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Boiling crab in the cockpit - what do you use?
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pcg



Joined: 31 Aug 2018
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City/Region: Sherwood
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:33 pm    Post subject: Boiling crab in the cockpit - what do you use? Reply with quote

Im thinking ahead to how I want to outfit my project boat. We enjoy crabbing, but always bring the catch home to cook and we cook it outside in a big pot on a BBQ grill to keep smells out of the house. Now that we have a boat capable of extended trips on the water, I'm wondering how to cook crab. Id prefer to do it outside in the cockpit to keep the smell out of the cabin. I've thought about installing a small grill in a rod holder mount, but will that be stable enough for a large pot of water? Im curious to hear how others accomplish this.
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have always boiled crab in the cabin. Be cautious with a large burner in the cockpit. I have seen disasters in other boats--but not in a C Dory, with wake, the burner and pot turning over and even a fire resulting--fuel tanks and fuel tank vents are nearby.

I have used a number of barbecue's in rod holder mounts, but they are light weight.

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rogerbum



Joined: 21 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I don't boil, I steam. That takes less water and in my opinion results in a better product. I put a small grate in the bottom of a kettle and will with water to a little lower than the grate. The crab is put on the grate and a lid contains most of the steam. That's light enough, it would work on a rod holder mounted grill.
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DayBreak



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I think crab taste better when cooked in saltwater. We use a heaping 1/4 cup of salt per 1 gallon water. We clean the crabs at the marina, put them on ice and cook them immediately upon arrival at home although you can cook them in the cabin of your C-Dory.

Cooking crabs that have already been cleaned will enable you to use less water on the cook-top, lower the pot total cooking weight and have a quicker cooking time. You will also avoid cooking them in their viscera which may add domoic acid to the cooking liquid.

We have a Burnewiin Mount on our boat used for a davit for pulling crab pots. It is very strong. Burnewinn also has an attachment for this mount to use for a BBQ. I think it would be very strong to support a very large pot to cook your crabs outside on the deck to avoid cooking smells that you mention.

If you go with this Burnewiin Mount, they have a solid rod holder attachment and then you would also have an additional rod holder on your boat.

Gary and Colleen.
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Pat Anderson



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patty here. In the cockpit we use a single burner propane stove and large pot. We bring a large propane tank when we are crabbing rather than using the one pound little ones. Cook 'em whole, clean 'em, bag 'em.
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DayBreak



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patty, I like that. It reminds me of the acronym KISS (Keep it simple stupid). I know you are not calling anyone stupid but what a great idea to just cook the crab on the deck and not spend all that money on equipment to cook the crab on the gunnel.

Thank you!

Gary.
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TyBoo



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All my crabbing is close to home so I have never considered cooking them on board.

Patty - when did you guys decide to start cooking them whole? Pat was always adamant about cleaning them first. To tell you the truth I think he enjoyed pithing the little buggers.

The reason I'm asking is because the other day I got one of those Crack'n Crab Cleaners to try when crabbing starts back up down here and was wondering if you notice the difference in flavor cooked whole vs. cleaned. I don't eat the guts like the Finns do but the old timers say they make the crab meat taste better when cooked whole. I guess we will find out.

The local marine store has a video of the crab cleaner gizmo playing all the time and they finally hooked me. It sure looks like it makes the cleaning easy and less messy, even though it only takes about six seconds to clean a whole cooked one the regular way.

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smckean (Tosca)



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I find crab tastes better when cooked whole; but having said that, I cook them cleaned on the boat. Either way I always cook with sea water.

You need a largish pot, but a really large one is not necessary because on board: I clean the crab over the transom; then break them in half. This way 2 or 3 crabs will fit in a largish pot. It takes too long to boil the water with my butane Japanese cooker, so I use the highest BTU burner (10,000 BTU) I could find which was still small enough to stow easily (see URL below). I use the 1 pound propane cylinder with that burner; I'm not concerned with cost of the cylinders because I refill them at home for about $.50 each.

I cook whole crab at home for 20 minutes once the water starts to boil again after adding the whole crab; I cook the cleaned crab halves on the boat for 12 minutes.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009PUR5E/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
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colbysmith



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm fairly new at this, but have cooked crab on the boat several times. I have a one burner butane stove that I sit in the cockpit or on shore (don't like all the steam in the boat). I also have an old canning pot that can hold several gallons of water. In the past, I'd get water out of the ocean (salt water...), and fill the pot full enough to cover the crabs. However, just this trip I learned it works better to steam them. I just put about an inch of ocean water in the bottom of the pot. Boils much faster and takes a lot less butane. Also, in the past I'd boil the crabs uncleaned, but again, learned it's a lot better process to break the carapace off and clean the crab before cooking. I did cook several crabs underway last week. Placing the butane stove on the cockpit floor. However, the water was calm and I was traveling at hull speed. (6mph). Colby
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Gene Morris



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We catch and cook hundreds of crab every season. We have steamed and boiled crab, cleaned and whole, I can't tell a great deal of difference in the flavor either way. The big advantage is to steam cleaned. Less water "weight" with the steamed crab, whiter meat if cleaned prior to cooking and, you can cook more per pot. If you are going to boil, the whole crab seems to be better because, if they are cleaned prior to cooking a lot of the body meat is lost while cooking. It is entirely dependent on your preference, space available and the number of crab that need to be cooked.
The steam method of whole live crab is noisy due to the crab trying to escape. The cleaning by hand prior to cooking can be a little difficult.

Try it both ways and see which you prefer.

Gene

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RogerJuntunen



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:12 pm    Post subject: Hey TyBoo, "I don't Eat the guts like the Finns do.&quo Reply with quote

Reminds me of a great smelt run on lake Superior! The campfires were going all night along the shore by French River outlet. I was stumbling along looking for some relatives so I asked one campfire bunch if they had seen any Finns. They said, " Ya dem Finns is over dere, Da big campfire, and they been drinking lots and the eats dem shmelt guts heads and all!" (how about that to moose cd22 for the great white North. Juntunen's the name
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TyBoo



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - lets get back to this one.

I still haven't cooked crab on board but I did cook up a batch today after cleaning them first. The taste seems the same but I need to reduce the amount of salt I think. They meat stayed in the shell just fine, even though the crab are not full yet. I would think the softer and less densely filled body sections would be more apt to lose meat while boiling than good firm crab, so as the season goes on they should be even better.

That Crack'n Crab gizmo works really well. Just like they show in the video. We got all 26 crab cleaned, rinsed and the mess cleaned up before the big pot of water was boiling so it saved quite a bit of time since they were done when they were done.

I am still hoping to hear from Patty about why they went from cleaning first to cooking whole. Just curious. I guess I'll needle her a little on the Facebook deal to get her to answer. We'll get in a plug for C-Brats.com while we're at it!

Here is a pic from today's trip. We had two kids with us who didn't fare too well in the bouncy water so we only soaked the pots for an hour. That's why we got 26 instead of 48. Five of the pots had two or three keepers each, but this one was loaded. They all had the same bait and were close together, so this pot was just lucky I guess.

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BrentB



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We steam,too. We catch all of blue point crabs out of the canal in our backyard. I would love to catch stone crabs and cook them in the boat and anchor out
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TyBoo



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems Pat and Patty are in some town in what used to be Czechoslovakia, so I will give her a little more time to answer my question!
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colbysmith



Joined: 02 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice catch. When did the beard come on? Looks good on you. lol.
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