Crab legs are one of those foods worth the hard work of using a mallet, kitchen shears, or crackers to open the shell and get to the sweet, succulent meat inside.
But the reality is if you bought your crab legs from the grocery store, chances are they were pre-cooked and frozen, which means you need to know how to reheat them.
Knowing how to reheat crab legs is extremely important. One wrong move, and you could end up with tough, rubbery, overcooked crab legs.
Can You Reheat Crab Legs?
Interestingly enough, crab legs do not need to be reheated before consumption.
Ever noticed a crab salad, crab dip, or cocktail at an event you attended? That’s because crab legs can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight and eaten cold.
Nevertheless, if you prefer hot crab legs, you can always heat your store-bought crab legs.
However, be sure to heat the carb legs over medium heat to keep the meat succulent and tender. If you use high heat, the taste and texture of the crabs will be ruined.
Defrost Your Crab Legs
Thaw your crab legs in the refrigerator overnight.
Placing frozen crab legs into a hot pot of boiling water will cause the moisture in the crabs to evaporate in dry, tough crab meat.
How to Reheat Crab Legs
No one likes tough, rubbery crabs. Therefore, you need to know how to reheat crab legs correctly. Fortunately, there are 3 different ways you can reheat crabs.
How Do I Reheat Crab Legs On The Stove
Whether you are reheating store-bought or leftover crabs, reheating them on the stovetop is a great way to infuse the crab legs with flavor.
Best of all, you need is beer, water, and your crab legs will be ready to eat in 10 minutes.
Fill a large stockpot with 4 cups of water and 4 cups of beer. If you are cooking a smaller amount of crab legs, add a smaller amount of beer and water. The goal is to add equal parts of beer and water.
If you do not drink alcohol or are reheating crabs for children, substitute fish broth, chicken broth, or ginger ale are excellent substitutes for beer.
In addition to this, you can also use your favorite seafood seasoning, old bay, lemon juice, or salt to the water to revive the flavor of the crab legs.
Place the beer and water over high heat and allow it to come to a boil.
Once the beer and water mixture comes to a boil, decrease the flame to medium-low and add the crab legs. Boil the crab legs for 5-7 minutes until they are thoroughly heated.
Remove the hot crab legs from the pot and place them into a colander so they can drain thoroughly. Serve the crab legs immediately.
How Do I Reheat Crab Legs in the Oven
Whether you are reheating chicken wings, pulled pork, rotisserie chicken, or brisket, the oven is the best way to reheat any meat.
Cooking crabs in the oven, gently heat the crab legs, preventing overcooked, tough, rubbery crab legs.
Best of all, the oven method allows you to cook the crab legs from frozen or cook them in their thawed state.
However, to preserve the crab leg’s texture, there are specific steps you must follow.
The concept behind reheating crab legs in the oven is to create a hot steaming sauna for the crab.
Therefore, heat your oven to 350°F. Fill a deep glass baking or casserole dish with 1/2-inch of water.
Alternately you can also fill the pan with fish stock or beer, along with your desired seasonings such as onions, garlic, old bay salt, or your favorite seafood seasoning.
Arrange the crab legs in the bottom of the baking dish, so they are partially submerged in the liquid.
Cover the crab legs with foil and use a knife to poke a few holes in the foil so steam can escape.
If using thawed crab legs, bake them for 15 minutes. If you are cooking frozen crab legs, cook them for 25 minutes.
Remove the hot crab legs from the oven and serve immediately.
How To Reheat Crab Legs In A Steamer
Although you can boil your crab’s legs on the stovetop, steaming is another method for reheating crab legs.
This technique is similar to reheating crab legs in the oven. However, steaming does not require as much heat.
To reheat crab legs by steaming them, all you need is a pot and a colander. Like boiling crabs, this method also takes 10 minutes and is perfect for thawed crab legs.
In addition to this, you can also use water and beer or water and a non-alcoholic substitute for the cooking liquid.
You do not necessarily need to add lemon juice and extra add-ins to the cooking liquid since it will not touch the crab legs. However, you can add aromatics such as onions.
To reheat your crab legs, fill a large pot with water and beer or a non-alcoholic substitute.
Place the water and beer over high heat, cover the pot, and allow it to come to a boil.
Add the crab legs to the colander, place the colander on top of the pot of boiling broth, and add the lid.
Decrease the flame to medium-low and cook it for 6-8 minutes until the crab legs are heated thoroughly. Serve the crab legs immediately.
How Do I Reheat Crab Legs in the Microwave
Although the microwave is quicker to reheat crab legs, it is not recommended as the microwave is known to overcook food.
However, if you do not have time to reheat crab legs using another method, this is your only option.
Unfortunately, this method is not compatible with frozen crab legs, so thaw your in the refrigerator overnight.
Additionally, you can also add herbs such as dill, parsley, chives, or tarragon to add extra flavor to the crab legs.
Believe it or not, the herbs will also help preserve the crab’s moisture levels.
Use kitchen shears to cut the crab legs at the joints if they are too large to fit in your microwave.
Next, wrap 2-3 crab legs with a damp paper towel along with your herb of choice.
Wrap your crab leg bundles with plastic wrap and heat each cluster of crab legs in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Gently remove the crab legs from the microwave and unravel each cluster. Serve the crab legs immediately.
Whether you are addicted to seafood boils or a carb lover, knowing how to reheat crab legs is important if you want delicious succulent crab meat.
You might also be interested in:
- How To Reheat Lobster
- How To Reheat Salmon
- How To Reheat Crab Cakes
- How To Reheat Crawfish
- How To Reheat Shrimp
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.