How to Cook Stone Crabs

Bowl of Stone Crab Claws

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Stone crabs are a species native to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. This species of crab is unusual in that it can regenerate its claws; fishermen harvest the stone crab for its claws and throw back the animal to grow more appendages for future harvest. Stone crab claws are cooked immediately after harvest and shipped to markets in a cooked and sometimes frozen state. Cook stone crab at home to reheat the crab meat, and enjoy it with melted better or over salad greens.


Place a steamer basket inside a cooking pot. Add 2 inches of water, and bring it to a rolling boil.

Arrange the stone crab claws in the steamer basket and cook for 2 to 5 minutes to reheat. If you are cooking freshly harvested stone crab claws, increase the cooking time according to the size of the claws. Poke the claws with a sharp knife to determine that the meat has turned opaque and is fully cooked.

Remove the steamed stone crab from the pot. Crack open the shell with a mallet or meat tenderizer, taking care not to burn yourself.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place stone crab claws on a cookie sheet. Claws can remain in the shell or the meat can be removed before baking. Spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray before placing unshelled crab meat on the surface.

Bake the crab claws for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the size and state of the meat. Claws in the shell require more time to heat and may cook for a full 10 minutes. Meat that has been picked from the shell usually requires less cooking time; check for desired warmth after 6 minutes.


Place stone crab claws on a cutting board, and cover them with plastic wrap.

Strike the shell with a mallet, heavy knife or meat tenderizer to crack the shell.

Remove the crab meat with your fingers, and place it on a microwavable plate that has been layered with damp paper towels.

Place another damp paper towel on top of the stone crab meat. The toweling keeps the meat moist during cooking.

Cook the stone crab in the microwave in 10-second intervals. The delicate meat can overcook and dry out very quickly. Large claws cook in the microwave in just 30 seconds.