Planning a crab cook for her friends and also family? possibly you’re a to chat crabber wonder how numerous crabs you’re allowed to keep? one of two people way, among the most commonly asked concerns by both crab fishermen and also enthusiasts is “how numerous crabs room in a bushel”?

The price is not that cut and also dry. It relies on the crab’s size, sex, and also your region. In addition to sports in the crab’s size, bushel sizes in reality differ contempt from state come state.

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Bushel overflowing v Chesapeake blue crabs. Source.

If you planning a crab feast, and also are wondering how countless crabs you’ll need per person, this write-up will answer that together well.

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


What is a bushel of crabs?

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

Because they’re significantly smaller 보다 the Dungeness and Red absent crab recorded along the west coast, they’re typically measured by the bushel fairly than individually.

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

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

Crab Types

When bespeak crabs, there space a few key terms you should be mindful of. Male and also female crabs differ significantly, v males gift larger and also containing more meat. Mature male crabs are called “Jimmies”, while mature female crabs are described as “Sooks”.

Immature females need to be went back to the water, and it’s illegal to store them.

Because that their larger size and a higher proportion that meat, Jimmies space generally wanted for cooking and also eating whole. Sooks regularly get offered to advertisement crab processing plants and also turned into packaged and also pasteurized crab meat.

When you ordering totality crabs, make sure you’re acquiring Jimmies quite than Sooks.

Another interesting factor to consider is how heavy or “fat” it is. Depending on how newly the crab has molted, the lot of meat within the covering will vary. Newly molted crabs will be lighter and contain much less meat 보다 crabs nearing the end of your molt cycle. This is since they haven’t had the opportunity to fatten up and fill the within of your shells yet.

You have the right to identify “fat” crabs by your darker bellies. The shade will be contempt yellowed and also spotted with “rust”. For an ext info ~ above molt cycles and how they influence meat yields, inspect out this in-depth article.

Always walk for “fat” or heavy crabs at any time possible.

Crab size

Crab sizes will certainly vary considerably depending on the time of year, location, and also age of the crab. Also, save in mind the there is no official standard for grading crab sizes. What may be classified together a jumbo crab in Maryland might be referred to as a medium in north Carolina.

Crab can be around classified into several various sizes as measured across their back (carapace) together follows:

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

Crabs every Bushel

So, how many crabs are there in a bushel anyway? Also, as crabs are often sold by the dozen, you can be wondering how countless dozen crabs room in a bushel.

This table will provide you an approximate variety of crabs per bushel, and dozens every 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 comprehensive article.

How many people does a bushel the crabs serve?

If she in the process of to plan a large ol’ crab boil, you’re going to need some idea that how many crabs each human being will eat – plus how many a full bushel will feed.


A mature blue crab will yield approximately 14% that its weight as crab meat. That’s fairly low. Through an typical weight that 1/3 pound per crab, that means you’re gaining just 0.75 ounces that crab meat per crab. Obviously, this will vary somewhat depending upon the separation, personal, instance crab, as well as the skill of the crab picker.

This means that to get a healthy and balanced serving of 1/2 a lb of crab meat every person, you’ll need roughly 8 come 12 crabs every person. If the crabs space a side dish fairly than the key course, girlfriend can obtain away with lot less.

A typical bushel that jumbo blue crabs contains about 60 – 70 crabs, which would be sufficient to feed 6 to 8 people, suspect you’re only serving classic crab boil fare favor crabs, corn, potatoes, and clams.

How long does it take it to cook a bushel the crabs?

Assuming you have actually a really large pot to boil/steam the crab (40 come 60 quarts is ideal), climate you should be able to cook whole bushel in 20 – 30 minute or so. Most people don’t have vast boiling pots though, so if you’re using a smaller sized 12 – 16 quart pot, then you’ll need to split the crabs up right into smaller batches and cook them piecemeal.

Boiling crabs is nice straightforward. Simply carry your water come a boil, fall the crabs inside – i m sorry will cause the water to drop listed below a cook – then cover the pot till it begins boiling when again. The crabs space done as soon as they’ve turned totally orange and you deserve to see them floating ~ above the surface.

Steaming crabs is comparable to boiling however you’ll require an inner basket to suspend the crabs above the boil water.

Recreational Crabbing Limits

Many states and also jurisdictions follow me the east shore have crab limits stated in number of bushels. This is a contempt confusing measurement, together bushel sizes actually differ slightly depending on the state.

Additionally, many human being wonder if this means a full bushel with the lid ~ above or without.

To be on the safe side, make sure that when your crab bushel basket is filled, the lid fits in location without popping up or distorting.

If she a entertain crabber make certain to top your regional fish and game regulations to ensure you’re following the law.

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Wrap Up

Hopefully, friend now have actually a better idea of miscellaneous crab sizes, how many crabs space in a bushel, and how plenty of dozen crabs space in a single bushel. If you’re planning a large crab feast, simply remember 8 come 12 decent sized crabs per person should meet everyone nicely.

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