It’s easy to order Maryland blue crab online. Blue crabs, also known as Atlantic Blue Crabs, Chesapeake Blue Crabs and Maryland Blue Crabs, are perhaps the most popular crustacean in the United States. Prized for their flavorful meat, these crabs are sourced along the entire east coast. As a result of its versatility and varied shell densities, the Maryland blue crab can be prepared with a variety of methods.
If you want to order blue crabs online, you’ll first want to compare prices in the below grid. It will show you up-to-date blue crab prices. Read on for our comprehensive Maryland blue crab guide that will tell you all you need to know about ordering blue crabs online– and how to host your very own Maryland crab boil.
Maryland Blue Crabs Prices
|Cameron’s Seafood||$9.49||1/2 dozen||5.0|
|Crab Place||$13.12||1/2 dozen||4.7|
Maryland Blue Crab Sizing
Before you order Maryland blue crabs online, you should have an idea of how blue crab sizing works. Blue crabs for sale at different places might even have different sizing guidelines. For example, here’s how some popular online vendors break down their sizing.
- Colossal Jumbo Male 6 ¼+”
- Premium Large Male 5 ½” to 6 ¼”
- Standard Male 5” to 5 ½”
- Premium Large Female 5 ½+”
- Standard Female 4 ½” to 5 ½”
- Colossal Male 6 ¾+”
- Premium Male 6” to 6 ¾”
- Select Male 5 ½” to 6”
- Standard Male 5” to 5 ½”
- Large Female 6+”
- Medium Female 5 ¼” to 6”
- Small Female less than 5 ¼”
When is Maryland Blue Crab Season?
On the Atlantic coast, blue crab season opens May 1 and continues until November 30. All blue crabs are subject to minimum catch size and seasonal harvest limits. There are currently many initiatives designed to maintain a sustainable blue crab population, as overfishing in previous decades has damaged the once-huge population.
That said, you can expect blue crabs for sale during the summer months. A summer evening is the perfect time for a crab boil. Check out our crab boil how-to guide below.
Blue Crab Shipping & At-Home Safety Check
Maryland blue crab can be purchased live, fresh, and frozen through online vendors. If you order Maryland blue crab online, assess your shipment as soon as it arrives:
- Smell will be the best indicator of freshness; any crab that has a light ammonia smell should not be served.
- If you’re unsure whether your crabs are dead, allow them to warm up slightly. Cold crabs will be very slow and lethargic, but once they warm up, they can more easily display signs of motion.
Fresh crab meat will need to be packaged and shipped almost as quickly as live crabs, but frozen meat will stay good for several months. Be sure to check your provider’s website closely, as this detail will inform the price, freshness, shipping method, and how you should prepare for storing the purchase.
Money-Saving Tips for Buying Blue Crab
Because blue crabs have a very low meat yield, we recommend purchasing pre-prepared crab meat to get the most bang for your buck. That said, nothing matches the freshness of a just-caught Maryland blue crab, especially when incorporated into a traditional crab boil. Learn more about cooking the different types of crab on our main page for buying crab online.
Hosting Your Own Maryland Blue Crab Boil
Because of their strong flavor, low oil content, and sometimes soft shells, the Maryland blue crab can be prepared in a variety of manners. Traditionally, these crabs are boiled or steamed and served up in large servings alongside lemon and butter. Invite some friends and family over, lay down some newspaper, and make a yummy crab boil mess.
Make sure to plan ahead and get a head count before you order Maryland blue crab online. Buying in bulk from online seafood retailers can often save money, so you have our permission to think of hosting a crab boil as a money-saving technique!
What You’ll Need
- Newspaper: Lay newspaper out on the tables. At the end of the night you can fold it up, and your clean-up is done!
- Large Stock Pot: A 44-quart crab boil pot should do the trick. Make sure to purchase a steamer kit or a stock pot basket to cook the crabs.
- Tongs: It is easier and safer to use tongs while moving the blue crab in and out of boiling water.
- Lemon & Drawn Butter: Place these at the table like condiments for the prepared crabs.
- Old Bay Seasoning: No Maryland crab boil is complete without this zingy classic. A must-have.
- Crab Mallets & Knives: These tools can help crack open the cooked crab.
- Beer (optional): For drinking, yes, but some people like to boil their blue crab in beer for extra flavor. A mild lager or ale will do.
- Blue Crabs: … of course!
Preparing Blue Crab
If you order live blue crabs online and want to prepare them traditionally, we suggest boiling them in water or beer for 8-10 minutes or steaming for 10-11 minutes. The timing depends on the size of the crabs.
Watch this video for a step-by-step preparation guide for your Maryland blue crab boil.
NOTE: If you opt out of the traditional hard-shelled crab boil and get your hands on a soft-shelled Maryland blue crab, consider an alternative cooking method. This could include broiling, frying, sautéing, or grilling. You can read general tips for cooking crab here.
Handling Cooked Blue Crab
Many describe Maryland blue crab meat as tasting “crabbier” than other crustaceans. The flavor is stronger than king and snow crab, and it is lightly sweet. Old Bay is the perfect complement to blue crabs’ sweet intensity.
That said, the crab’s sharp edges can cause tiny, stinging cuts when paired with lemon and zesty Old Bay on the outside of the crab. Please handle cooked blue crab with care. Use a crab mallet or knife when necessary.
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