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Those big crab legs I see at the fish shop and supermarket: How do you cook them?

Westy Jun 7, 2013 11:39 AM

Those enormous legs must be full of tasty crab and always look so tempting. Woulndn't mind giving them a try.

Any thoughts on how to prep?

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  1. dave_c RE: Westy Jun 7, 2013 12:01 PM

    King Crab Legs are cooked. You just need to defrost, if frozen, and heat them thoroughly.

    Alton Brown in a Good Eats episode recommended microwaving the legs wrapped in a damp towel.

    I usually steamed the crab legs for about 5 minutes.

    1. EricMM RE: Westy Jun 7, 2013 12:08 PM

      Make sure you get them from a good source. "Cheaper" ones ( a relative term...they are never cheap) sometimes taste/smell of ammonia. Hard to find, and nowadays almost always unaffordable, are live king crabs. Its hard to go back to the frozen ones after tasting those.

      1 Reply
      1. re: EricMM
        free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: EricMM Jun 8, 2013 02:02 PM

        or they taste slightly of freezer burn.

      2. MGZ RE: Westy Jun 7, 2013 12:25 PM

        I have developed a technique for reheating crab legs, Snow and King, that I'll stand by. Since they are already fully cooked and have a lot of water in them, I moved away from steaming.

        I find that a gentle dry heat works best. Thaw in the fridge the night before, then place the legs on a rack in a large roasting pan, I put 'em in a 225 degree oven until they are hot. I serve 'em with drawn butter.

        I buy those things every time my local supermarket puts 'em on sale. One of Mrs. Z's favorites.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MGZ
          KrumTx RE: MGZ Jun 8, 2013 04:58 AM

          That's a good idea. Thanks. Will try.

        2. boogiebaby RE: Westy Jun 7, 2013 12:28 PM

          I buy the ones at Costco's seafood kiosk, which aren't frozen. I just bring them home, and heat them on the grill for a few minutes, then serve with melted butter and lots of lemon. So good!

          2 Replies
          1. re: boogiebaby
            rexster314 RE: boogiebaby Jun 8, 2013 09:42 AM

            Rest assured, those legs at Costco have been frozen then thawed to make them look better.

            1. re: rexster314
              boogiebaby RE: rexster314 Jun 8, 2013 03:47 PM

              As in, aren't frozen when I buy them. I didn't have to defrost them myself.

              I know they've been frozen previously - almost all king crab legs are.

          2. j
            jbsiegel RE: Westy Jun 7, 2013 12:39 PM

            I usually just let them defrost and eat them cold. They may need a rinse to remove salt, though.

            1. k
              kseiverd RE: Westy Jun 7, 2013 01:12 PM

              Since I live in NJ (not remotely close to where those big legs originated), they're always either frozen or "previously" frozen. On rare occasion that I do buy them... usually for myself. They can have a LOT of water in them. I snip up both sides with kitchen scissors and set on-end in a container with paper towels in bottom to absorb that liquid. They only need to be "cooked" to bring them up to temp. Next time gonna split and toss on grill from 5 minutes or so... basted with butter (and probably hot sauce)... then more melted butter for dipping.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kseiverd
                FishTales RE: kseiverd Jun 8, 2013 04:06 PM

                I've put them on our charcoal grille many a time. I usually slit the shells to let more smoke in. Sometimes I'll add a cup or so of soaked mesquite chips (yum!).


              2. Njchicaa RE: Westy Jun 8, 2013 05:18 AM

                I've steamed them in aluminum foil on the grill with very good results. Easier to do a bunch of them that way than to do batches in a pot on the stove.

                1. j
                  jpc8015 RE: Westy Jun 8, 2013 06:44 AM

                  If it is Alaskan king crab there is a 99.99% chance that they are already cooked. Just that them out, crack them open and enjoy. Preferably with drawn butter and warm sourdough bread. Throw in a glass of Chardonnay for good measure.

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