How-to Crack & Clean Cook Hard-Shell Crab

Twist off claws and legs. Use a nutcracker or crab mallet to crack the joints and shells and pick out meat with a seafood fork.

Place the crab upside down on its top shell. Using your hands, pull the tail flap (apron) up and off, and discard.

Turn the crab over and lift off and discard the top shell.

Return the crab to its back; scrape off feathery gills on each side, the internal organs and the jaw.

break the crab body in half and pick meat out with your fingers or a lobster pick.