1. Place crab on a work surface, belly side up. Pull off triangular-shaped belly flap (aka apron); drain, if needed.
2. Turn crab over and remove shell by prying off using your thumb or fingers.
3. Remove spongy gills and small paddle at front of crab; discard.
4. Rinse cavity under running water to remove any dark interior or debris, careful not to remove meat.
5. With the crab belly side down, grasp either side of crab and crack in half.
6. Inserting your thumb at the joint for leverage, twist off claws and legs, pulling off a piece of body with each.
7. For easier meat removal at table, use a small hammer or the flat side of a meat tenderizer to crack crab legs at each joint. Serve crab with crackers and small spoons for diners.
NOTE: Keep a cloth handy, as you may have to wipe your work surface as you go.