Hand-picked places to eat, stay, shop & cook in the South West

Smoky and the Wood Pit - barbecue spider crab

Published on June 30, 2013
Home » Good stuff » Recipes » BBQ » Smoky and the Wood Pit – barbecue spider crab

Despite the majority of spider crabs being shipped to France and Spain where it’s as highly prized as lobster, you can pick one up for a song from good local fishmongers. Try and get a large male crab as this will have meatier claws

SMOKY-AND-THE-WOOD-PITHot new e-cookbook

These recipes come exclusively from food’s first e-cookbook. Available for Apple iPad, it features 20 meat, seafood, flatbread, pizza and pud recipes – all made on the barbie. With interactive features, it’s 2013’s must-have cookbook. Search for Smoky & The Woodpit in Books on iTunes and download for £1.99.

Serves 2

You will need

  • Spider crab 1
  • Butter 100g, melted
  • Red chilli 1, finely chopped
  • Garlic 3 cloves, crushed
  • Coriander leaves handful, shredded
  • Lime a squeeze


  1. So you’ve got your live spider crab home but it would be cruel to put it straight on the barbecue, so pop it in the freezer for a couple of hours, and then to make sure it’s dead, drive a flat head screwdriver between the eyes and wiggle.
  2. Place the crab on red hot coals on your barbecue. While the crab starts cooking, prepare the flavoured butter by combining the butter, chilli, crushed garlic, a handful of shredded coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime.
  3. Brush the butter onto the crab and cook for 5-6 minutes each side, brushing the legs with the butter all the while. It should smell amazing by now.
  4. Once it’s well cooked, remove from the barbecue and break off the legs and claws.
  5. Then, using a sharp knife, split the underside of the crab in half. The dead men’s fingers will need to be removed and discarded. They’re the grey coloured feathery gills found inside the main body and are inedible.
  6. Brush the crab with some more of the butter and crack the legs and claws open with the back of a knife.
  7. Serve the crab with crisp salad leaves and a crisp
    white wine.

Marcus Bawdon is a dedicated foodie and barbecue enthusiast who writes a Food magazine blog, Smoky and the Wood Pit. He also blogs at CountryWoodSmoke.

More from Marcus

A huge mound of steaming garlicky mussels is a great way to cook for a large group of people. They're delicious doused in cider

Serve these parcels with goat’s cheese stuffed mushrooms, cheese stuffed peppers wrapped in bacon, and a green salad

'These are some seriously good steaks, no messing around with fancy little fillet steaks,' says barbecue expert Marcus Bawdon