Can You Reheat Crab?

Q: My daughter just recently visited Maine and brought back some of the most delicious crab legs I have ever had in my life. At dinner, we had no leftovers, so this is more of a future question. If I were to order crab legs, could I make a batch for a large dinner party? We were hoping to substitute turkey this year at Thanksgiving!

crab legs

A: Oh yum! Crab is a delicious meal any time of the year and reheating it to perfection is quite easy. Now, you need to be sure to note that when you purchase crab, it has already been cooked then flash frozen. When you purchase the crab at the store, it has been cooked once already, so the preparation for crab, it’s really just choosing which method of reheating you like best!

Steaming Method

Steaming crab legs are one of the easiest ways to reheat them. Simply bring water to a boil and place a steamer pot on the top (like what you would use for asparagus) place the legs in the pot and cover. Once you can smell them, they are done. Of course you can always use a meat thermometer, the desired degree should be 135 degrees F.

Oven Method

When you are looking to cook a large batch of crab legs, the oven will be your best bet for the simple fact you can fit more. To reheat crab legs in the oven, spread them in an oven safe dish, and add about a 1/8 of an inch of water to the bottom. Cover with aluminum foil, ensuring it is snug on the pan, and place in a 350 degree F oven. This is a large scale steaming process so the tighter the aluminum foil, the better!

Allow the legs to cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, be careful not to overcook them!

The Microwave

While many people are rather against the microwave, it is a great time saver as long as you know how to use it.

Crab legs are not too hard to reheat in the microwave, in fact, you simply put them in a dish with one tablespoon of water to every 8 ounces. Microwave on high for 3 – 4 minutes. Handle carefully as the shells will be quite hot!

While many look to boiling their crab legs, it is not recommended for the simple fact of the crab meat is very delicate and can lose flavor in the rolling waters. Now, if you have whole crabs, you can boil them, but not crab legs.

Reheating seafood was once a daunting task, now we do not even have to think twice about it. With these three heating methods, you no longer need to go to a fancy restaurant to enjoy these oceans delights, just run on down to the market and pick up a few pounds just for yourself. 

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