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How to Cook Crab Legs

How to Cook Crab Legs: 4 Popular Techniques to Try at Home

More often than not, cooking crab legs does not take more than a few minutes. Learn the tips and tricks to get it right each time.
Bhakti Satalkar
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2017
Crab meat is snow white in color, and extremely flavorsome, tender, and succulent once it is cooked. In Europe, spider crabs are very popular, as they have long legs and also contain mouth-watering meat, whereas in the US and Canada, the Alaskan king crab is favored. The crabs that are sold in the market are cooked before freezing. Hence, more often than not, cooking crab is actually as good as just reheating it. An important tip when you buy your crabs is to make sure you do not buy thawed meat.
Frozen Crab Legs
  • To defrost frozen crab legs, place it on a metal rack with a container at the bottom. This will help to drain the crab legs as they are defrosting. Place it in the refrigerator for approximately 8 hours.
  • In a pot, pour two cups of water and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring it to boil.
  • In a steaming basket, place the crab legs and bring the water to a boil again.
  • Once the water starts boiling, it will take approximately 5 to 7 minutes for the crab legs to cook. Make sure you pull out the seafood in time or else it will overcook.
  • Remove the crab legs from the pot and serve them hot with melted butter and lemon wedges.
Baked Crab Legs
  • To bake crabs, you will have to preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a baking pan, pour some hot water and place the crab legs in the baking pan. You can choose to add the seasoning of your choice to the water.
  • Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Since most of the time the crabs are cooked before freezing, it will not take any longer to bake.
King Crab Legs
  • Take a large sauce pan half filled with water. Add a tablespoon of sea salt to it. If you want any seasoning, you may choose to add it now.
  • Bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the crab legs to the water. Now let the crab legs cook on low flame for about 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Once they are cooked, remove them from the pan and rinse the crab legs.
On the Grill
  • While you do the following steps, heat the grill to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • The first step is to brush the crab legs well with olive oil. Make sure you have brushed it on all sides. It will prevent the crab legs from sticking to the grill.
  • Place the crab legs on the hot grill for about 5 to 6 minutes. Then change sides and cook again for five minutes. If needed, you can turn it yet again. Just make sure it is cooked from all the sides.
  • Remove it from the grill and serve piping hot after adding the desired seasoning to it.
As you can see, within 30 minutes, you can prep, cook, and serve delicious crab legs. Once you have the basics down, try incorporating it in various recipes to transform the way you eat crab legs.
Seafood on the Grill
Woman using oven in domestic kitchen