Many people buy their Dungeness crab already cooked and cracked, but cooking these crustaceans at home is so easy -- and the results so delicious -- you'll want to try doing it yourself.

1. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the crabs by two or three inches. Ignore any advice you may run across that suggests using seawater. Clearly, those people live on some pristine, pollution-free lagoon, rather than in the real world. Unless you have a passionate devotion to Old Bay or Zatarain's crab boil seasoning mixes, you should skip those, too.

2. Heat the water on high until it boils.

3. Use tongs to grab the first crab from the back. Plunge it into the boiling water head first. Repeat, making sure the water returns to a boil before adding the next crab; do this in batches, if necessary.

4. Cover pan and simmer the crabs, adjusting the heat to maintain the temperature. A 1½- to 2½-pound crab should take about 15 minutes.

5. Remove crabs from the simmering water, and rinse in cool water until cool enough to handle. Enjoy.