When it comes to food, you can consume it in one of two ways. Either you can cook it, or you can eat it raw.
Cooking gives you a chance to add spices and other ingredients to increase the flavor. Eating raw food is still good, but it depends on the food because not all food is created equal.
One kind of food people might eat raw or cooked is crab. In this article, we will discuss whether it’s possible to eat raw crab and what benefits and risks can come about when eating it raw. By the end, you’ll be very informed!
Is It Possible To Eat Raw Crab?
You’ve probably wondered at some point if crab can be eaten raw, and unfortunately, we must be the bearer of bad news. Raw crab is not possible to eat.
One reason for this is that it can cause serious health issues, which we will touch on later.
Another reason is that crab meat isn’t easy to eat raw. A crab has a hard outer shell, much like a lobster, and it’s not easy to get to the soft, fleshy parts that are inside. The best way to get to it is by cooking it.
Even sushi doesn’t eat raw crab meat. They use imitation crab meat that is labeled Krab.
So even in meals that use raw fish in their ingredients, you won’t find raw crab meat because of the issues that exist.
If this doesn’t convince you, then the next section, where we go into the risks of eating crab meat, hopefully, will help you think about it twice.
What Are the Risks of Eating Raw Crab?
There are a lot of risks involved with eating raw crab. Some of them include:
- Crabs have a lot of parasites in them. One of them is a type of lung fluke, and if you end up with one of these in your systems, you’ll end up with lung disease. Symptoms usually show up in about 2 to 15 days. Sometimes, you might end up with meningitis, inflammation of the brain!
- Cholera is another infection that can live inside crabs. It causes an infection in the intestines and causes a lot of diarrhea. First symptoms usually show up around 12 hours and 5 days after the bacteria enters the system.
- One of the more common illnesses that can come along with eating raw crab meat is food poisoning. With this illness, you end up with cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. It can last from a few hours to a few days in some severe cases.
Some of these are more serious than others, but even in those cases, it could always lead to something more severe. One never knows what may happen.
You might be one of those people who end up with one of the rare symptoms or side effects.
The best way to avoid this is to not eat it raw.
How to Safely Store Raw Crab
So, you shouldn’t eat raw crab, but you also shouldn’t eat it undercooked either. The ways to prevent this include:
- Always make sure you know where you are getting your crab from. This will ensure that you are getting the best crab possible. The best way to figure this out is to do your research before purchasing any crab.
- Once you get your crab, it doesn’t mean that you can breathe a sigh of relief because you need to make sure that you are safely storing the crab. If you bought a live crab, keep them in the fridge and use them on the same day. Raw crab meat, if put in the fridge, needs to be used within 24 hours.
- If you are someone who wants to freeze the crabmeat, then you need to make sure they are kept at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that you can always cook them beforehand and then put them in some airtight container or something.
By following these methods, you can make sure that your raw crab is kept safe before you decide to take it out and cook it.
How To Cook Crab
You can’t eat raw crab, but you can cook it and then enjoy that delicious crab meat. To cook crab, you must:
- There is canned crab meat and frozen crab meat, so if you are using canned crab meat, you don’t have to follow these instructions. It’s mostly for people who are buying fresh and live crab.
- First thing you do is drop the crab into the boiling water. Cook it for about 15 to 20 minutes if it’s a 2-pound crab or 8 to 10 minutes if they are smaller than that.
- You will know it is done when the crab’s shell is bright orange. From there, you can eat right away! Well, once it cools, of course.
- A crab can also be steamed. In a large pot or steamer, pour some vinegar, water, and salt. Once the liquid is boiling, put the crabs in the freezer or ice water for 3 minutes. The next step is to put them in the liquid.
- Steam over high heat for 20 minutes. You can take the crabs out once they are bright red or orange.
From there, you can just butter the crab and eat it or use one of the many recipes out there. It just depends on whatever fits your fancy!
And there you have it, all your crab lovers out there. Even though crab is delicious, you can’t eat it raw due to all the risks that are involved.
The best way to eat crab is by cooking it first. This can still come with risks, but as long as you follow some safety precautions when storing your crab, you should be fine.
Cooking live crab can seem a little intimidating so remember it’s always possible to get crab meat in a can or already frozen. It might taste a little different compared to live crab, but it will still be delicious!
You might also be interested in the following:
- Can You Eat Raw Lobster?
- Can You Eat Raw Octopus?
- Can You Eat Raw Scallops?
- Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?
- Can You Eat Raw Tuna?
- Can You Eat Raw Salmon?
- Can You Eat Raw Fish?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.