Richard’s Steamed Crabs
To steam crabs, use a large boiling pot (same as you would use to boil crawfish). In the bottom of the pot, place a shelf or basket with legs that will keep crabs 4” to 5” from the bottom of the pot.
Pour water in the pot until it reaches the platform (approximately 4” to 5” of water). Add juice from 1 large jar of kosher dill pickles and 1 bottle of beer (your favorite brand). Place 1 layer of live crabs in the bottom of the basket. On top of the crabs, sprinkle a large handful of rock salt, a liberal quantity of black pepper and a liberal quantity of seasoning (I like McCormick’s Bay Seasoning, but any local brands of powdered crab boil may be substituted as long as it is very spicy). Add another layer of crabs and repeat the above procedures with seasonings until the desired amount of crabs have been placed in the pot.
Cover the pot so that it is sealed tightly. I have found the only way to seal large boiling pots satisfactorily is to place a large piece of cardboard on top of the pot and then place the lid on top of the cardboard. This seals the pot very well.
Turn the butane burner up very high, so the pot boils and the steam rises and covers the crabs. Steam the crabs for approximately 16-20 minutes—once the steam has covered the crabs depending on the size of the crabs.
Remove crabs from pot and allow crabs to cool slightly before serving.