social event. You sit with friends, enjoy a beer or tea, pick your crab, moan when you dunk that giant peace of lump into warm butter and take that bite. We often eat heavily buttered Sweet Silver Queen Corn, but we will take any delish piece of Corn on the Cob. As I said, its a social event, your not trying to get full off eating crabs. Occasionally we will also eat a bowl of crab soup, red or cream. And a hot dog here and there. A great time for all.

We also steam our shrimp the same way, not so much liquid is needed. But we still elevate the shrimp out of the liquid, bring the liquid to a boil, then layer the shrimp and sprinkle on the old bay and cook for four minutes, longer if more layers are used. Say two minutes per each extra layer. If the shrimp is pink, its done. We serve the shrimp with a horseradish Ketchup mixture or butter, and maybe a squirt of lemon.

Marylanders do NOT boil crabs and they mostly eat Male Crabs. They have a strict size limit to catch. Other states are much more lenient.
If you are hosting the gathering, have hot dogs and maybe even hamburgers on hand also.

Google Ads
Rate this recipe 4.7/5 (7 Votes)


  • For The Steaming:
  • Serves 4 people, if your lucky, some eat two or three, some six.
  • Make sure you have crab hammers, or at least the back of a butter knife to break the claws open.
  • 12 Male Blue Crabs as large as you can afford, or can catch
  • 3 cups water(Or three beers or however many beers you are willing to give up, but it still needs to be 3 cups of some liquid)
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 large container of Old Bay or your favorite Spice Mix
  • For Dip: Melted Butter, some people use Ketchup and mayo combined, some like vinegar


Adapted from


Step 1

For Steaming The Crabs:

You will need a large pot with a raised rack to keep the crabs out of the water mixture. I have been known to use wadded-up foil. Add the water and/or Beer and vinegar to the pot and bring to a boil.

The depth of the water mixture could vary due to pot size. You may not be able to cook all the crabs at once. While boiling watch the level of water in your pot making sure not to boil dry. If you run low remember its equal parts beer and/or water to vinegar.

Carefully layer the crabs in the pot grab from behind. Between each layer of crabs season with the spice mixture you have made.

Steam blue crabs for 20 minutes until done If crabs are extremely large maybe longer, but no longer than 30 minutes.

Allow to rest until the crabs have cooled some and are safe to crack and enjoy.

Ensure you have someone around that knows how to clean a crab and can show you how to do that.


You'll also love

Review this recipe

SHE CRAB SOUP Crab and Horseradish Dip