Stone Crabs are characterized by their plump, hard, stone-like claws with black tips. These crabs are distinct from others because they can fully and quickly regenerate their claws. Therefore, anglers only take the claws of stone crabs when caught and return the crustaceans to the water to regrow their claws for the next season.
The meat from stone crab claws are a delicacy, and are notable for their sweet, tender, and flavorful taste that is comparable to lobster. There are a few ways to cook stone crab claws--boiling, steaming, grilling, or baking. You can’t go wrong with any option you choose. Just be sure to buy your claws fresh, never frozen.
Boiling: The Most Common Way to Cook Stone Crab Claws
Start with about 2 ½ pounds of stone crab claws. This will yield about 1 pound of stone crab meat.
- Fill a pot with water and season your water with 3 - 4 pinches of salt.
- Put the pot on medium-high heat and let the water come to a rolling boil.
- Add the stone crab claws to the pot and let the water come back to a boil.
- Once you have reached the boiling point, cover the pot and reduce the burner to medium heat.
- Let the claws simmer for 8-10 minutes until they have turned a potent, pink/orange color.
- Remove the pot from the heat and drain the water. Rinse the claws with cold water.
- Gently crack the shell of the claws to remove the meat from inside and enjoy!
Stone crab claws are best served with butter or cocktail dipping sauce. The dish pairs nicely with a basket of french fries, corn, potatoes, or coleslaw. You could also take it a step further and make a “lobster” roll, subbing the lobster meat with the crab meat.