The West's best seafood

Our guide to healthy, sustainable choices from the West's amazing bounty

Dungeness crab 101

If you’ve never cooked live crabs, it can seem a little intimidating. But our paper-bag method for getting the critters in the water helps things go smoothly


dungeness 101 bag
Alex Farnum

More on how to cook

3. Holding bag near bottom, gently pour crabs into boiling water (tongs don’t always give a steady grip) and cover pot. Cook, lowering heat to a simmer once water is boiling again: 15 minutes for 1½- to 2½-lb. crabs, 20 minutes for bigger ones.

4. Lift crabs out with tongs and rinse with cold running water until cool enough to handle.


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