Your new little crustacean buddy will come to you fully cooked with all of its guts and crabby bits still inside. Some people like to eat that yucky stuff and call it “butter.” I call it yucky stuff, so you can probably guess where I stand on the issue. I gutted and cracked my crabs on a big plate, using a bowl to collect the innards. I would recommend covering your counter with newspaper to make clean-up easier. Crab goes from smelling great to smelling awful pretty quickly, so you want to thoroughly clean up after you are done eating. You will need a knife, a fork, and a hammer or crab cracker to get to the good stuff.
Start by placing your crab on its back. This is also the best way to store a cooked crab before you eat it. More juice stays inside the body, and therefore the meat, if the crab is stored on its back.
Here comes the fun part! Slice that sucker in half with a big shiny knife. It’s pretty easy to do and shouldn’t take too much force.
It’s about to get real. Pull the big solid piece of shell off the top of each side. There will be some gnarly looking stuff in there and a lot of briny juice. You don’t want to eat anything that comes off inside the big piece of shell.
My strategy is to scrape off anything that isn’t fluffy white crabmeat with a fork.
Then I snap off the mouth appendages.
After the scraping and snapping, you should be left with two pieces that look like this. I prefer cracking the crab with a hammer and then picking out the meat. I try to crack each joint in two places. It makes the meat easier to pull out in large pieces.