Buying and Storing Shellfish

Follow these quick tips for buying the freshest lobsters and crabs―and keeping them that way at home.

CrabMichele Gastl
  • Buying shellfish alive is the best guarantee of freshness. Look for moving legs, claws, antennae, and, in the case of lobster, a flipping tail.
  • Stone crabs and king crabs are usually sold cooked―sometimes frozen, sometimes thawed. A live-cooked lobster will have a tail that curls back with a snap. These are all best served cold, since reheating toughens the meat.
  • You can keep live lobsters and crabs chilled and moist (covered with water-soaked newspaper) in the refrigerator for up to one day.
  • Plan on one one- to two-pound lobster or four to six hard-shell crabs per person.
Read More About:Food

Related Content

Wine being poured into ice cube tray

What to Do With Leftover Red Wine

The party is over but there’s still wine in those open bottles. Don’t let it go to waste: Here’s what to do.

What do you think about this article? Share your own solutions and ideas

View Earlier Comments

Quick Tip

Fish on butcher paper

The size of fish fillets varies from market to market. A good rule of thumb is to count on 6 ounces per person.