When you are choosing meat for a meal, you typically think about how much you will need, whether you’ll go organic/grass fed/wild caught, etc., and need to decide if you’ll be getting it from a deli, a butcher, the frozen section, or live. Depending on the type of meat you’re thinking about, certain choices are more preferred than others.
Crabmeat can be bought in various forms:
- Jumbo lump, which is used in salads and seafood cocktails
- Lump meat, which are smaller chunks and is used in crab cakes or pasta salad
- Backfin, which is smaller, broken up chunks from the crab’s body and can be used in soups and dips
- Claw meat, which comes from the legs and claws and is used to make sauces and dips.
You can purchase crab whole, in clusters, in sections, already cooked, or just the raw meat.
When it comes to Dungeness crab meat, buying the live crab and cooking it yourself is always the better and fresher way to go.
Live Dungeness crab is best when bought during crab season, which are the months between December and March---sometimes April depending upon the weather.
Its flavor is sweeter, a little salty, and much more delectable than other types of crabs. You always get a bang for your buck because Dungeness crabs are typically larger than other types as well; this means that the meat-to-shell ratio is higher than other crabs. People describe the flavor as sweet, the texture as medium, and oil content as high.
“Dungeness has a ‘stand alone’ flavor and doesn’t need spices to be enjoyable. We don’t cook our crabs in ‘Old Bay Seasoning’ like they do on the East Coast. If you want more than a dab of melted butter to dip Dungeness in, a light seafood sauce works well, but you don’t want to ‘overpower’ the sweet, delicate flavor with too much of anything.”
He also explains the process of handling, freezing, storing, and shipping processed crab. It’s rather complicated and the fact that crab meat is so perishable, the employees at the processing plants need to be careful to keep the crab meat’s quality and freshness. Once you buy crab meat, it is perishable within 2 to 3 days.
The last thing you want to do is waste your money on frozen crab or crab meat that is not the best quality and doesn’t taste fresh. Your recipes are likely to not have that strong, sweet flavor that live Dungeness has when cooked.
It just seems as if live Dungeness crab is the way to go. It is fresher, has better texture and taste, and you have more control over where it has been and how you are going to handle and cook it. You can find out how to eat Dungeness crab here.
What do you need to do when you purchase live Dungeness crab?
You can cook it immediately, or you can store it for about 6 to 8 hours; but you should try to cook the crab that day. Dungeness crabs are sensitive creatures. They need saltwater and a temperature-controlled habitat. Once that is messed with, they can easily get stressed out or lose weight due to not being fed during the shipping process. You don’t want a stressed out crab! Plan ahead when purchasing live crab at a store or ordering live crab online so that once you receive it, you can cook it and turn it into a delicious meal.
If you are purchasing your live Dungeness crab at a market, follow the these expert tips from CrabTips.com:
“You want to maintain a dark, cool and moist environment to keep the crabs alive. Just keep in mind that the crabs need air too. Do not put them in a sealed container or a cooler with the lid shut. You can keep the crabs in a cooler, just remember to keep the lid cracked open so they can get air. Also a sealed bag of ice on top or on the bottom of the crabs will help keep them cool. If you do this, be sure to keep the cooler tilted and the drain open so the water can run out.”
Did you know that Fathom Seafood has an online store in which you can order live and fresh Dungeness crab and get it shipped to you within 24 hours? It’s so convenient and easy! You don’t need to worry about the handling or storing aspects of buying live crab; employees at Fathom know exactly what they are doing. You just need to be at home to receive the crab and get cooking!
You can choose between whole, live Dungeness crab or live missing leg crabs for a slight discount. Go to their page and shop around. There is a live crab waiting for you!
Go to Fathom and search for a yummy Dungeness crab recipe on their blog then go to the shop section and find the right one for you.
Their live Dungeness crab is definitely better and fresher than any other kind!