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Jan 1, 2012 04:38 PM

Uber-Salty King Crab Legs

So, my (Midwestern-raised) wife *loves* king crab legs for special meals, and so last night we did filet mignon and legs. Unless you're in Alaska at the dock, previously frozen is needless-to-say.

I understand that these are flash-frozen in brine when first processed, but no matter how much rinsing I do, the cracked meat is painfully salty. I've stopped buying legs with body sections attached, because the body meat, cut across the gain, seems to doubly soak in the salt.

Does anyone have a cure for this? And why is the frozen lobster always less salty?


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  1. I have not had them in a number of years because I also found them occasionally over the top salty. I tried giving them a quick bath in lots of just off the simmer water. It seems to leach out some salt. I also served with lots of juicy lemons which cuts the salt, and often a horseradish & yogurt sauce with a touch of sugar. That also seemed to balance out the salt. I have gone to just buying live crabs (local rock or Dungeness) and dealing with the messiness.

    1. I noticed the same thing...these things come way too salty. I've stopped buying them. I don't want to pay 15$/lb in order to get meat I need to wring salt (and flavor) out of.

      2 Replies
      1. re: joonjoon

        Hi, joonjoon:

        $15??? The going rate in Seattle markets on New Year's eve was from $25 to $34/lb!

        I would have been done with them, too, if my wife didn't think they're the sine qua non of splurgy holiday food. It's been a long time since I had any king crab that had decent texture, either.

        Ah, THIS JUST IN from "Excessive saltiness is a sign that the cooked crab wasn’t chilled properly prior to brine freezing."

        Frankly, I'd pay $35/lb for live crab, once or twice a year.


        1. re: kaleokahu

          Interesting. I always assumed all of it came from the same supplier, but I've never had a saltiness problem with the legs we buy at Costco, and they're never more than $20/lb. They certainly taste of the sea, but never unpalatably so, and are always solid and juicy inside.

      2. Do you know the origins of your crab legs? Were they Russian or Alaskan? If the former, I would suggest you seek out the latter because Russian crab legs are notorious for being very salty.

        But if it was Alaskan (or of US provenance) try blanching them in boiling water, very quickly, or steaming them. It gets out the salinity better than a soak or rinse in cold water.

        Good luck.

        3 Replies
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Hi, ipse:

          To tell the truth, I don't know if Rusky or Alaskanisky. I'll ask and complain.

          I *did* steam these legs. To me, I think it's pretty obvious that the salt has permeated the meat, so I'm not sure there's anything to be done.


          1. re: kaleokahu

            That's too bad.

            Maybe you can chop it up and use in soups/stews or in fried rice? Sort of like a never-dehydrated version of conpoy?

        2. A Chef told me to soak them in water for a few hours before cooking them. I have always done that and it seem to work.