Step 1: Pull the shell off the crab. You can grasp the shell at one of the pointed ends, and then pull upwards.
Discard the shell.
Step 2: Remove the large claw legs,and set them aside for later.
Step 3: Cut off or pull off the remaining legs. Discard them.
Step 4: With the knife, cut off the gills, known as the "dead man's fingers."
Step 5: Remove the apron by inserting the tip of the knife under the point
and lifting. Discard that, too.
Step 6: Using the tip of the knife, scrape out any soft material, such as
crab fat, intestines, and other soft parts in the central cavity of the crab. Discard.
Working from the interior of the cavity to the outside edge of the crab, cut
laterally into the bony sections that hold the meat, to remove the top layer of
shell. The crab meat should now be revealed in sections, which you can
pick out with your knife blade.
Step 7: To get to the meat in the claw, lay the large section flat on the table.
Position the knife blade just past the joint where the pincers meet, and with the
mallet, tap the knife blade carefully until the shell is barely cracked. Pick up the
claw, and bend the claw at the crack. When the claw breaks, you can pull out the
pincers,and the meat will follow. Scrape the meat from the claw with your teeth.