Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 dozen
  • Category: seafood
  • Method: steamed
  • Cuisine: American


These steamed blue crabs are the best you’ll ever have! Steamed Maryland style with lots of Old Bay and a few family secrets to make them extra delicous.

This is not a recipe per se as much as it is a method. Your amounts will depend on how many people you’re serving, how big of a pot you have, and how much seasoning you prefer.


  • cheap beer
  • white distilled vinegar (or whatever you have on hand – not balsamic, though)
  • As many crabs as you want (about 3-6 per person is a good start, depending on size)
  • plenty of Maryland crab seasoning, such as Old Bay, plus more for serving
  • melted butter, for dipping (optional)


  1. Add about 1 inch of half beer and half vinegar to the bottom of a large steamer pot. If you don’t have a steamer pot, you can place a rack on the bottom of the largest pot you have. Bring the liquid to a boil, then add a layer of crabs. Be careful, they’ll put up a fight! Sprinkle the crabs liberally with Maryland crab seasoning, then add another layer of crabs and repeat until you can’t fit any more. Cover and steam for about 10-15 minutes, depending on size. Larger crabs will take closer to 15, and smaller crabs closer to 10.
  2. Line a big table with newspaper or brown paper bags, then dump the steamed crabs out on top. Serve immediately with extra old bay, melted butter, corn on the cob and roasted potatoes (optional) and plenty of ice cold beer (not optional).


  • Maryland blue claw crabs are certainly the preferred variety, but any type of crab will work. Adjust cook time as needed.

Keywords: crabs, boil, steam, seafood, shellfish, beer, vinegar, the best, Chesapeake, maryland