Can You Eat Dead Crabs?

When looking for a perfect diet, there is no alternative to seafood. The plethora of varieties are full of nutrition values, especially for those suffering from obesity. 

When two queries hoist ‘can you eat dead crabs?’ and, ‘how can you prepare dishes with dead crabs?’ we become fuzzy. And yes, don’t worry, you can eat dead crab if it has not started decomposing yet

Today we will enlighten you with the knowledge regarding eating dead crabs and live ones. Furthermore, we have decided to tell you the recipe you can easily prepare at home.

Let Us Find Out Can You Eat Dead Crabs? 

Now it is time for us to understand everything regarding consumption of dead crabs. 

Why Do We Always Find Dead Crabs?

Crabs are fascinating creatures. They use their gills to utilize oxygen and emit carbon dioxide while being in the water. The life of a crab requires both water and soil. 

However, the most vital fact is there are plenty of varieties of edible crabs. And the life span of these crabs differs from one to another. One type of crab can stay alive without touching the water for 2-3 days. 

Related: How To Keep Dungeness Crab Alive After Catching

Meanwhile, another type of crab can’t exceed 6 hours after departing from water. The same rule goes for their calibers.

Can You Eat Dead Crabs?
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Therefore, when we go to a shopping place to purchase crabs, we generally experience frozen crabs or dead ones, especially sea crabs. But, the case is utterly different if we purchase the mud crabs. 

These crabs can stay alive for 40 hours. Consequently, if you purchase mud crabs, you must look for live crabs.

Remember, dead mud crabs are more likely to produce bacteria fast during decomposition than sea crabs. The sea crabs contain an adequate salt level, which helps preserve the dead body until frozen.

How To Purchase A Good Dead Crab?

Generally, crabs are dipped into ice after being caught from reservoirs. So, it slowly takes the sensation of the crab and kills it within a while. The fascinating fact is the bodies do not start decomposing because of the cold temperature. 

So, you will find a perfect crab from the market. Yet, if you are going to the local market of an area, you must know how to detect a freshly killed crab.

1.    Touch The Crab

Sea crabs do not contain any slippery elements on their shells. If you are experiencing a slippery coat around the crab shell, the crab may have started decomposing. So, stay away from that.

2.    Sniff The Crab

Sniffing is always a great option to detect whether a crab has started decomposing or not. Despite the fact that this skill requires plenty of time to be experienced, it is effective. And a well-defined chef can use this sense to detect the decomposing state.

3.    Justify The Abdomen

Another important way to detect the crabs’ decomposing state is the abdomen test. Generally, dead crabs are not facile. So, when you are removing the telson from the abdomen, it will not come out so quickly. 

But, when it starts decomposing, telson will be feeble. And you will notice that telson has already popped out. So, if you are purchasing a dead crab, check the telson whether it is hard or not.

An end is a new beginning. The decomposing method starts when a creature is dead and stays at room temperature. 

It allows the bacteria to produce dramatically and spread over the whole body. And consuming a decomposed crab can be proved harmful to human health.

How To Kill A Crab Perfectly?

It is universal that we need to take another life to save our lives. Whether it may sound much harsh, we must do it. Yet, we can serve generous behavior towards the live creatures while killing them, so it must be upon crabs. 

There are plenty of scientific killing methods which are adequate to kill a creature and let them feel as meager pain as possible.

Dipping into boiling water is an inhuman process that we perform while killing a crab. Here are some best methods you can follow if you are dealing with a live crab.

1.    Let The Crab Rest In A Bucket Of Ice

Letting the crab sit in a bucket of ice is an excellent method to kill and cook. It would be best if you filled up a half bucket with ice cubes. After that, put the crab inside and cover it with ice cubes.

After 30 mins, the carb is ready to boil. Now you may wonder, what happened in the bucket of ice cubes? Basically, ice is a great option to make a crab paralyzed. 

As a result, the crab loses the sensation of feeling pain when you are boiling it. And, when the time comes to feel the pain, it is too late to breathe with a boiled heart and brain.

Another thing you can do which will help you most is tie up the crab and let it sit in your fridge to make it frozen. 

It will perform as a better option. Just cage the crab and let it fridge. Nevertheless, this process consumes more time than dipping into a bucket of ice cubes.

2.    Lightening Mowing Through The Brain And Heart

If you are dealing with a live crab and you do not have time to let the crab rest in a bucket of ice, you must go for the second method. The second method incorporates slicing through the brain and heart at a speed of light. 

Generally, Japanese and Koreans follow this method to kill the crab immediately. Moreover, they prefer live creatures rather than dead ones. 

Live crabs are tough to be stable. First, you have to sharpen the knife and make it as sharp as broken glass. After that, place the crab on a chopping board. 

However, after placing the crabs on the chopping board, you have to sharply place the knife in the middle. Now, place a wet towel on the knife and hit it so hard that it slices the crab into two by one hit.

This process will crush the brain and heart, which eventually causes a disability to feel the pain.


  1. Can you eat crabs if they just died?

Answer: If a crab has just died, it is safe to prepare as a meal. After the death of a crab, it remains fresh and bacteria-free for a concise while. So, if you plan to eat the crab immediately, your plan is a sage one. And, if you desire to preserve it for later, you must keep it in the refrigerator as soon as possible. The faster the crab freezes, the better the taste is.

  1. Can you cook and eat a dead crab?

Answer: Yes, you can eat a dead crab, but the crab must be frozen from the very beginning. Freshly died crabs are edible without any hesitation. But, if the crab starts decomposing, it will taste bitter and atrocious for health. So, you ought to purchase live crabs until you are a professional chef who can detect the decomposing state. 

More crab relevant articles you may like –

Eat Land Crabs: Safe And Healthy

Is A Crab A Fish- The Complete Researched Guide

Jonah Crab vs Stone Crab

Red Rock Crab vs. Dungeness


It is always wiser to choose only live crabs rather than dead crabs. After being dead, the crabs start losing their flavors because of the preservation process. Moreover, until you become an expert in detecting a freshly killed crab, go for the live crabs. 

And when you are dealing with a live crab, ensure that safety matters. The jaws of a crab are mighty and can even crush human fingers’ bones.

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