Frequently Asked Questions


How fast is the Crack'n Crab Cleaner?

While everyone is different, we are able to clean a dozen crab (Oregon limit) in under 5 minutes.

Can anyone use the Crack'n Crab Cleaner?
Yes, the Crack’n has a 2 crab learning curve.  The first crab you clean you will “smack” to lightly and you will need to smack it a second time.   The next one you will “smack” too hard and break halfway thru the back shell. By the third crab you will be an expert.
Is there any crab meat lost by using the Crack'n?
No. We have tested this many times and no meat is ever lost.  If you watch the video on the home page you will notice we “shake” the crab half over the cutting board and only guts and lungs are expelled.
What are the benefits of cleaning your crab before your cook it?

The first and foremost benefit is to reduce the chance of domoic acid poisoning by removing the viscera from the cooking process. Also, when you clean your crab first and rinse the crab halves you can put them in a Ziploc bag, place them on ice and transport them home without the concern that they might die. You can also fit more crab in the cooking pot, many times this means you only need to cook one batch.

Why should I clean my crab before I cook them?
The best answer we have for this is a paragraph from the Oregon Department of Agriculture
Website. “It is always recommended you eviscerate the crab and discard the “butter” (viscera or guts) prior to cooking. When whole crab are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach into the cooking liquid. It is recommended you discard the cooking liquid, and do not use it in other dishes, such as sauces, broths, soups, stews, stocks, roux, dressings, etc. The consumption of crab viscera is not recommended.” 
Should I rinse my crab after cleaning?
Absolutely, rinse thoroughly with fresh water.  if you don’t rinse them you may see a black edge on the shell where they were split.  This is only a cosmetic thing and does not affect the taste.
What are the advantages of steaming over boiling?

• When boiling crab whole you only get about 8 whole crabs into a standard turkey cooker basket vs steaming the crab halves after cleaning, you can get your full limit of 12 in the same basket.
• It takes 45 minutes or so to get a full cooker of water boiling vs about 5 minutes to get 1-2” of water steaming.
• Boil overs are rare.

How do I steam crab?

1. Heat 2-3 inches of water into a large pot. Add any seasoning you like except salt as it does not evaporate in steam. Bring solution to a steaming boil.
2. Steam crab halves for 18-20 mins.
3. While the crab are steaming, prepare a container of salted ice water large enough to quench all the crab. Salt the cooling water with as much salt as dissolves. We use Sea Salt. The salt will lower the temperature of the cooling water as well as adding a nice salty flavor to the crab.
4. After steaming, immediately submerge the crab in the salty ice water until all the crab is cool to the touch. Quick cooling crab stops the cooking and helps release the meat from the shell making it easier to pick.

Should I keep my fingers away from the live crab pinchers?
Yes, Avoid at all costs. Anyone who doesn’t already know this should contact their elected officials and complain about our education system. Every American should know this…Seriously
Do you think this would work on the Blue crabs found in Gulf Coast and East Coast waters?

 YES, we have sold many Blue Crab Crack’n Crab Cleaners to folks cleaning Blue Crab and they all love it. The only difference is the Dungeness Crack’n Crab Cleaner gauge is designed to measure 5 3/4″, 6″ and 6 1/4″. The Blue Crab Crack’n Crab Cleaner will measure 4 1/25″ and 5 1/4″. Other than size they both work the exact same way.

I broke one of the black plastic clips that hold my gauge to the base. How do I get a replacement?

The black clip is an Automotive Panel Retainer and is available at most auto parts stores.  Here is a list of retailers we found carry them. 

Ace Hardware  P/N 58446-B,  Lowes P/N 881202,  Knechts P/N 45490,  Stuarts Auto Parts P/N 45490,  Auto Zone  P/N 963-058D,  O’Reilly Auto Parts P/N 5625PK (25 pack),  Napa P/N 665-1125 (13 pack)

Note: you might also ask at your local Body Shop because these are Automotive Panel Fasteners which they all use.  you might be able to get one or two if you ask.