cooked dungeness crab legs with cocktail sauce

How to Host a Crab Feed

History of Crab Feeds 

The term “Crab Feed” made its debut in the Baltimore Sun in 1902. However, people have gathered around this delicious crustacean for thousands of years. Early west coast nations cooked up their Dungeness in stone ovens or heated sand pits when it was in season. True Dungeness Crab feasts arrived with settlers from the east coast, who wanted to continue their tradition of Mid-Atlantic crab boils. With the advent of refrigeration and cooling, crab feeds were held more often and outside of season bounds. This allowed crab feeds to break into the public sphere as a way for organizations to raise funds, increase awareness, or nurture camaraderie.  

Now, we cannot live without them.  

Even amidst pandemic restrictions, crab feeds have prevailed. Earlier this year, the Santa Cruz County Fairground’s Foundation held the first ever drive-through crab feed. As restrictions loosen, crab feeds will again find their place in our communities. Below, we’ve outlined the basics of hosting your own crab feed. 

What kind of crab do I use for my crab feed? 

Dungeness Crab. Known for its sweet, buttery taste, Dungeness Crab is the most common crab used for crab feeds because it is so accessible all along the west coast. Between California, Oregon, Washington, and Canada, Dungeness Crab is available most months of the year. Here are the forms of Dungeness Crab you can consider serving at your crab feed: 

  • Whole Cooked Crab – cooked and intact for the true crab experience. 
  • Frozen No. 1 Cooked Sections – cooked and split into leg sections for easy access to the delicious meat. Ask your crab supplier if they offer cracked sections.
  • Frozen Buffet Cooked Sections – cooked leg sections with some legs detached. Same great product, just more affordable! 

Where do I buy crab for my crab feed? 

Searching for crab suppliers can be hectic, so we wrote an article about how to choose a seafood supplier earlier this year.  

Pucci Foods sells live and cooked Dungeness Crab, as our CEO, Chris Lam, told the San Francisco Chronicle. During the season (Nov-April), we offer live crab, fresh whole cooked crab, and fresh cooked sections (cracked and cleaned). We offer crab during the off season as well. You can pick it up or Pucci Foods can deliver.

How much crab should I buy? 

As Chris mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle article, you should plan on two-and-a-half pounds of whole cooked crab per person. This should be plenty of crab, especially with a side of pasta and salad. Buying crab in sections is an easy way to divide out portions. 

How do I warm up frozen or refrigerated crab? 

Form Boiling Instructions Steaming Instructions 
Frozen Whole Cooked Crab Place crab in pot and cover with water. 
Cover and boil for 12-14 minutes. 
Fill pot with 1-2 inches of water. 
Bring water to a boil.
Add crab, cover, and steam for 7-9 minutes 
Fresh Whole Cooked Crab Place crab in pot and cover with water. 
Cover and boil for 12-14 minutes. 
Fill pot with 1-2 inches of water. 
Bring water to a boil.
Add crab, cover, and steam for 7-9 minutes 
Frozen Cooked Crab Sections Place crab in pot and cover with water. Cover and boil for 12-14 minutes. Fill pot with 1-2 inches of water. 
Bring water to a boil.
Add crab, cover, and steam for 7-9 minutes 
Fresh Cooked Crab Sections Place crab in pot and cover with water. 
Cover and boil for 12-14 minutes. 
Fill pot with 1-2 inches of water.  Bring water to a boil. Add crab, cover, and steam for 7-9 minutes 

How do I cook raw Crab? 

Bring water to a boil and place crab inside. Boil for 12 minutes at 185 degrees for sections and 25 minutes at 185 degrees for whole crab. Add salt to taste. 

Crab Feed Materials List: 

  • Crab – Pucci Foods has been supplying crab feeds in the Bay Area for over 10 years. Call us for availability! 
  • Bibs – Pucci Foods provides bibs, free of charge, when supplying crab feeds 
  • Pots for steaming or boiling 
  • Butter 
  • Butter warmers 
  • Sides: Cesar Salad, Pasta, etc. 
  • Napkins 
  • Plates 
  • Garbage Bags 
  • Tables and Chairs 
  • Serving Tables 
  • Table Covers 
  • Forks 
  • Serving Trays 

For any questions regarding our crab feed service, contact Ana Santiago at anas@puccifoods.com 

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