Dungeness crab in season: Let's get cracking

WILSONVILLE, Ore. -- Dungeness crab is a holiday favorite in Oregon and Washington.

Seafood sellers are calling this year's catch one of the best in recent memory.

So as you put out the crackers with the fork and knife, here are some tricks to get the most out of your crab.

And there's a lot there to get.

Seafood counter manager Jennifer Bigelow at Fred Meyer in Wilsonville said many of them weigh three pounds.

She ordered about triple the usual amount of Dungeness crab for New Year's Eve. Bigelow said the phone's been ringing and she's been taking special orders. It's the best-selling day of the year for shellfish.

But getting to the part of the crab you eat is a lot of work. So what are the best ways to "take a crack at" that crab and get the most out of it?

Rule No. 1: Guard your crab. "Diligent cracking and not letting anyone get into the kitchen and steal a piece here and there. That's right. I guard it," she said.

Rule No. 2: The crab is its own utensil. "If you separate the leg a lot of people use part of the shell to flake it out as well!" Bigelow added.

Rule No. 3: Pretend you never saw this story. "You know, it might be good to pretend like you don't know how and it may get done for you!"

Bigelow suggested eating the crab straight from the shell while it's fresh. But if you do have leftovers, you can make great crab creations. Bigelow suggests crab cocktail or crab cakes. One customer said he always makes crab omelettes.