How to Cook Crab Legs

King crab legs are a popular seafood dish and can be steamed or baked with a simple cooking process. I will show you how to cook king crab legs. First, you need to thaw the crab legs if they are frozen. You can do this by placing them in the refrigerator overnight or running cold water over them for a few minutes. Once the crab legs are thawed, you can start cooking them. Boiling is the easiest way to cook king crab legs. Simply fill a pot with enough water to cover the crab legs and bring it to a boil. Then, turn off the heat and let the crab legs sit in the hot water for about eight to ten minutes. You can also add some Old Bay seasoning or lemon juice to the water for extra flavor.

In this post, we'll show you how to cook king crab legs so that they're perfectly tender and juicy.

Tips for Buying Crabs

  • If you are buying live crabs, make sure they are active and have a fresh sea smell.
  • Avoid crabs that have a fishy smell or those that are listless.
  • Check to see if the crab's shell is intact. Cracks in the shell may indicate that the crab is old.
  • When purchasing king crab legs, look for ones that are bright red and free of blemishes. The meat should be firm and white. You can find king crab legs at most seafood markets or online. Fresh king crab legs will last for two days in the refrigerator, while frozen king crab legs can last up to six months.

Types of Crab

The most common crab is the king crab. King crabs are found in cold waters off the coasts of Russia, Alaska, and Canada. They have long legs and a large body, and can grow up to three feet wide. King crabs are popular for their sweet and tender meat.

Other types of crabs include Dungeness crabs, blue crabs, snow crab legs, and stone crabs.

How to Prepare Alaskan King Crab Legs

Whether you're hosting a special seafood dinner or simply want to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal, king crab legs are a great option. While they may seem daunting to cook, frozen king crab legs are actually quite simple to prepare. 

Here's what you'll need:

  1. king crab legs (frozen or fresh)
  2. water
  3. salt
  4. lemon juice (optional)
  5. butter or garlic (optional)

Cooking Frozen King Crab Legs

Cooking King crab legs is quite easy. Most crab legs can be purchased fully cooked and frozen and then completely heated. If you want to cook crab legs, we advise putting them under cold water in an airtight container to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The container should be about 2/3 full and when the water begins to boil add the crab legs as per the instructions below.

Boiled King Crab Legs

To boil crab legs, fill up the saucepan with cold water and bring it up to boiling. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and your desired seasoning as necessary. Add crab legs to rapidly boiling water and lower the temperature to low. Let them simmer for around 6 minutes. Take crab legs out of seawater, wash them thoroughly before eating.

Grilled King Crab Legs

For grilling crab legs you should brush olive oil all over crab legs so that they aren't stuck. The crab legs can then be put in a warm oven at 300° F for five minutes, then turn around and cook again for five minutes until it is heated to an optimum level. Remove grill from the grill and serve butter and sauces.

Steaming King Crab Legs

When cooking Alaskan King crab legs with boiled water, add two cups of water to a steamer basket in the pot. Put crab legs into a pot and cover with hot water. Once the water boils up again, cover and cook about 6 minutes until they disappear.

How long do I steam frozen crab legs?

King crab legs take about ten minutes to steam. You can either boil them or use a steamer. I prefer to use a steamer because it is less work and they come out more tender. If you are boiling them, add about two inches of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Then, add the frozen crab legs and let them cook for ten minutes.

Be careful not to overcook the crab legs or they will be tough. Once they are done cooking, remove them from the pot and let them cool before eating.

Baked King Crab Legs

For crab legs, you need a 350-degree oven. Place crab legs on shallow baking sheets. Place hot water in a pan a bit deeper. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 8-10 minutes.

What Does King Crab Taste Like?

The king crab's taste is a delicate balance of sweet and savory. They are quite dense and pleasantly soft and resemble lobster.

How To Serve King Crabs?

King crab is usually served as a whole crab or as legs. When eating crab legs, it is important to first remove the shell. To do this, use a sharp knife to cut along the seam of the crab leg. Once the shell is removed, the crab meat can be eaten and enjoyed with butter or lemon. Of course, you can be adventurous and crack the shell and pull the meat out with your hands. To learn more about king crab meat at the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game click here.

Are Crabs a Fish?

Most people think that crabs are a type of fish but they're actually classified as decapod crustaceans.  Think of it this way: crabs typically walk while fish swim. Like fish, not all crabs are great for eating. Blue crabs are not typically eaten because they are too small and have a lot of shells. On the other hand, the king crab is the largest of commercially harvested crabs and can weigh up to 24 pounds (11 kg).

What type of animal is a crab?

Crabs are grouped in the subfamily "Crustaceans", which is the largest family of aquatic arthropods which also consists of lobster such as Maine lobster, shrimp crayfish and crimp. Crabs move forward, walking on three legs holding their two legs in the hand and clawing out.

Crab Leg Recipes

Recipe: Grilled King Crab Legs

If you're using frozen king crab legs, thaw them in the fridge overnight before cooking. When you're ready to cook, preheat your grill to medium heat or around 300 degrees.

Be sure to brush your favorite olive oil all over the crab legs so that they will not stick to the hot grill. Place the crab legs on the grill, making sure not to overcrowd the area. Grill for about eight minutes, flipping once during cooking.

Once they're cooked through, remove from grill and enjoy! If desired, you can season with additional salt, lemon juice or lemon wedges, butter, or garlic. Enjoy!

Recipe: Brandy Mayonnaise Sauce for Crab Legs

This easy recipe transforms your crab legs dish into something spectacular! So easy to make and delicious. 

Get the recipe here.