How to Cook Crab Legs

Snow Crab

In this article we’re going to show how to cook crab legs. Crab legs are very easy to cook. Frozen crab legs found in the market are in fact already cooked: you just have to reheat them. If you’re not sure wether the legs are cooked or not, just look a the color: if they’re red, then they’re cooked.

The meat inside, snow white in color, is very flavoursome and succulent to eat. But not only that: crab legs are also full of nutrients (protein, calcium, magnesium and potassium) and iron. They are also low on fat and calories.

If you already enjoy eating crab legs in your favorite restaurant, learn to make delicious crab legs at home!

How To Cook Crab Legs In The Oven

Cooking crab legs in the oven is a quick and easy method.

  1. Thaw crab legs in the fridge and rinse them.
  2. Preheat oven (about 375 F).
  3. Wrap the legs with aluminium foil and place them on a plate inside the oven.
  4. After 30 minutes, check if the legs are ready (if the meat inside is hot, then it’s OK).
  5. If not ready, bake them for another 10 minutes.

How To Cook Crab Legs In Boiling Water

It’s surely one of the tastiest method of cooking crab legs!

  • Fill half a pot with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt.
  • Drop the legs in the boiling water. Try to cover the legs with as much water as possible.
  • Cook the legs for 4-5 minutes. Don’t cover them.
  • Remove the legs from the water and rinse them.

You can also boil crab legs with garlic butter. Here’s a video explaining you how:

How To Cook Crab Legs On The Grill

Grilling crab legs is not the most common method of cooking them, but it’s a quick and easy way. You can use charcoal or gas grill. Gas grill gives you better temperature control, but charcoal adds a smoky flavor.

  • Preheat the grill to 350-375 F.
  • If your legs are frozen, just thaw them in cold water. Don’t mind if they are not completely thawed before you grill them.
  • Using tongs, arrange your legs on the grill. Place the thickest legs near the center of the grill, where it’s hotter.
  • Start with a low temperature during 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Continue with medium temperature during 3 to 5 minutes.

How To Cook Crab Legs In The Microwave

As most crab legs are sold precooked, it makes them very suitable to cook them quickly in your microwave oven.

  • Thaw the legs in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
  • Separate the legs in groups of 2.
  • Wrap the legs in damp paper towel, in order to help steam the legs.
  • Cover the legs with plastic wrap, so that the steam won’t escape.
  • Microwave each group for 2 minutes at the highest temperature.
  • Remove the plastic and the paper wrapping (be careful not to get burned by the steam).

How To Eat Crab Legs

  • Once cooked, crab legs will separate easily with a simple push and pull. Otherwise, use a nut cracker.
  • To break the claws, you can use a flat meat tenderizer.
  • To open the legs, you can use a pair of kitchen scissors.
  • To remove the meat, use a small fork.

With a little experience, you can eat your crab legs without any ustensil!

Seasoning Crab Legs

You can use Old Bay seasoning, or make a sauce with garlic and hot butter.

Here you will find a detailed recipe for seasoning crab legs with Old Bay: Bold Snow Crab Legs With Old Bay Seasoning

Have any questions on how to cook crab legs? Have suggestions? Tell us in the comments!

Chionoecetes Bairdi

Crab Legs Photo: Frank MayneCreative Commons

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  1. Haha well I read your blog on my iPhone whilst walking around doing my weekly food shop and I found myself searching for crabs legs and purchasing my first ever package!. Now I’m finishing my shop off pondering whether I’ll boil, microwave or grill them.

    A nice and easy to understand blog, I’ve bookmarked your website so I can check out the rest of your pages in more detail later on.

  2. I have fond memories of growing up and eating crab very often, but have yet to cook crab legs myself as an adult! My dad used to always boil them, but I didn’t know about other ways to cook crab legs, and how to season them (if at all). So thank you for this article!

    Would you suggest microwave reheating as the best way to reheat frozen crab legs?

    • Personaly I prefer to place the crab legs in the refrigerator for about 8 hours and let them thaw slowly. Thanks for your comment Samantha!

  3. Hi David,

    What a nice article, I really enjoyed reading it!
    I love all about travelling in the world. I eat a lot of crabs in my childhood and really love it. Your recipe is absolutely awesome, I will certainly try to cook these crabs legs in the following days. I have bookmarked your website:)
    Thank you very much and keep the good work!

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