You’ve got lemon wedges, beer, and a table of freshly steamed, seasoned crustaceans. Now what? Bill Breaux, owner of waterside restaurant Schooners ($$$), a favorite in Oxford, Maryland, shares his tried-and-true method.
1. Place crab belly-side up. Twist legs off at base; set aside. With a paring knife, pull back tab-shaped “apron” at its narrow end.
2. Pick up crab with apron pointing up; using thumbs, pull off top shell and discard. Scrape away gills and other inedible contents.
3. Insert thumbs into center cavity and break body in half. Split each half in two again. Extract the meat and eat.
4. Split claws at joints. Place knife on top of claw and tap with mallet to crack claw. Break apart with fingers and pull out the meat.
5. Separate legs at joints and squeeze each section like a tube of toothpaste to withdraw more meat. Still hungry? Give up and order crab cakes.