Remove any wrapping (not the string) from your crab and place it in the freezer. This puts the crab to sleep and is the most humane way of dealing with it — it may take up to 2½ hours. When your crab is asleep, cut off the string.
Wear an apron and gloves if you wish. Take the crab and turn it upside down in your sink (juice will come out so it is definitely best to do this in the sink). Pull up the ‘V’ shaped flap at the back and carefully lift off the whole top shell. Remove the lungs by scraping them off with a spoon, knife or your fingers and, under running water, rinse out the guts and rinse the head. It is very important to remove all the lungs and clean the head thoroughly. Snap off the flap, then chop the crab in half by placing the base of a large chef’s knife against the crab and pressing down on the knife with the palm of your hand, cutting firmly through the crab.
When done, clean out any remaining internal organs. Use the same cutting action to cut each half in two, cutting between the claw and the legs. With the back of a meat mallet or a knife steel, crack the claws a couple of times from the nippers down to the elbow and what I call the forearm. Remove any excess cartilage from around the head.
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