Billy's Stone Crab of Hollywood, Florida, operates 2 South Florida fish houses in Marathon and Summerland Key. Over 40 boats supply our fish houses with daily catches of stone crab, lobster, and fish. We are the producer as well as the end-user. Our handling of the product from start to finish before our customers receive it makes our services unique.
We sell stone crabs and many other products, including grouper fillet, snapper fillet, Mahi-mahi fillet, oysters and clams, and steaks in the market. But if you can't make it to one of our Hollywood, Florida locations, we sell stone crabs, Alaskan king crabs, wild jumbo shrimp, jumbo lump crab, lobster tails, and more by the pound online and serve them in our restaurant.
We'll ship them freshly harvested from Florida waters, for your enjoyment, during the season -and frozen crabs during the remainder of the year, during the breeding season.
If you are discovering the exceptional flavor and nutrition of stone crabs, sustainable seafood, or if you're a stone crab lover who hasn't ordered from Billy's Stone Crab before, we'd like to help you learn about stone crabs and our business. Here are some answers to some of our frequently asked questions by our customers.
Are the stone crab claws cooked before shipping? How do you store stone crab claws at home? How many medium stone crab claws are in a pound? When is stone crab claw season? Continue reading, and you'll become an expert in stone crab culture.
What is the shelf life of the stone crab claws?
A. Stone crab claws should be eaten within 1-2 days for the best quality and superior taste. When you order them from Billy's Stone Crab, they will arrive cooked and ready to be enjoyed within 48 hours. They'll taste even better if you eat them the same day the package arrives.
How many crab claws are in a pound?
A. The number of crab claws in a pound varies, depending upon the size of claws ordered. Here is a guideline:
- Colossal: 2 claws per pound
- Jumbo: 3-4 claws per pound
- Large: 4 - 5 claws per pound
- Select: 6-7 claws per pound
- Medium: 7-8 claws per pound
How many stone crab claws come in a package?
A. See the guideline above regarding the estimated number of claws in each pound of the size you wish to order.
The number of pounds of each size ordered determines the approximate number of claws in the package.
What are the black spots on my claw?
A. Stone crab claws get bruised by sea urchin spines when the crabs crack sea urchin shells to eat them. The spots may not be attractive. But they do not harm the stone crab meat.
How much will shipping cost?
A. Shipping is calculated at online checkout. The cost will depend upon the overall weight of each order and the destination.
How do I store the stone crabs once I receive them?
A. When your stone crab order arrives, unpack the claws and rinse them under cold water. Place them in a bowl on top of a layer of ice. Then place a layer of ice on top. Place the bowl in the refrigerator.
Drain the bowl and add more ice the next morning if you haven't been able to eat them the first day. It is best to serve the stone crabs within 48 hours of their arrival.
The claws should not be cracked until you're ready to eat them.
Are the stone crabs cooked?
A. We will cook your stone crabs before we ship them. They are cooked in our production facility the day they are caught. When you receive them, yes, they're pre-cooked and ready to dip in the delicious mustard sauce we include in your package.
How long does stone crab season last?
A. Stone crab season is from October 15 each year until the next May. Florida state law ensures that stone crabs continue to thrive in the surrounding ocean. If you order them out of season, you will receive crabs frozen at the peak of freshness.
HOW ARE STONE CRABS HARVESTED?
Fishers carefully catch stone crabs in traps and inspect them to ensure they meet the legal requirements for harvesting. Then, after removing the claw, the stone crab is dropped back into the ocean, where it will continue to live and thrive.
WHAT ARE THE LAWS SURROUNDING SCUBA/SNORKEL RETRIEVAL?
When scuba and snorkel harvesting, you must not use any gear that can crush or puncture the crab's body. You must also only collect up to a gallon of stone crab claws per day, with only two gallons aboard your boat at any time.
HOW ARE STONE CRAB CLAWS MEASURED?
A stone crab's claw is measured from the bend in its claw to the tip of the claw. This is referred to as the propodus, and it must be at least 2 7/8" to be harvested.
WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS ON FEMALES WITH EGGS?
It is illegal to harvest claws from an ovigerous female (a female with eggs). Fishers turn stone crabs upside down to ensure they don't have a sponge containing eggs on their undersides. If a sponge is seen, the crab is carefully placed back into the water.
HOW CAN I TELL MALE FROM FEMALE?
Female stone crabs have a wide, round abdomen, while a male's abdomen is much longer and narrower.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE A CRAB TO RE-GROW A CLAW?
Many people often ask, "Do stone crab claws grow back?" and the answer is, "yes!" Typically, it takes an adult stone crab about a year to regenerate its claw, while younger stone crabs can regenerate claws within a few months.
WHAT ARE THE SURVIVAL CHANCES OF THE CRAB WITH ONE OR TWO CLAWS MISSING?
Survival depends on three factors:
- Whether the diaphragm at the base of the claw joint is damaged
- Whether the stone crab has lost one or two claws
- The age of the stone crab
IF A STONE CRAB LOSES BOTH CLAWS, HOW CAN IT EAT AND DEFEND ITSELF?
Stone crabs that have lost both claws have to learn to become scavengers that can hide from predators. Since they no longer have claws, these stone crabs aren't able to easily feed or defend themselves, making them more vulnerable to predators.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THE CLAWS HAVE BEEN REGENERATED?
Carefully extend the stone crab's claw away from its body to see a fingerprint-like mark inside. If it is unbroken, it is an original claw. If the mark has dashes, it has likely been regenerated.
HOW LONG DO STONE CRABS LIVE?
Male stone crabs live up to seven or eight years, and females live up to eight or nine years.
HOW DO YOU CRACK THE STONE CRAB CLAWS?
Bill's Stone Crab season requires claw-cracking expertise; luckily, it is not difficult. Simply use a mallet or the back of a spoon to tap the claw along the knuckles carefully. Then use your hands to pull away pieces of the shell to reveal the meat inside.
HOW LONG WILL THE STONE CRABS LAST?
If untracked, your stone crabs will last up to 48 hours. We recommend eating them the day you get them to get the best flavor.
HOW DO I COOK THE STONE CRAB CLAWS?
During Billy's Stone Crab season, it's important to know how to cook your stone crab claws. They can be steamed, sauteed, boiled, baked, grilled, or reheated in the microwave!
If I crack the claws and don't finish all of them, can I eat them the following day?
A. Leftover claws can be stored in an open container and kept in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Or they may be kept in a cooler containing ice. Drain the water and add more ice periodically. Consume within 48 hours of the time you received them.
Billy's Stone Crab For Fresh Seafood in Southern Florida
Billy's Stone Crab owns two fish houses in the Florida Keys that are supplied with fresh seafood daily. Our fishers operate over 40 boats to catch the best fish, lobsters, and crabs that we handle from catch to customer sale, so you can be certain they're of the highest quality. When it's Billy's Stone Crab season, we provide the best stone crab claws in the country.
Our online shop sells seafood products caught fresh right off the coast of Florida. We offer stone crabs, lobster, oysters, clams, and a variety of fish for purchase. Browse our seafood online to prepare a meal at home, or make a reservation at Billy's Stone Crab Restaurant. If you've got a question we didn't answer, feel free to contact us today!
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