Planning a crab boil for your friends and family? probably you’re a entertain crabber wondering how many crabs you’re enabled to keep? one of two people way, among the most generally asked inquiries by both crab fishermen and enthusiasts is “how countless crabs space in a bushel”?

The price is no that cut and dry. It counts on the crab’s size, sex, and also your region. In enhancement to sport in the crab’s size, bushel sizes actually differ contempt from state come state.

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Bushel overflowing v Chesapeake blue crabs. Source.

If she planning a crab feast, and are wonder how countless crabs you’ll need per person, this post will prize that together well.

So how many crabs are in a bushel anyway? stop dive into it!


What is a bushel the crabs?

Whenever girlfriend hear crabs being measured by the bushel, it’s normally in recommendation to blue crabs. Blue crabs are caught all follow me the Atlantic coastline of the united States and in the Gulf that Mexico.

Because they’re considerably smaller 보다 the Dungeness and Red absent crab captured along the west coast, they’re commonly measured by the bushel fairly than individually.

A bushel is around equivalent to 8 gallons (or 35 liters) of volume. This equates to somewhere in between 50 and 110 crabs, depending upon their size.

In reference to to chat crabbing, the store limit in many states is identified by the bushel (typically 1 come 2 bushels per person).

Crab Types

When ordering crabs, there are a few key state you must be mindful of. Male and also female crabs different significantly, v males being larger and containing an ext meat. Mature male crabs are referred to as “Jimmies”, while mature mrs crabs are referred to as “Sooks”.

Immature females have to be went back to the water, and also it’s illegal to save them.

Because the their larger size and a greater proportion of meat, Jimmies space generally preferred for cooking and eating whole. Sooks frequently get offered to advertising crab processing plants and turned into packaged and pasteurized crab meat.

When you’re ordering whole crabs, make certain you’re getting Jimmies rather than Sooks.

Another exciting factor to consider is how heavy or “fat” the is. Depending on how newly the crab has molted, the quantity of meat within the covering will vary. Newly molted crabs will certainly be lighter and also contain less meat than crabs nearing the finish of their molt cycle. This is because they haven’t had actually the possibility to fatten up and also fill the inside of their shells yet.

You can identify “fat” crabs by your darker bellies. The shade will be contempt yellowed and also spotted through “rust”. For more info ~ above molt cycles and how they impact meat yields, inspect out this thorough article.

Always go for “fat” or hefty crabs anytime possible.

Crab size

Crab sizes will certainly vary substantially depending on the time of year, location, and also age the the crab. Also, keep in mind that there is no main standard because that grading crab sizes. What might be classified as a jumbo crab in Maryland could be dubbed a tool in north Carolina.

Crab can be about classified into several different sizes as measured throughout their back (carapace) as follows:

Small – 4 ½ to 5 inches, usually females.Medium – 5 come 5 ½ inches.Large – 5 ½ to 6 inches.Jumbo – 6 to 6 ½ inches.Colossal – 6 ½ customs or more.

Crabs every Bushel

So, how plenty of crabs space there in a bushel anyway? Also, as crabs are frequently sold by the dozen, you could be wonder how countless dozen crabs room in a bushel.

This table will offer you one approximate variety of crabs every bushel, and dozens per bushel:

Jumbo6 – 6 ½ inches5 – 6 dozen60 – 72 crabs
Large5 ½ – 6 inches6 – 7 dozen72 – 84 crabs
Medium5 – 5 ½ inches7 – 8 dozen84 – 96 crabs

For much more info ~ above blue crab sizing and also grading, examine out this detailed article.

How many people does a bushel of crabs serve?

If she in the process of plan a huge ol’ crab boil, you’re going to need some idea the how plenty of crabs each person will eat – plus how countless a complete bushel will feed.


A maturation blue crab will certainly yield approximately 14% that its weight together crab meat. That’s reasonably low. With an mean weight of 1/3 pound per crab, that way you’re gaining just 0.75 ounces that crab meat every crab. Obviously, this will vary somewhat depending on the individual crab, and the skill of the crab picker.

This way that to get a healthy serving of 1/2 a lb of crab meat every person, you’ll need about 8 come 12 crabs every person. If the crabs are a side dish quite than the main course, friend can obtain away with much less.

A usual bushel of jumbo blue crabs contains about 60 – 70 crabs, which would certainly be sufficient to feeding 6 come 8 people, suspect you’re only serving traditional crab boil fare prefer crabs, corn, potatoes, and also clams.

How lengthy does it take it to chef a bushel that crabs?

Assuming you have actually a really huge pot to boil/steam the crab (40 to 60 quarts is ideal), climate you should be able to cook an entire bushel in 20 – 30 minutes or so. Most human being don’t have large boiling pots though, for this reason if you’re making use of a smaller 12 – 16 quart pot, then you’ll need to break-up the crabs up right into smaller batches and cook castle piecemeal.

Boiling crabs is nice straightforward. Simply carry your water come a boil, fall the crabs inside – i beg your pardon will cause the water come drop below a boil – climate cover the pot until it begins boiling as soon as again. The crabs room done as soon as they’ve turned totally orange and you can see lock floating ~ above the surface.

Steaming crabs is similar to boiling however you’ll need an inner basket come suspend the crabs over the boil water.

Recreational Crabbing Limits

Many states and jurisdictions along the east coast have crab boundaries stated in numbers of bushels. This is a slightly confusing measurement, together bushel sizes actually differ slightly relying on the state.

Additionally, many people wonder if this means a complete bushel v the lid top top or without.

To it is in on the safe side, make certain that as soon as your crab bushel basket is filled, the lid fits in location without popping up or distorting.

If you’re a entertain crabber make certain to above your local fish and game regulations to ensure you’re complying with the law.

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Wrap Up

Hopefully, girlfriend now have a much better idea of various crab sizes, how numerous crabs space in a bushel, and also how countless dozen crabs are in a single bushel. If you planning a big crab feast, simply remember 8 to 12 decent sized crabs per human being should fulfill everyone nicely.

Catching and also cooking crab is one of the most enjoyable tasks you can do – add to you obtain to re-publishing your tough gotten catch with friends and also family! Go gain that crab boil!