Recipes: Little Baby’s Ice Cream’s Martin’s Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs

Little Baby’s Ice Cream’s Martin Brown: My family was not huge on regular family dining or even special holidays. But growing up in Maryland, it was a regular occurrence to eat bushels of crabs with my aunt, her family, my cousins and friends by her pool once or twice a summer. It is easily my favorite cultural and familial food experience. For the past 5 years, I’ve hosted an annual crab feast in my backyard in Philly to try to re-live that experience. I don’t always get to go to the beach or see fireworks on the 4th of July, but summer isn’t summer without eating some crabs.  

While my family was not huge on home cooked meals or massive Thanksgiving dinners, to me, there is no greater meal than a couple dozen steamed and spiced Maryland blue crabs washed down with cold beer and some ice cream, of course. Many of the questions from this Chocolate Covered Memories interview have inspired a nostalgia in me that urge me to encourage others to value home cooked meals, canning, pickling, brewing, baking, curing, grilling and whatever will continue the tradition of the family recipe. Do it to learn it, do it with someone you love, do it out of habit and tradition. At Little Baby’s, we hope to create new memories and traditions and to have you all be a part of it starting this spring.

Enjoy my ole’ steamed and spiced Maryland blue crabs.

Little Baby’s Ice Cream’s Martin’s Steamed Maryland Blue Crabs


  • Old Bay seafood seasoning
  • J.O. Brand seafood seasoning
  • coarse kosher salt
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • live Maryland hard shell blue crabs (they must be LIVE)


  1. Mix together the crab seasoning mix: 1 part Old Bay seafood seasoning, 1 part J.O. Brand seafood seasoning, 2 parts coarse kosher salt.
  2. Fill a crab steamer (or a large pot with a makeshift floor to keep the crabs out of the steaming liquids) with 1 part water and 1 part apple cider vinegar. Heat on high until the liquid comes to a full rolling boil.
  3. Add large live hard shell crabs to the steamer (or large pot) sprinkling each layer generously with the dry seasoning mix. NOTE: For safety reasons, the crabs must be LIVE.
  4. Cover the steamer (or pot) and wait for wisps of steam to escape from under the lid, which usually takes about 10 minutes. Continue cooking over high heat for an additional 20-30 minutes until crabs turn bright orange. If the crabs’ shells are dark red or have reddish-green patches, then the crabs are not yet fully cooked.
  5. Remove crabs from steamer and place on a large platter and sprinkle lightly with the dry seasoning mix.
  6. Get messy and enjoy! Crack some ice cold beers, and don’t forget to enjoy some Little Baby’s Ice Cream for dessert! 😉

NOTE: If you want an easy clean up, it is best to eat the crabs on a newspaper-covered table.

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