We’re all for mess outdoors. We like the idea of spreading food out on the table for everyone to tuck into at their leisure. We have no problems getting our hands dirty or dodging spills. For us, this is all part of celebrating a casual lifestyle outdoors.

One of the messiest and tastiest meals to devour under the summer sun has to be crabs. Steam them up, roll out your newspaper and crack a few shells; it has summer time outdoors written all over it. If you’re yet to give cooking crabs a go, here’s some great advice on how to cook and eat crabs like you’re a pro.

The only way is fresh 

Whether you’ve caught the crab yourself, bought it or received it from a mate, you’ll want to prepare it straight away. Make sure they’ve been on the ice to retain their freshness and keep them dormant.

Steam them up

Crabs don’t take long to cook. After your crabs have been in the freezer for about 20minutes, take them out and turn them on their back. Pierce the head and tail with a sharp knife. You can boil the crabs for 6 – 7 minutes or try the MUNCHIES way and steam them to keep the meat extra tender.

Bring 500ml of water to the boil with 2 cups of vinegar. Place a steam rack inside ready for your crabs.

Toss a dozen crabs with 1 cup of Old Bay and place on the steam rack. Steam for 20-30minutes, depending on the size of your crabs.

Roll out your newspaper

Roll out some newspaper or butcher’s paper on your outdoor table with your tools. Crab crackers, mallets, pickers, and knives will all come in handy getting the meat out.

Don’t forget to lay out some dipping options for you and your guests. Melted butter, fresh lemon, apple cider vinegar, chilli sauce and extra beer are all favourites. Great accompaniments to your crabs include grilled corn, slaw or crusty bread.

Cracking the shell

Getting the meat out of a crab is one of the most tedious tasks, but once you get into the swing of it, you’ll look like a pro.

Scrape away any of the grey or brown bits and focus on the white flesh. Pick through and crack any pieces of the shell you can to get to the meat. Most of the meat will be found in the claws which you can easily get out with a crab cracker and a bit of force. Don’t forget the legs! Snap each of the legs off and squeeze out the flesh like you would the last bit of toothpaste.

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty and tuck into some succulent crab meat!