HOT CAST IRON FRYING PAN
As crabs grow larger, their shells cannot expand, so they molt the exteriors and have a soft covering for a matter of days when they are vulnerable and considered usable. Fishermen often put crabs beginning to molt aside, until the molting process is complete in order to send them to market as soft-shells. Crabs should be kept alive until immediately before cooking so they are fresh. Usually crabs must be eaten within four days of molting to be useful as soft-shell crabs. They begin to rebuild their shells after that, and when eaten, have a thin shell. These are often referred to as "papershells" or "tinbacks" and are more crunchy when eaten, making them less desirable to some. In order for a hard crab to grow, it must periodically shed its old shell (molt) in order to grow a larger shell. Following a successful molt, the crab's new shell is extremely soft. After several days in the water, the new shell fully hardens and is about one-third larger in size.
Dredge cleaned soft crabs and dip in flour and salt and pepper - melt butter in pan and place crabs skin side down under low heat - squeeze lemon regularly in pan and over crabs - when cooked (15 minutes) turn over and again lemon - do not cook over a high heat and add butter as necessary - when done (another 15 minutes) remove and place toasted bread in pan - place crabs on toast when soft - put on plate with trimmings - Enjoy!