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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Caught a couple of edibles the other day. I had read that putting them in the freezer was an alternative to boiling water or a needle between the eyes to kill them but they were in there longer than planned - couple of days. I boiled up a large pan of salty water and put them in, waited for it to come back to the boil and gave them about 15 mins (both in same pot).

When I took them out I was surprised to see that one had exuded a lot of pale yellow foam and when I opened it there was hardly any meat. Inside it reinded me of a microwave boiled egg (if you had never done it, don't try now!) The other was better - white meat was firm and intact but the brown meat had pretty much dissolved. Any idea what I did wrong - were they too long in the freezer? Why were they different?

Many thanks
 

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I'd only put the livestock in the freezer for two hours before cooking them, so I don't know if two days is too much, with regard to not having much brown meat, I'd imagine you got crabs that weren't long peeled, that way, all the brown meat that would normally be your new shell coming along, would already be hardened into a new shell.
 

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How long did you cook them for by the way? The brown foam sounds like a typical stock scum that you'd have from boiling for longer periods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They boiled together for 10-15 mins. The brown scum was stuck to just one of the crabs and quite tough - not the normal scum that floated on the water. I wondered if doing two together had upset the boiling process somehow.
 

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Na I did two lobsters there recently in the same pot no harm at all. But it does sound like it's the same type of stock scum that I'm talking about.
15 minutes sounds about right so it won't have been too long.
Don't freeze them for so long the next time, two hours will do.
 

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If they were hard frozen, then boiling for the normal 10-15 minutes is not enough, the inside may not reach its full temerature. I wouldn't fancy thawing uncooked crab either, as bugs could start working. Best to cook fresh, and if you want to put the crabs to sleep 20 mins in the freezer should be enough. All crabs puke out brown scum when they cook, dead or alive. Don't worry about it.
 

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a lot of crabs dont seem to have much in them at this time of year anyway, when caught, squeeze the shell from top to bottom, it needs to be solid. as far as cooking them, dont bother with freezing, just before immersing them peel back the flap, insert a skewer into the small hole, move from back to front a couple of times and it will be dead instantly. i find this also helps stop them shedding legs and drains off any excess liquid when cooked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
a lot of crabs dont seem to have much in them at this time of year anyway, when caught, squeeze the shell from top to bottom, it needs to be solid. as far as cooking them, dont bother with freezing, just before immersing them peel back the flap, insert a skewer into the small hole, move from back to front a couple of times and it will be dead instantly. i find this also helps stop them shedding legs and drains off any excess liquid when cooked.
Thanks for that. Do you know what time of year they are at their best please?
Cheers
 

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a lot of crabs dont seem to have much in them at this time of year anyway, when caught, squeeze the shell from top to bottom, it needs to be solid. as far as cooking them, dont bother with freezing, just before immersing them peel back the flap, insert a skewer into the small hole, move from back to front a couple of times and it will be dead instantly. i find this also helps stop them shedding legs and drains off any excess liquid when cooked.
Here is the voice of experience lol,had my own business producing crab meat for several years.
A crab that has just moulted it's shell is absolutely useless for eating,best way to avoid unnecessarily killing the crab when it is in this condition,,,,, turn it upside down,thumbs on the underside(now the top),gently exert some pressure,if the crab starts flailing it's claws ,put it back the shell is as thin as paper and nothing inside worth eating.A crab in this condition will also look bright and shiny new if you get my meaning.
The yellow gunge is the result of the crab being frozen and expanding,when cooked the meat simply dissolves out thru the joints as there is no longer a seal there.
Worry not about cooking more than one at a time ,i used to cook them in batches of fifty lol.
Dave
 

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ive cooked 100s and the best way l thought but everyone as there own way was to cook them alive never had any probs that way and the same with lobsters.
 

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If you cook them alive they often shed claws and legs. Not a problem for private consumption but it makes it unsellable for the commercials. I always spike 'em in the triangle and it seems to work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here is the voice of experience lol,had my own business producing crab meat for several years.
A crab that has just moulted it's shell is absolutely useless for eating,best way to avoid unnecessarily killing the crab when it is in this condition,,,,, turn it upside down,thumbs on the underside(now the top),gently exert some pressure,if the crab starts flailing it's claws ,put it back the shell is as thin as paper and nothing inside worth eating.A crab in this condition will also look bright and shiny new if you get my meaning.
The yellow gunge is the result of the crab being frozen and expanding,when cooked the meat simply dissolves out thru the joints as there is no longer a seal there.
Worry not about cooking more than one at a time ,i used to cook them in batches of fifty lol.
Dave
Thanks Dave. A useful check and sounds like the most likely explanation for the difference between the two crabs I cooked. I wont freeze them next time either.
Cheers
 

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Thanks Dave. A useful check and sounds like the most likely explanation for the difference between the two crabs I cooked. I wont freeze them next time either.
Cheers
As nemo said ,cook thme from live and start from COLD water,if you put them into hot water they will pop all their legs and claws and you will then need some sweetcorn to go with the resulting soup.
Conversely a lobster goes head first into a very hot bath,if he gets brought to the boil from cold he will shoot his claws
 
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As nemo said ,cook thme from live and start from COLD water,if you put them into hot water they will pop all their legs and claws and you will then need some sweetcorn to go with the resulting soup.
Conversely a lobster goes head first into a very hot bath,if he gets brought to the boil from cold he will shoot his claws
Saw your post after I posted!..That's the way to do it.
 

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Thought you didn't actually freeze them, you chill them in the bottom of the fridge for a couple of hours...same as live Prawn, lobster etc if you want to be humane before bunging them in boiling water
that takes to long just get them right in the pan
 
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