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

  • w

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. 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. 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. 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

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

        2. 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

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

            1. re: rexster314

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

            1. 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

                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. 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. 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.