Ranked as a “Best Choice” by Seafood Watch, stone crab claws are responsibly harvested from a stable and well managed stock.
Florida stone crabs are captured in pots or traps and brought to the surface. Fishermen remove a claw and then return the crab to the sea where it will eventually regenerate a new claw. Removing claws from egg-bearing females is prohibited and crabs must meet minimum size requirements.
Customers love stone crab claws for their seasonality, connection to a specific market, and (of course) their sweet, delicious flavor! Cracking in to a pile of stone crab claws is an experience your customers will love.
Like with all wild fisheries, supply of stone crab claws can fluctuate. Being patient and flexible and featuring these seasonal treats as a special helps everyone! Stay in touch with your Inland Seafood sales rep and they can keep you in the loop as far as availability goes.
Range & Habitat: Although stone crabs are found along the coast from North Carolina to Mexico, almost 95% of the harvest comes from Florida where the season runs from October 15 to May 15.
The large crusher claw can exert extreme pressure - as much as 19,000 lbs. per square inch!
The octopus is their main predator.
Buying Tips: Stone crab claws are cooked very close to harvest - all you have to do is serve them up with your favorite sauce. The claws come in a variety of sizes:
Medium 7 - 8 claws per pound
Medium Select 6- 7 claws per pound
Large 4 - 5 claws per pound
Jumbo 3 - 4 claws per pound
Colossal 1 - 2 claws per pound
If you're looking to just work with the meat 2.5 pounds of cooked stone crab claws yield about 1 pound of crab meat.
Store cooked claws in the refrigerator at 32-35 degrees F. or packed in ice no longer than 2-3 days.
Recommended Preparation: Stone Crab claws are traditionally served whole but cracked and guests break into them with a mallet or other tool. Stone crab claws are often served with a mustard sauce - though they taste great dipped in clarified butter or other sauces. The meat is also great in other preparations.