How to prepare a cooked crayfish … Kitchen helper

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If you’ve never shelled a crayfish before it can seem a little intimidating knowing where to start and what to do to ensure you get the most of that delightfully sweet crayfish. We’ve put together some tips to help you out.


The first step is to separate the tail from the head. Because crayfish are spiky you might want to wear kitchen gloves or use a couple of clean tea towels so you can get a good grip. Holding the tail in one hand and the head in the other, simply twist the tail and pull away from the head. If this doesn’t work you can cut between the head and the tail with a knife. As you just need to cut the membrane that joins the two pieces you only need to insert your knife in about half a centimetre and then try twisting again.


Crayfish claw meat is sweet and delicious and can be accessed by snapping the claws and firmly and carefully pulling them apart to pull out the flesh inside. Use a lobster cracker if you have one to crack the shells, otherwise you can gently tap with a small hammer. If you are having trouble getting the meat from the long thin claws use a metal skewer to help remove it.


The head of crayfish contain meat and you can access it by breaking it in two. The tail is where you will find the most meat. Use kitchen scissors to cut along the underside of the tail to allow access to the meat. You can use a teaspoon to separate the flesh from the shell if you find it is sticking to the shell.

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