Processing Crays

This topic will have been covered here before but with the "White" run just ramping up I wondered how members process their catch - from dispatch to freezing methods. In particular in there anything that can be done during preparation to minimise getting the black blood on the tails when defrosting?

Bodie's picture

Posts: 3720

Date Joined: 05/11/07

Mine are drowned in fresh

Sun, 2019-12-01 15:22

Mine are drowned in fresh water for approx 10 min only, which cleans them as well.

The ones i freeze (not a lot are) are wrapped in newspaper green and placed in freezer head down. I also remove the poo shoot by using the antler up the bum trick. works 80% of the time

quadfisher's picture

Posts: 1084

Date Joined: 28/09/10

Sleepy time?

Sun, 2019-12-01 16:38

 Yeah i throw crays  in butchers tub in boat with seawater and chuck about 5 or 6 milkbottle ice blocks in , keeps them quiet and cools them , 

 dont quite kill them I dont think. But they virtually dont move after.

 Then at home cut the feelers off with shears at the joint up further than the long skinny feeler is.

 Then wrap firmly in say 6 sheets off newspaper , folding ends in as you go , 2 or 3 if there small fit perfectly in the large size double ziplock bags.

 Keep all the heads down in bag , tails up ziplock end and store in freezer head ( bag ) down.

 Have had them months after , cooked in lots of ways and never had black in them ( they drip the black jelly into newspaper as freezing.



little johnny's picture

Posts: 4078

Date Joined: 04/12/11

Heaps of ice

Sun, 2019-12-01 17:45

In salt water. Drop them in bang gone. Tends to stop them bleeding even after you have frozen them. Heavy duty wrap. With pad under folded tail( news paper scotch towel ect). Fresh water tends to make them swell?

carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 8071

Date Joined: 24/07/07


Sun, 2019-12-01 17:48

 When processing, snap a feeler off about half way up, insert the blunt end into the crays arse and push it in till you reckon its about the back off the crays head then pull it out. This removes all of its shit chute saving you the trouble of lifting the back flap after you cook them.

Brock O's picture

Posts: 2324

Date Joined: 11/01/08

Crushed ice and saltwater

Sun, 2019-12-01 20:47

Crushed ice and saltwater slurry...break the feelers freazer bag into freazer.

Wilfish's picture

Posts: 13

Date Joined: 01/10/19


Mon, 2019-12-02 01:06

Slow them down in salt water slurry then seperate the tails from the body. Lay tails on a piece of cardboard the same length and width of the tail. You may need to cut the sharp thorns on the edge of the tail off, and then cryovac the tail green. 


 Trophy Pro 2509 Walkaround. 

scubafish's picture

Posts: 767

Date Joined: 15/08/12

Dont forget the poop shoot.

Mon, 2019-12-02 08:07

Remove with one of the feelers.
Take a 20 ltr container with sea water home with you if you clean fish at home .Vac them wet with sea water ,sea water will keep colder.
NO FRESH WATER AT ANY TIME, AT ALL EVER never never never.(sorry pet hate of mine)


scotto's picture

Posts: 2294

Date Joined: 21/04/08


Mon, 2019-12-02 10:47

my crays get put straight on ice on the boat, de-headed at home on the lawn under the hose (which helps to remove the blood/blue gel/cray jizz). they then get put into sandwich zip-lock bags and frozen, or cooked straight away with the jumbo legs. 


I do this for a couple of reasons... firstly, most of my crays are 2kg+, and they simply take up too much room in the freezer when they are whole. Secondly, and most importantly, crays with their heads attached DO NOT keep for as long as de-headed crays. this is why Fisheries changed the rule last year to allowing cray heads to be removed at place of residence. 


Posts: 303

Date Joined: 10/12/07

Yep de-head

Tue, 2019-12-03 12:13

Take the heads off and rip the poo tube out by sticking antennae up. Take the legs off the heads if they are a decent size and cook the legs for immediate consumption. Take the tails and put two tails together (opposite ways) and wrap tightly in glad wrap and freeze. Perfect product and take up little room. Stacks well and freezes well. Larger tails individually wrap.  The heads I then bury. Garden loves them.