First, pull off claws and legs. Break legs and check for meat. Some like to save the claws for last because they are very sweet in flavor, although the “lump” meat from the body is prized most.

Next, turn the crab on its back. You will see an elongated part of the shell that looks like a “T.” Some call it the key, even though it doesn’t look very much like one. Pull the key back, breaking it off, which makes the rest of the shell easy to remove.

Now the body of the crab is shell-less. You will now see the long rib-like strips on either side of the cavity. Pull them off, and you will more easily be able to break the crab in half. When you do this, you will most likely now see a good amount of white, fleshy “lump” crab meat.

Continue opening the small sections to expose more meat. You will not need mallets or hammers for this. When you are ready for the claws, break them in half at the joint. Take a wooden mallet and whack the large half hard.