Stone Crab claws: way overrated

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Mark Golodetz
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Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#1 Post by Mark Golodetz » April 9th, 2019, 6:30 am

Fish place in Grand Central had some flown in. I have always wanted to try them, so ordered a couple of pounds. Incredibly fresh, and cracked, so getting at the meat was a breeze. But it was disappointing, not much flavor, and frankly but for the magnificent mustard sauce they provide, we would have struggled to finish them. Glad I tried them, won't bother again. Will find other ways to enjoy the mustard sauce, figure it will be great with Gravlax.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#2 Post by T@ntina A » April 9th, 2019, 6:37 am

+1 I have to agree - not a big fan of Stone crab claws.

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#3 Post by mark rudner » April 9th, 2019, 6:55 am

disagree on the claws but agree on how great the mustard sauce is.
claws are sometimes watery and therefore seemingly diluted and almost mushy
the watery, lackluster claws at monty's for example barely resemble the plump tasty ones found at joe's down the block

obviously ymmv

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#4 Post by Todd Hamina » April 9th, 2019, 8:34 am

Stone crab is better the closer you are to the boat it came off of, imo.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#5 Post by Paul Jaouen » April 9th, 2019, 8:59 am

I love them but they need to be super fresh for me. I would never think of having them here. Also this year was the worst year ever for them because of the red tide. It definitely affected the quantity and pricing. I don't know if it affected the quality. The ones I had last month in Bonita Springs were delicious.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#6 Post by scamhi » April 9th, 2019, 9:16 am

Paul Jaouen wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 8:59 am
I love them but they need to be super fresh for me. I would never think of having them here. Also this year was the worst year ever for them because of the red tide. It definitely affected the quantity and pricing. I don't know if it affected the quality. The ones I had last month in Bonita Springs were delicious.
agree Paul. Eat them local and this past season was terrible.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#7 Post by Ken Strauss » April 9th, 2019, 9:21 am

I am a big fan of Stone Crabs.
Lots of places here to get them super fresh. I do agree that the mustard sauce helps make them so special.
At $55 a lb. for the colossal crabs you got to love them. Basically 2 crabs to a lb.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#8 Post by Chris Blum » April 9th, 2019, 9:50 am

Never been impressed and the work:enjoyment ratio is high.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#9 Post by David K o l i n » April 9th, 2019, 10:11 am

You find it hard to work stone crabs? Way less than blues or Dungeness in my experience (both of which are worth the effort)

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#10 Post by Chris Blum » April 9th, 2019, 10:51 am

Yeah, maybe lack of skillz, but I get crab mulch or wasted meat.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#11 Post by Chris S p i k e s » April 9th, 2019, 11:07 am

Overrated? Yes, IMO.

Good? Yes.

I feel the same about lobster.

Give me blue, Dungeness, king, or even high quality shrimp over stone claws.

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#12 Post by John Davis » April 9th, 2019, 11:15 am

I am not a huge fan but my wife loves them. So, we’ll get some if they are fresh.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#13 Post by b. c@stner » April 9th, 2019, 11:16 am

Love me some stone crab. I get'em off the boat so to speak in South Carolina (where there is no closed season) for the outrageous price of $12/lb
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#14 Post by Ken Strauss » April 9th, 2019, 12:06 pm

Chris Blum wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 10:51 am
Yeah, maybe lack of skillz, but I get crab mulch or wasted meat.
The larger the stone crab the less the work and the higher the price.
I buy the colossal so I don't have to work that hard.
As I stated before 2 colossal is a lb.
They rarely have them at Joes. Jumbos are usually the largest Joes sells.
Joe's prices
Medium (7) 44.95
Select (6) 54.95
Large (5) 69.95
Jumbo 99.95

My favorite fish market gets the colossal.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#15 Post by mark rudner » April 9th, 2019, 12:12 pm

so is it true that all stone crab is frozen immediately on the boat?
i've heard this many times over the years

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#16 Post by David K o l i n » April 9th, 2019, 12:13 pm

Chris Blum wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 10:51 am
Yeah, maybe lack of skillz, but I get crab mulch or wasted meat.
A typical he-man problem.

Try this:

https://standardmarket.com/howto/crack- ... rab-claws/

Or this


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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#17 Post by Ken Strauss » April 9th, 2019, 12:21 pm

mark rudner wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 12:12 pm
so is it true that all stone crab is frozen immediately on the boat?
i've heard this many times over the years
No
Not true
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#18 Post by mark rudner » April 9th, 2019, 12:25 pm

maybe boiled immediately?

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#19 Post by b. c@stner » April 9th, 2019, 12:26 pm

The ones I get are iced immediatedly then steamed
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#20 Post by Ken Strauss » April 9th, 2019, 12:35 pm

mark rudner wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 12:25 pm
maybe boiled immediately?
Yes
They are boiled immediately for about 8 minutes once they are brought to shore and then dipped in cold water to stop the cooking process.
I decided to look it up.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#21 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » April 9th, 2019, 12:45 pm

Disagree that they are overrated. Overpriced, yes, especially the last couple seasons. But (most of) the ones we get local and fresh in South Florida are delicious. I buy them at a seafood shack about half a mile from the beach. They get them fresh daily and I buy them and eat them same day.

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#22 Post by Ken Strauss » April 9th, 2019, 12:58 pm

Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Disagree that they are overrated. Overpriced, yes, especially the last couple seasons. But (most of) the ones we get local and fresh in South Florida are delicious. I buy them at a seafood shack about half a mile from the beach. They get them fresh daily and I buy them and eat them same day.
Totally agree!
Additionally you do not need to crack them with a $100 cracker.
Buy them and the shop will crack them for you for free.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#23 Post by Bdklein » April 9th, 2019, 1:51 pm

I’ve had them at a couple of high-end seafood places in NYC. Nothing special. Same with king crab legs .

I would need to try them both locally to fairly gauge my like for them .
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#24 Post by AlexO » April 9th, 2019, 3:16 pm

normally I wouldn't let environmentalism affect an eating decision, but one thing that I do love about stone crab claws is that it is a very sustainable fishery. When the crabs are caught, the fisherman cut off the largest of the two claws and throw the crab back to let the claw regrow, which it does.

I agree the taste is nothing spectacular, but fresh stone crab has a texture that is marvelous!

I like to think of it as my favorite sustainable seafood!
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#25 Post by Scott Brunson » April 9th, 2019, 3:20 pm

Ken Strauss wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 12:58 pm
Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 12:45 pm
Disagree that they are overrated. Overpriced, yes, especially the last couple seasons. But (most of) the ones we get local and fresh in South Florida are delicious. I buy them at a seafood shack about half a mile from the beach. They get them fresh daily and I buy them and eat them same day.
Totally agree!
Additionally you do not need to crack them with a $100 cracker.
Buy them and the shop will crack them for you for free.
YES
and our local shop has really great sauce (I think it is a tweaked version for Joe's).
We love them but they are definitely a spurge.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#26 Post by John Davis » April 9th, 2019, 3:38 pm

I would agree that the sustainability is a huge plus.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#27 Post by Ken Strauss » April 9th, 2019, 4:00 pm

Bdklein wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 1:51 pm
I’ve had them at a couple of high-end seafood places in NYC. Nothing special. Same with king crab legs .

I would need to try them both locally to fairly gauge my like for them .
My local shop is Finster Murphys. Located on 17th street.
I asked them if they ever get king crab legs. The answer was we have them frozen all year but we get them fresh once a year and we can put you on the list to call when we get them. The 1st time I tried them I was impressed. Sweeter and better texture.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#28 Post by Clayton Wai-Poi » April 9th, 2019, 5:01 pm

My overly simple rule for seafood (but it might just be my palate), is the colder the water the better the seafood. Seems to apply to fish, shellfish and crustaceans for me.

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#29 Post by Mark Y » April 9th, 2019, 5:02 pm

Hasn't Fu spent mortgage payments chasing these things?!? [rofl.gif] [rofl.gif]
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#30 Post by c fu » April 9th, 2019, 5:40 pm

Mark Y wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 5:02 pm
Hasn't Fu spent mortgage payments chasing these things?!? [rofl.gif] [rofl.gif]
What a waste of money on my part. I just don’t understand why they are so damn expensive considering they are sustainable. Certainly tasty but price quality ratio is low

Give me live king crab or dungeness any day of the week.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#31 Post by Albert R » April 9th, 2019, 7:41 pm

Yes, over priced but not over rated if you have the right vendor. My contact gets them off the boat in the am and I purchase them in the afternoon. They have been scarce this season. Many days I wanted to purchase but not available.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#32 Post by J a y H a c k » April 10th, 2019, 1:42 pm

Chris Blum wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 9:50 am
. . .the work:enjoyment ratio is high.
The trick, as I learned 39 years ago when working on a deal in Marco Island, is to sleep 4 hours a day for four days, go out to dinner with an obnoxious counter party who insists you have a drink with him because otherwise you are insulting him, slam down a double 12 year old single malt without a thought, not get a cracker because the obnoxious guy whined too much when they ran out so you gave yours to him, take the claw on your hand, and, feeling absolutely no pain due to scotch plus sleep deprivation, smash it down on the edge of the one inch thick oak captain's table (you know the type) to open it as your life flashes in front of your eyes because you are a third year associate and the partner on the deal is also sitting at the table. Crab juice is flying ever where, pieces of broken shell are lodged in the ceiling, and the meat comes out real easy.

True story. It was 28 years later before I tried them again.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#33 Post by T. Williams » April 10th, 2019, 5:47 pm

J a y H a c k wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 1:42 pm
Chris Blum wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 9:50 am
. . .the work:enjoyment ratio is high.
The trick, as I learned 39 years ago when working on a deal in Marco Island, is to sleep 4 hours a day for four days, go out to dinner with an obnoxious counter party who insists you have a drink with him because otherwise you are insulting him, slam down a double 12 year old single malt without a thought, not get a cracker because the obnoxious guy whined too much when they ran out so you gave yours to him, take the claw on your hand, and, feeling absolutely no pain due to scotch plus sleep deprivation, smash it down on the edge of the one inch thick oak captain's table (you know the type) to open it as your life flashes in front of your eyes because you are a third year associate and the partner on the deal is also sitting at the table. Crab juice is flying ever where, pieces of broken shell are lodged in the ceiling, and the meat comes out real easy.

True story. It was 28 years later before I tried them again.

That is the best thing I’ve read on this board today.

I prefer king crab or blue crab. Blues are an arduous task, but the meat is extremely sweet and paired with old bay and pitchers of cheap beer it makes for a fun afternoon.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#34 Post by Dale Bowers » April 10th, 2019, 6:49 pm

While considerable more work to access the treasures, Chesapeake bay blue crabs have no equal for flavor IMO.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#35 Post by Andrew Kotowski » April 10th, 2019, 7:54 pm

Dale Bowers wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 6:49 pm
While considerable more work to access the treasures, Chesapeake bay blue crabs have no equal for flavor IMO.
Agree with no equal; Dungeness far surpasses blue!

My experience with stone crab claws has been awesome when I’ve had them on the east coast (NC/SC/FL) in season. I like taste of Dungeness more, but the stone claws are so easy to work.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#36 Post by Tom Reddick » April 10th, 2019, 10:55 pm

scamhi wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 9:16 am
Paul Jaouen wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 8:59 am
I love them but they need to be super fresh for me. I would never think of having them here. Also this year was the worst year ever for them because of the red tide. It definitely affected the quantity and pricing. I don't know if it affected the quality. The ones I had last month in Bonita Springs were delicious.
agree Paul. Eat them local and this past season was terrible.
+1. I am a fan, and while I can see why not everyone might care for them- this is not the best year to try them for the first time and make a long term judgment call.

Freshness matters as well. We get them all season long here in Dallas, but still I have learned to have them overnighted in from Florida from trusted sources, or to buy them locally at TJs Market (using same or similar trust sources) the day they come in- and eat them the day I bring them home.

"From trusted sources" = people who really are shipping them out within a day of them coming to shore and getting cooked.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#37 Post by scamhi » April 11th, 2019, 6:28 am

when you get serious about fresh stone crabs. I do not let the fish store crack them As soon as they are cracked they start to degrade. I crack them at home with this.

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#38 Post by Betty C » April 11th, 2019, 10:42 am

I've never had stone crab claws but I am a fan of blue and Dungeness crabs. One of the few things that makes visits to D.C. bearable is enjoying blue crabs and beer on my sister's deck.

Blue crabs have stowed away in the ballast tanks of ships from the East Coast and now they're a real problem in Spain. I think we should help the Spaniards out with some Old Bay.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#39 Post by David K o l i n » April 11th, 2019, 12:07 pm

Betty C wrote:
April 11th, 2019, 10:42 am
I've never had stone crab claws but I am a fan of blue and Dungeness crabs. One of the few things that makes visits to D.C. bearable is enjoying blue crabs and beer on my sister's deck.

Blue crabs have stowed away in the ballast tanks of ships from the East Coast and now they're a real problem in Spain. I think we should help the Spaniards out with some Old Bay.
Good idea. I’m heading there in June.

I prefer blues to dungeness. Ordering a dozen large on the deck at Cantler’s turns into a two hour zen experience

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#40 Post by Dave Sankaran » April 11th, 2019, 1:35 pm

Had to check this thread out based on the title. And, I have to say, its something I've thought in the past.

I've only had them a handful of times, and they are fun to look at and the meat to "work" ratio is good for crab.

But pretty much any other shellfish has better taste for me.

So I don't bother with them anymore.

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#41 Post by Alex N » April 12th, 2019, 8:50 pm

I've always felt that crabs with softer shells are the tastiest and work better in soups, crab cakes and other dishes: king, dungeness, box, blue, snow, etc
East coast stone and west coast rock crabs tend to have larger strings of meat (almost like imitation crab) and the ones above are more "stringy" in a good way, if that makes sense.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#42 Post by Scott Brunson » April 13th, 2019, 12:51 am

We don't pay for blue crabs neener
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#43 Post by Jay $$ Winton » April 13th, 2019, 8:05 am

Stone crabs are the only food I will go "all you can eat". Billy's stone crab is a favorite in Hollywood Beach, FL;many, many crabs consumed there. Otherwise, there is no better crab than Maryland blue though I prefer a crabcake. Woodys in Dewey Beach, DE is my current favorite.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#44 Post by Nick Gangas » April 14th, 2019, 9:55 am

Fresh king is the best by a mile. Still I love stone while my wife prefers dungeness. Freshness is important though. My buddy overnights them every once in a while and its incomparable.

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#45 Post by Albert R » April 14th, 2019, 6:35 pm

Nick Gangas wrote:
April 14th, 2019, 9:55 am
Fresh king is the best by a mile. Still I love stone while my wife prefers dungeness. Freshness is important though. My buddy overnights them every once in a while and its incomparable.
That's the key...... Freshness. I usually get the stone crabs off the boat in the morning and have them in the afternoon.
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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#46 Post by NED VALOIS » April 14th, 2019, 7:17 pm

While fresh Stones are great, I found fresh Dungeness Crab on the "spit" , in Homer, Alaska to be the best ! flirtysmile

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Re: Stone Crab claws: way overrated

#47 Post by Mark Mason » April 17th, 2019, 9:53 am

Clayton Wai-Poi wrote:
April 9th, 2019, 5:01 pm
My overly simple rule for seafood (but it might just be my palate), is the colder the water the better the seafood. Seems to apply to fish, shellfish and crustaceans for me.
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