Crucial Tips to Follow
- Always purchase frozen, and not thawed, crab legs.
- If they are uncooked, add at least 10 additional minutes to any of the reheating methods mentioned below.
When you look for crab legs, what are some of the essential things to keep in mind? Firstly, most crab legs available in grocery stores are pre-cooked and frozen to increase the shelf life. Secondly, you need to pick the ones with thick legs so that you get more meat from them. And thirdly, if you are buying frozen legs, make sure that there aren't any ice crystals on them; this indicates that the crab legs have been frozen for a very long time.
Keeping these important points in mind, we will now move on to the main agenda of the article―reheating crab legs. The reason we are saying 'reheating' and not 'cooking' is because the legs have already been cooked before. So technically speaking, you won't be cooking them again.
Unless a recipe demands cooking frozen crab legs as is, always thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. Before reheating them, rinse them under running water. If time is short, thaw them under running, cold water.
For a day or two, you can store thawed crab legs in the refrigerator until preparing them. However, it is best that you cook them as soon as they are defrosted. This helps retain and enhance the meat's flavor.
- For steaming crab legs, you can use either a bamboo steamer or a steamer pot.
- Fill the steamer with room temperature water till it reaches the bottom basket.
- You can also add equal parts of beer and water in the steamer for extra flavor.
- Place it onto the stove and turn the heat on so that the water can boil on high heat.
- Wash crab legs with water. Once the water is boiling, remove the lid and place crab legs in the topmost basket. If the legs are too big, break the legs near the joints so that they can fit inside.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and let the legs heat for about 5 minutes.
- When the legs are properly cooked, remove the legs using tongs, and place them onto a serving plate with lemon wedges and clarified butter, or use them in your favorite recipe.
- Fill a large saucepan or pot with beer and water in a 2:4 ratio.
- Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the crab legs in to boil for 4 minutes.
- You can also boil crab legs in boiling water seasoned with freshly-squeezed lemon juice, salt, or vinegar.
- When the legs are ready, use tongs to remove them from the boiling water and place them on a cookie rack to drain properly.
- Serve immediately with clarified butter and lemon wedges.
- Preheat the oven at 350°F.
- Place the clean crab legs in a deep, glass baking dish.
- Pour ½" water at the bottom of the dish and cover it with aluminum foil.
- You can add peeled garlic cloves and herbs in for added flavor.
- Use a fork to poke a few holes in the foil so that the steam can come out easily and keep the meat soft.
- Place the baking dish inside the oven for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Once ready, carefully take the baking dish out and remove the aluminum foil.
- Serve the crab legs immediately or use them in your favorite recipe.
- First, wrap 3 - 4 crab legs, depending on the size, with a couple of dill sprigs.
- Next, cover each bundle with a few damp paper towels.
- Before placing individual bundles inside the microwave (we don't want to overcrowd it), wrap them with cling film.
- It is safe to use cling film in the microwave as long as the food doesn't come in contact with it.
- Microwave the bundles for 2 minutes each.
- Carefully take the bundle out and remove the cling film along with the paper towels.
- To serve, you can place lemon wedges and clarified butter, or use the crab legs in your favorite recipe.
Just for the grilling method, use either frozen or fresh crab legs instead of thawing them first. And as for the technique, we are listing 2 simple variations.
- The first method requires you to wrap 2 - 3 crab legs in a couple of sheets of aluminum foil. Place them on the grill and heat them using an indirect heat source for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the legs from the foil and place them over the heat to cook for another 3 - 5 minutes each side. Once cooked, serve immediately.
- For the second method, you need to place the legs directly over the grill grates, keeping the thinner tips of the legs away from direct heat. Let them sit for about 5 - 8 minutes, and then carefully transfer them onto a serving plate with lemon wedges and clarified butter.
As there are different varieties of crab legs available, the amount of time to reheat them will not only depend on their sizes, but also the technique used. Usually, snow crab legs take about 4 - 5 minutes, King crab legs reheat in 7 - 8 minutes, and other larger varieties may take anywhere between 10 - 12 minutes. With practice, you will learn and understand the difference and be able to keep the taste and texture of the meat intact.