How to Cook Frozen Crab Legs

Frozen crab legs can be cooked using numerous methods including the oven, grill or boiled on the stovetop. The details of each method are provided below.

Most king crab legs, including ours, are pre-cooked and simply need to be warmed. The warming time is short. Steaming crab legs on the stovetop takes just 6 to 8 minutes. Warming in the oven requires more time, but the cook time is only 15 to 20 minutes. No matter how you decide to warm crab legs, do not overcook or the crab meat will be tough and dry.

If you want to serve crab legs as a chilled dish, simply thaw them in the refrigerator and serve.

Regardless of the cooking method used, the first step for perfect crab legs is to gently thaw the frozen product in your refrigerator. Remove the outer paper packaging and place the plastic wrapped legs on a plate or pan. Place in the refrigerator and thaw for 8 to 12 hours.

What if you forgot to thaw the crab legs overnight? It’s possible to quick thaw them using cold water. 

Use a bowl large enough to hold the crab legs. Fill it with cold water and place the crab legs in it. Submerge them fully. A weight, such as a saucepan filled with water, may be required to keep the crab legs under water. Change the cold water every 20 minutes. The frozen crab legs will take about 45 to 60 minutes to thaw.

How to Cook Crab Legs in the Oven

Cooking crab legs in the oven is easy and produces excellent results. The idea is to heat the crab in a closed container with a small amount to water in the bottom. The water heats and effectively steams the meat, keeping it moist. 

Heat oven to 350°F.
Place thawed king crab legs in a deep casserole dish or baking pan. 
Add enough water to fill the bottom of the dish or pan to ½”.
Cover with aluminum foil. 
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until crab legs are steamed and hot.

How to Cook Crab Legs on the Grill

Grilling crab legs is an easy and festive way to cook this gourmet seafood. Start with thawed crab legs for best results.

Heat grill to medium-high.
Place thawed crab legs on the grill and heat for 5 to 6 minutes. 
Flip and grill for an additional 4 to 5 minutes until they are completely heated. 

How to Boil Crab Legs

Boiling crab legs is a time-honored method of heating this seafood delicacy. The greatest challenge is finding a pot large enough to fit the large and long legs.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.

Add the crab legs to the pot. You may have to gently bend them at the joints. An option is to cut large legs at the joint.

Reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pot and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.

Drain and serve.

It’s also possible to steam crab legs on a stovetop. This is a good method for SRF crab legs since they are pre-cut.

Fill a large pot with about 2 inches of water and insert a steamer insert.

Bring the water to a boil.

Place the crab legs in the pot.

Steam for 6 to 8 minutes.