How To Cook Frozen Crab Legs | Get It Right Every Time

Are you looking for the perfect seafood dinner that’s sure to impress? Frozen crab legs may be just what you need. Not only are they delicious, but they also make a great centerpiece for any gathering or dinner party. Cooking them is surprisingly simple and straightforward–all you need is the proper technique! In this blog post, we’ll show you how to cook frozen crab legs so that your dish comes out warm, juicy and perfectly cooked through. Keep reading if you want to get creative with flavorings and spices so that your meal truly stands out above all others.

What Is Crab Legs?

Crab legs are the cooked, frozen segments of crab claws that have been taken from large king crabs. These crustaceans are sought after for their delicious meat, usually found in cold waters such as Alaska and Canada. Crab legs are already pre-cooked when they’re frozen and sold to you, so all you need to do is heat them up properly before eating.

What Is Crab Legs?

Different Types Of Crab Legs

There are three main types of crab legs that you can find on the market: king crab, snow crab, and Dungeness crab. Each type has its own unique characteristics and flavors. King crabs are the largest of the three, with large claws and a reddish color. Snow crabs have long legs that are thin and slightly sweet in taste. Lastly, Dungeness crabs are known for their sweet and tender meat, making them a popular choice among seafood lovers.

Ingredients And Tools For Cook Frozen Crab Legs

  • Frozen crab legs
  • Salted butter or garlic butter
  • Lemon wedges
  • Spices (like Old Bay seasoning, Cajun seasoning, or smoked paprika)
  • Large pot
  • Tongs for serving

Before you start cooking your crab legs, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients and tools on hand. This includes frozen crab legs, which are commonly sold in supermarkets and seafood markets. You can also opt for pre-seasoned crab legs for added flavor, or buy plain ones and add your own spices.

How To Thaw Frozen Crab Legs?

When you’re ready to cook your crab legs, the first step is to thaw them properly. This ensures that they heat up evenly and are not tough or rubbery after cooking. There are two methods for thawing frozen crab legs:

  1. Refrigerator Method: Place the frozen crab legs in a dish or tray and put them in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 8 hours). This slow and gentle thawing method helps to preserve the quality of the crab legs and is recommended if you have time.
  2. Cold Water Method: If you’re short on time, you can thaw your crab legs in cold water. Place them in a sealed plastic bag and submerge them in cold water for 30 minutes. Make sure to change the water every 10 minutes to maintain a cold temperature.

How To Cook Frozen Crab Legs?

Once your crab legs are thawed, it’s time to start cooking! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cook frozen crab legs:

  1. Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the crab legs.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and add salt (optional) for added flavor.
  3. Add the thawed crab legs to the boiling water and let them simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Using tongs, remove the crab legs from the boiling water and place them on a plate or serving dish.
  5. Serve hot with melted butter, lemon wedges, and your choice of spices for added flavor.

How To Cook Frozen Snow Crab Legs?

To cook frozen snow crab legs, begin by placing a steam basket at the bottom of a large stockpot with 1 cup of water. Add as many crab legs as your pot can accommodate while still allowing the lid to close tightly. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot and steam cook the legs until they become fragrant and steaming hot. This process typically takes about 10 minutes for frozen crab legs.

Boiling Frozen Snow Crab Legs

Boiling is another popular method for cooking frozen crab legs, as it requires minimal preparation and time. To boil frozen snow crab legs, start by filling a large pot with enough water to cover the legs completely. Add any desired spices and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, add the crab legs and let them cook for about 5-7 minutes until they turn a bright red color. Remove them from the pot with tongs and serve hot.

Steaming Frozen Snow Crab Legs

To prepare frozen crab legs, start by covering them with a lid and bringing them to a simmer over medium heat until steaming. Then, add the crab legs and cover with the lid. Let them steam over medium heat for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy while still hot, along with your preferred dipping sauces.

Baked Frozen Snow Crab Legs

To bake frozen snow crab legs, start by preheating your oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the thawed crab legs on top. Brush generously with melted butter and sprinkle your preferred seasoning on top. Bake for 6-8 minutes until heated through, then remove from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving warm.

How To Cook Frozen Snow Crab Legs?

How To Cook Frozen King Crab Legs?

Place frozen crab legs in a colander or steamer over rapidly boiling water, filling the pot one-third of the way with water. Cover the pot and steam for 10 minutes or until the crab legs are cooked through. Alternatively, you can wrap them in foil and bake them in the oven at 375°F for 8-10 minutes until hot and tender. Serve with melted butter and lemon wedges.

Boiling Frozen King Crab Legs

Here’s how to boil frozen king crab legs:

  1. Oven is preheated to 400 degrees.
  2. Baking sheet is covered in tin foil for non-sticking
  3. Crab legs are spread out on the pan in a single layer, without overlapping.
  4. Water is added to the pan until it reaches 1/8 inch deep, lightly covering the crab legs.
  5. Lemon, garlic, herbs, and desired seasonings are added to the pan.
  6. Tin foil is used to cover the pan and placed in oven for 4 minutes (8 minutes when cooking more than 15 legs).
  7. Remove crab legs from pan once cooked.

Steaming Frozen King Crab Legs

To cook frozen king crab legs through steaming, follow these steps:

  1. Fill a pot with an inch of water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Place a steamer basket in the pot.
  3. Add the crab legs to the steamer basket.
  4. Cover the pot and allow the crab legs to steam for 6-8 minutes.

Baked Frozen King Crab Legs

Here is how to bake frozen king crab legs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place thawed or frozen crab legs on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  3. Brush melted butter over the crab legs and add desired seasonings.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through.
  5. Serve hot with lemon wedgesand melted butter for dipping.

How Do You Know When Crab Legs Are Done?

When cooking frozen crab legs, it is essential to ensure they are fully cooked. Once you can detect their aroma, and the meat is uniformly hot, you can be confident they are done. Additionally, the flesh should have a reddish-pink color and a juicy texture. It is always better to err on the side of overcooking rather than undercooking, as uncooked crab legs can lead to food poisoning. If you’re still unsure, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. Fully cooked crab legs should reach an internal temperature of 145°F.

How To Open Crab Legs?

Opening crab legs may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use a pair of kitchen shears or scissors to cut along the shell from top to bottom.
  2. Gently pry the shell open and remove the meat with your fingers or a small fork.
  3. Crack open any remaining shells to access all the meat.
  4. Enjoy your delicious crab leg meat as is or use it in your favorite recipes.

Opening crab legs may require some practice, but with these simple steps, you’ll soon become a pro at cracking open those tasty crustaceans! Don’t forget to save the shells for making a flavorful seafood broth or stock.

How To Open Crab Legs?

How To Eat Crab Legs?

Eating crab legs is a fun and messy experience, but the end result is always worth it. Here are a few tips on how to eat crab legs:

  1. Hold one leg at each end and gently bend until the shell cracks.
  2. Use your fingers or a small fork to remove the meat from the cracked shell.
  3. Dip the meat in melted butter or your preferred dipping sauce before eating for added flavor.
  4. Don’t forget to enjoy the succulent meat from the joints and body of the crab legs as well!
  5. Once you’ve finished all the meat, use a seafood cracker or nutcracker to crack open any remaining shells and extract any hidden morsels of deliciousness.
  6. Discard any remaining shells and repeat the process until you’ve enjoyed all your crab legs.

How Many Crab Legs Per Person?

This amount may vary depending on the size of the crab legs and individual appetites. For a hearty meal, each person averages 2 legs, yielding approx. 1.5 lbs per serving. However, for smaller portions or when serving as an appetizer, 1 leg per person may be sufficient. It’s always best to plan for a little extra, just in case someone wants more.

FAQ: Frozen crab legs

Is it better to boil or bake frozen crab legs?

When it comes to cooking frozen crab legs, there are several methods you can choose from. Steaming, grilling, heating in the microwave, and boiling are all viable options. However, boiling is widely regarded as one of the best ways to cook crab legs. It is highly recommended by the Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen. Boiling allows the water to penetrate the shells, keeping the meat moist while ensuring quick and even heating.

How long to boil frozen crab legs in oven?

To cook frozen crab legs, prepare a foil pack as described in the grilling method. Place 4 crab leg clusters on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 450˚F. If the crab legs are frozen, bake for 25 minutes. If they have been thawed, bake for 15 minutes. The crab legs are ready when steaming as you open the foil pack.

Do frozen crab legs have to be thawed to boil?

To cook frozen crab legs, it is important to thaw them first. Thawing ensures even heating of the crabmeat. There are two methods to defrost crab legs: refrigerating them overnight (for approximately 8 hours) or running cold water over them.

Can you boil raw frozen crab legs?

To cook frozen crab legs, fill a large pot with enough water to fully submerge the pieces. Place the pot over medium-high heat. Add seasonings like Old Bay seasoning, lemon slices, or bay leaves for additional flavor. Cook the frozen king crab legs for approximately 10-12 minutes. If the crab legs are thawed, cook them for about 4-6 minutes.

Is it better to steam or boil frozen crab legs?

When cooking frozen crab legs, you have two primary methods: steaming and boiling. Steaming is often considered the superior option as it helps retain the flavorful juices inside the shell instead of seeping into the cooking water.

6 thoughts on “How To Cook Frozen Crab Legs | Get It Right Every Time”

  1. I’m pregnant, nauseous, and I’ve been craving crab legs for days. I literally just told my partner I would get crab legs this week no matter the cost… Now thanks to you, I won’t be spending a single cent. :’)

  2. Just had these last weekend. I threw mine on the grill after they thawed. Turned out real good. They are precooked so all you really need to do is bring them up to temp.

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