Frequently Asked Questions

Blue Crabs

How do I eat Blue Crabs?

Blue Crabs

How do I eat Blue Crabs?

Take your steamed blue crab, whose shell now has an orange color and flip it so its belly is up. Find what is known as the tab or flap on the belly of the crab. The tab on a male crab looks like the 'Washington monument' and the flap on a female is wide and looks like the 'top of the U.S. Captital'.


  1. Pry this tab or flap up with the point of a knife; then tear it off and discard it.
  2. Using your thumbs, separate the top and bottom of the shell. The bottom part contains the entire body of the crab, which will be picked in the following steps. The top half of the shell will contain nothing except a small amount of yellow substance; which believe it or not is edible and referred to by many as the mustard or the tomalley.
  3. Next, remove the lungs, which are sometimes called the devils fingers. Remove them by pinching them between your thumb and the side of your knife using a scraping pulling motion. Remove and discard the lungs from the left and right side of the crab. Do not eat the lungs of the blue crab.
  4. Grip the crab so that you have one side of the crab in each hand; bend each side down or up until it is broken into two halves also called clusters.
  5. Now that you have two clusters with each consisting of a claw, three legs, and a back fin, you are very close to finally picking the much anticipated meat. First, locate the back fin, which is the small swim fin located opposite the claw on each one of the two clusters. Using your thumb and index finger, squeeze the back fin lightly just above the joint to the inside of the body. Then, gently pull with a very easy twisting motion, removing the most desired meat on the crab. It should still be connected to the back fin, which may have a little bit of the thin white shell surrounding the meat that can easily be removed revealing the white fluffy meat.
  6. Now, take the remaining part of the cluster, which is now minus the back fin and squeeze the inner part of the crab shell. Be sure to not crush it; rather, just crack it enough to allow the meat to separate from the shell so that it can slide out in the next step. This cracking of the crab is a skill that takes practice over time due to the fact that every crab shell is of different hardness, depending on the crabs individual stage in the molting process.
  7. Once the body of the crab has been cracked and squeezed, you can now take your knife, and between the squeezed parts, cut down the centers of each chamber, just down to where the legs fasten to the body. Now, we did not remove the legs yet; but did however, loosen up the innards, also known as the meat of the crab. By squeezing and making a little slit with the knife, we will pull the legs out gently; and if lucky, all the meat will be hanging from the base of the leg. If you are not so lucky, just pick the meat out with the point of your knife. Even with practice, the meat will not always come out perfectly attached to the leg.
  8. After getting the biggest, easiest pieces out of the body as in Step 7, use the point of your knife and fingers to separate the rest of the thin white shell cavities that make up the inside of the crab. This step is the most time consuming and unrewarding part of your picking experience in that the pieces of meat get smaller and are more difficult to remove. However, there is plenty of meat remaining to be worth your while.
  9. Finally, eat the much awaited claw meat! To get to the claw meat, you hold the claw straight out it with the joint extended, bending it back opposite to the way the joint naturally bends. Then, with a mallet of the handle of a knife, strike the center of the claw. This requires the most skill and practice to master because you want to only crack the shell 1/4 of the way through, just enough to remove the shell from the large fluffy meat without pulverizing the shell into the meat. Once the large fluffy chunk of meat is revealed, pinch the cartilage at the widest side of the meat carefully not to bit off the cartilage while pulling it out, leaving the piece of claw meat in your mouth.
  10. Lastly, the remaining six legs of the Maryland blue have very little meat and are often discarded while there are other people who will ask for any leg that may have broken off in the pot during steaming, so they can savor each little morsel. If this is you, then simply focus on the thickest part of the leg between the joint that was fastened to the body and the next knuckle moving toward the tip of the leg. Snap and remove that knuckle and small remaining segments, and in your hand will be the remaining largest segment of the leg. Snap the joint side that would have connected to the body, and slide out the tapered sliver of meat and consume.


Soon you will be eating The candy of the Chesapeake like a pro. Remember practice makes perfect!

Soon you will be eating The candy of the Chesapeake like a pro. Remember practice makes perfect!

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Website Questions:

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  2. How do I delete items from my shopping cart?
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Shipping Questions:

  1. How do I track my order and check its status?
  2. How soon will my order be shipped?
  3. When can I expect my order?

General Questions:

  1. How can I contact you directly?
  2. What do I do if there is a problem with my order?
  3. What is your return policy?
  4. When will I receive an email confirmation of my order?

How do I add items to my shopping cart?

Once you have selected the item(s) that you want to add to your shopping cart, simply select the quantity you wish to order and then hit the Add To Cart button to add the selected item to your shopping cart. At this point, you can continue shopping or check out.

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Delete unwanted items from your shopping cart by clicking on the "X" button located on the right side of the item in your shopping cart.

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If you forget your password, click on the "Forgot Password" link. Once you type in your email address at the prompt new login key will be sent to you. Click the link in the e-mail to sign in, and then change your password.

If you still cannot log on to the site, let us know by emailing us at customerservice@bluecrabtrading.com and we will reset your password for you.

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How do I track my order and check its status?

Our site features live online order tracking. When you place an order, you will receive an email order confirmation which will contain a link so you can check on the status of your order. You can also go to the My Account section of our website and use your order number to check the status of your order.

If you have any questions regarding tracking, please email us with your order number at customerservice@bluecrabtrading.com or call us Toll free at 1-800-499-CRAB (2722).

How soon will my order be shipped?

We pride ourselves on prompt and accurate shipping of all orders. Depending on your selected delivery date, orders received by 3PM EST Tuesday through Friday are shipped the same day. Weekend orders and orders placed on Friday after 3PM will be shipped on Monday.

When can I expect my order?

All perishable orders are shipped overnight.  Delivery date will be selected by you when you place the order.

Next Day/Expedited Delivery

UPS Next Day delivery by 10AM is available for an additional charge. At final checkout, you can select this shipping option and the cost will be automatically calculated for you. Please note that delivery times for UPS Next Day delivery by 10AM refer to business days only and excludes weekends and holidays.

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How can I contact you directly?

Contact us by phone or email.

Hours: Monday through Friday 10 AM - 7 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM to 4 PM EST. 

To Place an Order

By Phone: Call us Toll free at 1-800-499-CRAB (2722) if you are calling from the U.S. or Canada. 

Customer Service

We are here to help! If you’ve already placed an order and have questions about it, require assistance from our Customer Care staff  email us at customerservice@bluecrabtrading.com.

By Phone: Call Customer Service Toll free at 1-800-499-CRAB (2722).

What do I do if there is a problem with my order?

If you have an issue, we want to make it right! Please email us at customerservice@bluecrabtrading.com with a description of your specific question or issue. We typically answer all emails within 24 hours or call us Toll free at 1-800-499-CRAB (2722) and we will be happy to assist you.

What is your return policy?

Due to the nature of our business and the products, we offer, items purchased through the BlueCrabTrading.com website cannot be returned. Blue Crab Trading Co. strives to ship the absolute freshest seafood available anywhere. Every item we sell is carefully inspected before it is packaged and shipped. When your order leaves our facility, it is packed with more than enough refrigerant to prevent spoilage. If our seafood arrives damaged, please contact us immediately. If your order is spoiled or damaged due to negligence by Blue Crab Trading Co., we will replace it free-of-charge. If the size or quality of your order order should come into question please take photos of the crabs next to a ruler or tape measure from point to point and email them to customerservice@bluecrabtrading.com.We will not review any case without photo documentation.All concerns must be received within 48 hours of delivery. 

If you receive an order that you suspect is spoiled, contact us immediately and please do not discard of any suspected spoilage or damaged products until a representative from Blue Crab Trading Co. is contacted. We may request that you return them to us for inspection.

Since Blue Crab Trading Co. offers nearly all perishable products, shipping ALL our seafood in the freshest condition takes thought and careful planning. We've come up with our own fresh gel pack system that keeps perishables cool in transit for up to 48 hours. We take care to arrange your seafood in specialized boxes designed to keep your order in the freshest possible condition upon arrival. We are dedicated to providing you with the freshest hard shell crabs and seafood on the web, therefore, if you have any questions about our Return and Refund Policy, please feel free to call us Tollfree at 1-800-499-CRAB (2722).

Since crabbing is depended on conditions beyond our control Blue Crab Trading Co. reserves the right to pack and equivalent dollar amount of crabs to fulfill orders.

When will I receive an email confirmation of my order?

You will receive an email confirmation within a few minutes of placing your order on our website.

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