Grab your crab and start boiling! Learn how to perfect this classic seafood delicacy just in time to wrap up your holiday celebrations. Crabtivating, delicious, fun!
What you’ll need:
Fresh or frozen crab legs (plan on at least one pound per person, more if you are a group of true seafood lovers)
Butter, butter, and more butter
Fresh herbs (dill, thyme, rosemary)
A large pot for boiling
Kitchen shears and small forks for accessing the meat
Step 1: Let them thaw
First things first, pick up your crab ingredients and start prepping. Fresh crab is clearly ideal, but frozen will do if you can’t get access to fresh seafood. If you can get them fresh, wonderful, but if not, start by thawing your frozen crab legs. The most ideal and best way is overnight in your fridge, but if it’s a last minute store run or too many other items clogging up your shelf space, you can run them under cool water in a strainer to thaw them quickly.
Step 2: It’s boiling time!
Next, take your pick on how you decide to cook them. You can steam, grill, or even use a microwave. But our recommendation is to boil them. This helps keep the meat moist, and heat quickly.
- Fill a large pot with cold water, about 2/3 of the way full. Add salt to the water, and bring it to a boil.
- Add about 4-6oz of crab legs at a time to the boiling water, being sure to emerge them into the water entirely (this may take some bending, tucking, etc). Then, let the water return to a boil.
- Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes, or until they are heated through. Be sure to flip them once or twice through the process to ensure they are cooked evenly and heated throughout.
- Once cooked, use large tongs to remove them from the water. You may rinse them if desired, but not necessary.
- Let them cool entirely.
Step 3: The hardest part, getting the meat out.
- Take your cooled and cooked crab legs, and twist at the joint. If you prefer, you may cut the shell instead. As they can be sharp and/or slippery, using a clean cloth may be of assistance.
- As you twist, you may be able to pull the meat out directly. If not, using a clean knife or kitchen shears to cut through the shell to access the rest of the meat.
- Be sure to clean them out entirely, you don’t want to miss any of the good stuff.
- To harvest additional crab meat for legs that are split, easily pull apart the shell with your fingers. Use a small fork (seafood fork if you have one) and remove the meat from the legs and claws.
Step 4: Serving your crab
You’ve made it to the most enjoyable part, it’s crab consumption time! Let your seafood be the star of the meal, and don’t overdo it with complexity. If you chose to forego getting the meat out yourself to leave some entertainment for your table guests, serve up the cooked legs in a bucket or pot and let everyone twist and carve them up themselves!
- If the crab legs aren’t already split, have your clean shears or knives available at the table. Each person will need a small fork to get the meat out of the shells as we discussed before.
- Add your sides for flavoring across the table, such as lemon wedges, melted butter, or dill.
- The more butter the better, so come prepared with separated servings for your guests.
- To take your butter to the next level by adding fresh herbs before placing it on the table!
Dig in, and enjoy your delicious crab feast!