Seafood lovers often look forward to a good crab boil. No matter the occasion, cracking open a juicy, meaty crab is thrilling. However, you require the perfect equipment to achieve an ideal crab boil.
Whether you are a seasoned cook or a first-timer, this guide will help you to use the right crab boil equipment. Here are the pieces of equipment that will help you make the best crab boil.
What Equipment Do You Need for a Crab Boil?
You will need several essential pieces of equipment to host a successful crab boil. Here are the elements for a good crab boil with family and friends.
A pot is a critical piece of crab boil equipment. The crabs should fit in the pot and leave extra space, as not having any allowance may deter the crabs from cooking evenly. However, the pot size will also depend on the number of crabs you want to cook.
Additionally, an ideal pot should be made of sturdy material such as aluminum or stainless steel. The pot should also have a tight lid to trap heat and steam from escaping. The trapped moisture will ensure the crabs cook even and stay moist.
Sometimes, a dedicated crab boiling pot will have a built-in filter. If your pot has none, you can use a separate filter to remove the crabs from the boiling water.
A dedicated boiling pot is important since seafood leaves a strong odor that is hard to eliminate.
A propane burner is best suited for outdoor crabs as it provides high heat to cook them evenly. You can set up the burner on a flat surface and place the pot on top of the burner.
Using a burner is advantageous as it allows you to control the heat efficiently. This is crucial when boiling crabs, as you need to maintain a consistent temperature. A constant temperature ensures that the crabs are not undercooked or overcooked.
When choosing a burner, ensure it has a high rating of British Thermal Unit (BTU). The higher the BTU rating, the higher the heat the burner can produce. Additionally, ensure your burner is steady to hold the pot in position.
A food thermometer measures the internal temperature of food. When measuring crab temperature, insert the thermometer bulb into the thickest part of the crab. The temperature should be around 63 degrees Celsius.
Undercooking the crabs can lead to health complications, while overcooking will cause the crabs to be hard and dry.
When seeking a food thermometer, you should seek one with a wide temperature reading. This will allow you to record a wide range of figures.
To access the meat inside the crab, you need to smash open the crab’s shell. A crab mallet is an essential crab boiling equipment, making it easy to crack the shells open.
When opening the shell, gentle taps rather than heavy blows. After opening the surface, you can use the pointed end of the mallet to pick out the remaining meat.
When choosing your crab mallet, consider your comfort and the tool’s durability. When using the mallet, ensure you are careful not to damage the shell or hurt yourself.
A crab fork is a narrow utensil with two thin tines at the end. It will help you extract meat from hard-to-reach areas in the crab.
To use the fork, insert the tines into the crab’s shell and use a twisting motion to loosen the meat. When the meat is loose enough, you can use the fork also to pull out the meat.
When choosing a crab fork, ensure it is steady and made from high-quality materials. The tines should be sharp enough to get into the crab’s crevices. However, it should not be so sharp as to prevent damage to the meat inside.
When boiling crabs, the crab shell absorbs a lot of heat. The heat can cause burns on your hands if you handle the crabs unprotected. Gloves will protect your hands from the steam and sharp crab shells.
When choosing gloves to handle the crab boiling, get gloves made from heat-resistant materials. This could be neoprene or silicone. Despite withstanding high temperatures, those materials will also give you a good grip on your crabs.
For maximum safety, ensure the gloves you select fit your hands comfortably and cover your wrists too. Also, ensure the use of gloves throughout the whole cooking process, as it will ensure food safety and sanitation.
Despite having gloves, you also need tongs to handle the crabs when hot. Tongs are a piece of crab boil equipment that offers you additional safety and a grip on the crabs. Boiled crabs can be slippery, thus making them hard to handle with bare hands.
Tongs are available in various sizes. It would be best to have tongs at least 12 inches long to handle the crabs. This length will give you enough distance between your hands and the boiling water.
When using the tongs, handle the crabs gently to avoid squeezing the shell. Holding the crabs too tight can crack the surface and cause the meat to fall out.
Additionally, you can use tongs to stir crabs, thus distributing the seasoning.
This is an optional piece of crab boil equipment. However, it can be vital in melting butter without burning it. Melted butter makes a dipping sauce for boiled crab. A butter melter ensures that the butter stays warm throughout the meal.
What kind of paper do you use for a crab boil?
Newspapers are used for serving boiled crabs. The crabs are briefly warmed and then tossed on a table covered in newspaper. This acts as a disposable surface and a conversation starter, as you can discuss news on the paper.
What equipment do you need to boil crawfish?
To boil crawfish, you need a large pot, a burner, a basket, an ice chest, and a paddle.
Why do they put eggs in a crab boil?
Eggs are not always added to crab boil. However, when they are, they absorb some seasoning from the boil, making them more delicious. You can then serve the eggs together with the whole crab boil.