Preparing Live Crab

Helpful hints to assist the preparation of Irish brown crab.

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For welfare and quality reasons, it is best to euthanize the crabs before cooking. Irish processors already use advanced electrical stunning technologies to humanely euthanize the Irish brown crab that they handle.

For consumers there are two common ways to humanely euthanize Irish brown crab at home.

Freezing

Place the Irish brown crab in a freezer for 30 minutes.

Pithing

First turn the Irish brown crab onto its back with its legs upward.

Underneath, towards the back of the shell, you will see a small pointed flap.

Lift this flap and you will find a small hole in the shell.

Using a small screwdriver pierce down through this hole, with a sharp tap on the top of the screwdriver, until you feel it hit the other side of the shell.

Move the handle of the screwdriver sharply towards the back of the shell then withdraw it.

Finally turn the Irish brown crab right side up and allow it to drain.