Did you know that stone crab season is a pretty big deal on the Florida Gulf Coast? It is a much celebrated event each and every year. There are festivals and specials and crab hammers, oh my! The delicate, flaky, sweet white crab meat makes seafood lovers swoon. So how can you make your own succulent, restaurant-style stone crabs at home or in your Indian Rocks Beach condo rental? Here are a few of our top tips!
1. Be ready for the season.
To enjoy this local delicacy, you have to be here during the right time of year. Stone crab season on the Florida Gulf Coast starts October 15 and continues through May 15. Crabbers start putting their baited crab traps out shortly in advance of the harvest date, so they’re ready to go when the season officially begins. You can be ready by planning your Indian Rocks Beach vacation during these dates so that you can be here to indulge.
2. Get ’em fresh from the Gulf of Mexico.
Many of the local Indian Rocks Beach restaurants get their stone crabs straight off the boats from a local crabber. So if you’re planning to make your own at home or in your vacation rental, you want to make sure you’re buying the freshest stone crabs possible. Our local seafood markets and restaurants will have them available for sale during the season, so that part is easy! Nachman’s Seafood Market & Smokehouse is located right on the Intracoastal Waterway and not far from your rental.
3. Find your favorite way to eat stone crabs.
There are plenty of ways you can prepare stone crabs, but traditionalists will tell you they are best boiled, put in a quick ice bath, and then served up cold with your favorite sauce. You can certainly eat them warm with drawn butter, if you prefer. Looking for a few other stone crab recipes? Here you go.
4. Dipping sauce matters.
Crabby Bill’s in Indian Rocks Beach serves up their popular Stone Sauce which is a blend of mayo, mustard and horseradish. You can give that a go (or just order it to-go right from the restaurant and save yourself some work). You can also pair stone crabs with a classic cocktail sauce or get fancy with a champagne mustard sauce. The possibilities are endless, really.
5. Get crackin’ and try this stone crab hack!
There are plenty of ways to crack a stone crab shell. You certainly don’t want to crush it into smithereens no matter which way you decide to do it, but there are plenty of tools to help you get to the good stuff. From crab hammers to new-fangled cracking contraptions, you can try what works best for you. Of course in your Indian Rocks Beach rental kitchen, you probably won’t find those things, so we recommend keeping it simple with the stone crab shell-cracking hack shown below. All you need is the back of a spoon or a butter knife, which your rental will definitely have. Watch and learn!
Now that you’re mouth is watering for stone crabs, you might want to read our previous post that’s all about stone crabs and which restaurants serve them in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida. Or start making your own. Enjoy!