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How To Cook Crab Legs

Crab leg meat is succulent and sweet and has a relatively mild taste. It is said that Alaska’s red king crabs from Bristol Bay have the reputation of being one of the best tasting crabs in the world. Although cooking crab legs are popular in many restaurants, many people assume that crab legs are difficult to prepare, but surprisingly crag legs are not difficult as you expect. In fact, cooking crab legs is basically a matter of properly heating course.

Alaskan Red King Crab Legs


Select & Buy Crab Legs

1. Before buying, you should select the right crab legs. Make sure that your crab legs are nice and firm to the touch.

2. Find the legs with joins that are easily movable. You don’t want legs that have hard to move joins because it will give difficult time when you are going for the meat.

3. Also make sure that the crab legs are not smell like fish because the smell indicated that the legs is old. Choose the ones that smell fresh like the sea water.

4. If you do plan on buying crab legs, try not to buy the ones that have been thawed, because they will lose their freshness. So try to buy the frozen crab legs or pre-cooked ones.

5. Most crab legs, such as King Crab and Snow Crab legs sold in the United States are precooked and then frozen. All you need to do next is heat them up and it will be ready to eat.

Cooking Crab Legs

As you might have guessed, there are a variety of ways for cooking crab legs. Steaming, boiling and baking are among the most common. With these methods, crab legs take only 4 to 8 minutes to reheat. Keep in mind that unless you have purchased a live crab, the crab legs in front of you usually have already been cooked. Be careful not to overcook the crab as it will reduce the prized texture and taste.

Steam Cook

1. If you would like to choose steaming when cooking crab legs, to start with, pour 2 cups of water in a steamer or a large pot and add 1 tablespoon of salt.

2. Add the crab legs onto a rack in the bottom of the pan. Begin timing as the water starts to boil again

3. You need to steam the crab legs for 5 to 7 minutes, until you begin to smell their aroma. Make sure not to overcook the legs as they have already been cooked once.

4. Remove from the heat and serve hot with melted butter and lemon wedges.

Boil Cook

1. To boil crab legs is also an easy way of cooking crab legs. First, half fill a large saucepan with water and add a tablespoon of sea salt. And if you wish, you can make it seasoning to your taste.

2. Bring the water to the boil and then drop the crab legs in. At this moment, reduce the heat slightly and allow the crab legs to simmer and heat up for 5 to 7 minutes.

3. When the time is up, remove from the water and rinse the crab legs. Serve it hot as the main dish of tonight.

After cooking crab legs using your preferred method, the only thing left is to tuck in and enjoy eating them. Some people use nutcrackers to break the shell of the crab legs in order to get to the delicious meat, otherwise hammers, pliers, knives or simply forks can also be employed.

Fresh Alaskan King Crab Serving


Photo Source:
1. Alaskan Red King Crab Legs
2. Fresh Alaskan King Crab Serving

31 Responses to “How To Cook Crab Legs”

  1. ME! says:

    I like to steam mine. I get a dutch oven and put some water in it with salt. Then I put a baking, cooling rack,(the kind that you put on the table when cooling a cake or brownies) over the dutchoven, I put the crab legs on the rack and cover the legs with a plate or lid to trap the steam. I let them steam for about 10 minutes. Melt some drawn butter in the microwave and ENJOY!!!!!

    Boiling them just washes away ALOT of the flavor!!!

  2. Laura says:

    I agree with kmac, old bay is definitely the way to go. I like adding lemon, bay leaves and beer, and sometimes I add butter, too.

  3. Nick O. says:

    I too am 12 and also love crab.

  4. Amy says:

    My Mothers Day Meal will consist of king crab legs, rice pilaf and asparagus!! Yum, Yum! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. cris johnston says:

    i like turtles

  6. i love your crab leg recipe. hope i will be successful at making my own. thank you. if you wish, check out my cranberry cookie recipe on my blog. thanks

  7. Christopher says:

    I love crab and I would like to find out what I can do to become one of the people in the videos because I would love to share with others this gift to cook crab. Thanks Jus spreading crabs.

  8. hi says:

    You guys are not supposed to ask questons! Your supposed to listen he first time!! Especially you Mr. Donald Davidson i dont like your attitude.

  9. itchy says:

    I think I have crabs.

  10. ron says:

    I have to recommend Zatarain’s crab boil with lemon. I use a coffee grinder on the ingedients that I remove from the bag. I put two tablespoons with squeezed lemon in the steam water and sprinkle some of the seasoning on the crab legs just before steaming. Dipping the meat in melted butter mixed with some of that seasoning makes them pretty darn tasty!

  11. Enrico says:

    I am 12 and I love crab legs

  12. Tracy say says:

    do they need to thow out first and how long

  13. JABO says:

    ok buy crabs ,get out big 5 gallon pot.Then fill with cold WATER., LET THEM THAW.Rinse fill, rinse fill, rinse fill., etc…Then put on plate and empty pot of crab water .Now fill with fresh water and put on stove top. with half filled water pot let water boil then drop crab in pot add salt about quarter of a cup then let boil for 3 min. Then add vinager, about half a cup and let boil for 2 more min. Pushing crab with spatula into boiling water up, down, up ,down etc…. then take pot over to sink and drain water out. let top of pot sit half way on pot to let crab cool off, then get margerine and lemon and mix them together and dip and sing of the glory of crablegs.

  14. I'm the King Crab says:

    I am seven years old and I like crab legs.

  15. adam b says:

    Best recipe…….I went to a q&a with emril….

    This cooks 3lb of crab legs

    Bud light lime……3 beers
    3 garlic cloves cut in half….
    And 3 whole lemons cut in half…..

    Bring everything to a boil…….drop in crab legs and simmer for 6-8 mintues……cooked legs should read

  16. Jonathan says:

    BEER, OLD BAY and LEMON juice is the only way to go. Add some water, steam for 6-8 minutes and serve with a side item sprinkled with Old Bay and you will receive nothing but compliments!

  17. na says:

    Hmmm never cooked crab legs before. I’m going to make an attempt next week. Wish me luck

  18. kmac says:

    Old bay seasoning is the best when boiling crablegs…the longer you let them sit in the water with the seasoning, the spicier they’ll be…Um UM Good!

  19. At least your website did not disapoint me. Your contributers all think king crab comes boiled and frozen. Milk comes from little plastic jugs in the market. Surprise, crab comes fron the sea and it is not cooked and milk comes from cows.

    Look on your site to find out how long to cook king crab legs that you just brought in from the sea.

  20. amanda bile says:

    i’m so excited! and i just can’t hide ittttt! i’m about to cook some crabs and i kno i’ll like it!!

  21. Mr. Crab says:

    Hello I am Mr. Crab I own Krusty Krab I eat Crabs every day but i got to say yall are fukn crabby

  22. Lily says:

    A great way to cook crab legs is to steam them in the microwave oven. I learned this on the food network Alton’s “Good Eats” show. You wrap them in wet paper towels (for steaming) and cook them for 2-3 min. I also saw another show that said to put them in a plastic bag after wrapping in wet paper towels. I tried both and they come out great!

  23. jackie says:

    thank you so much. i was wondering how long i was supposed to boil them. making a seafood soup my sister in law used to make and it has crab and shrimp in it and wanted to make sure i would cook it the right time. thank you again

  24. Hippie says:

    Sounds good. I’ll try boiling with the old bay,beer and lemon. I’ve also googled how to properly thaw them,so it’ll be totally cool.Thanks for the info and comments!

  25. Martha says:

    Steam them in beer with Old Bay and a little lemon juice!!! They will be sooooo good, you won’t be able to chat while eating!!!!!!!

  26. jeff McGowan says:

    What temperature should we use when backing?

  27. Donald Davidson says:

    Why would you rinse the crab legs after you take them out of boiling? I do not understand this please E-mail my why you would do this Thanks Donald

  28. Cheeks says:

    Tonight I am boiling crab legs with veggies and mashed potatoes and melted butter… I think my boyfriend will be happy when he comes home from work. Now I know how to cook ‘em!

  29. im now the crab king says:

    thanks to y=o=u

  30. Charnette says:

    That was so easy! Thanks for this, I will try it!

  31. Ramas says:

    The best way to open crab legs with the least amount of effort is a sharp pair of kitchen scissors. Slices right through the shell and leaves the meat intact.

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