The Correct Way to Prepare and Eat Crab Legs
Have you shied away from buying or cooking crab legs because you don't know how to prepare or eat them properly? Don't worry, we're here to help! Learn below.
Did you know that the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar's Palace serves up an astonishing 1,738 lbs of crab legs each day?
Seafood lovers know that casino buffets are a mecca for delectable all-you-can-eat crab, shrimp, sushi and more, but it's not always convenient to jet to Las Vegas!
While some folks might be intimidated by the idea of preparing and eating these succulent seafood treats at home, it's actually not that hard to serve up a delicious crab-leg feast. Read on for some expert tips and tricks!
What Type of Crab Legs Are Best?
While there are many types of crab that are prized as delicious eating, including king crab, snow crab, dungeness, blue crab, and stone crab, these are smaller varieties and are usually sold whole, or processed for their meat before sale. If you just want the large, easier-to-eat legs, you will want to look for king crab or snow crab.
Depending on where you live, fresh crab legs may be difficult to acquire. Most legs sold in the United States today are pre-cooked and then flash-frozen before being shipping to seafood markets and grocery stores.
Of course, you can always order your crab legs delivered from Maryland right to your door. Not only is this more convenient, but the quality of the crab will be superior.
King Crab vs. Snow Crab
As the name implies, the legs of king crabs are generally large.
Their meat is tinged red and has a delicate, sweet taste. The shells of king crab are harder and spiny, but cracking into them will yield tender chunks of meat. Snow crab offers white or pinkish meat, with a flavor that is also sweet, but with a salty hint of their ocean origin. Their shells are smooth and somewhat easier to penetrate.
Which variety is better? It's largely a matter of personal preference. Experiment with a crab leg tasting, try both, and see which one you enjoy more!
How Much Crab to Buy?
Both varieties of crab legs will give you about 50% meat. Plan on serving about six ounces of meat per person, depending on what else is on the menu. That means roughly one pound's worth of crab for each diner.
For true crab lovers or for a truly decadent feast, double that amount. It's always better to have too much than too little -- in the unlikely event that there are leftovers, you can put them to great use the next day as an eggs Benedict brunch dish, as a savory dip, or in a seafood chowder or bisque.
Preparing Your Crab Feast
Whether you are entertaining friends and family, cooking a romantic seafood dinner for a special occasion, or simply indulging all by yourself, there are a few things to know when you plan to serve crab.
First, it's messy business! You will want to provide kitchen shears (for splitting the shells, if they are not already pre-split),crab crackers, and small forks and picks for removing hard-to-reach tidbits of meat.
Plenty of napkins and paper towels are also a must. Pro tip: for a dinner party featuring crab legs, a stash of moist washcloths warm in a slow cooker!
It's also a good idea to provide a large bowl for the empty shells, so that guests don't have to crowd their plates with them. Small dipping dishes for the melted butter will be necessary, too.
Speaking of Condiments...
Lemon and melted butter are the classic accompaniments for crab. If possible, choose clarified butter for a truly elegant experience. Cocktail sauce is another option.
Feeling fancy? Whip up a batch of garlic butter by adding sliced garlic cloves to the butter as it's melting. Let it steep for a while to achieve a more garlicky flavor, but be sure to strain the cloves out before serving the butter.
Whatever dipping sauce you choose, serve lemon wedges on the side. They will help cut the richness of a butter sauce, and complement the sweet crab flavor.
Time to Cook Your Crab Legs!
There are several methods for cooking up your crab leg dinner, no matter which variety you've chosen.
For a super-simple preparation, fill a large stockpot about half full of water. Add a tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, add your crab legs, bending and tucking them to make sure they are submerged. Boil gently for about 8-10 minutes.
Place a steamer rack inside your pot, and add water until it reaches the level of the steamer. Bring to a boil, add the legs, and proceed as above.
It might not be worth firing up your grill just for crab legs, but if you're grilling up steaks, why not go all out and do surf-and-turf?
The legs should be oiled lightly, then grilled over direct heat for six to eight minutes. Position the cluster portion of the crab closest to the hottest part of the fire, with the legs radiating outward. Flip halfway through.
Roasting crab legs is not as popular as the stove top methods, but it is a delicious departure. For a no-fuss, easy-to-clean crab bake, place clusters in a single layer on a large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Drizzle with butter or garlic butter, season with Old Bay if desired, and fold the foil into a packet.
Put packets on a cookie sheet (in case of leaks), and bake for 10 minutes at 450?. Serve each guest an individual packet of one or two clusters, but watch out for the steam!
What to Serve with Crab Legs
Since this is already such a decadent meal, keep your side dishes light and simple.
A green salad dressed with vinaigrette, or simple steamed vegetables like asparagus or green beans, will fulfill guests' appetites without competing for attention. Or evoke a seaside clambake atmosphere by serving up boiled new potatoes and corn on the cob.
For beverages, dry white wine or beer are always good choices. You could also consider popping a bottle of bubbly!
We thought you might be! Check out our wide variety of crab, shrimp, lobster, and other seafood -- delivered overnight to your door. Bon appetit!
How to Steam Crab Legs
Here is an easy way to steam crab legs, which will work with both Alaskan king crab and snow crab.
How to Cook Crab Meat: 10 Mouth-Watering Ways
Here are 10 delectable Crab recipes:
There's nothing tastier than succulent crab meat fresh from the Chesapeake Bay.
With its delicate taste, crab makes for a versatile protein you can add to many dishes. Do you know how to cook crab meat? It's easier than you think! From appetizers to entrees, there are many ways to make a delicious crab dish.
1. King Crab
Here's how to cook crab meat to perfection.
Fill a large pot with water and cover with a lid. Put it over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Submerge your crabs in water and replace the lid. After 5-7 minutes, removes the crabs using tongs. After they've cooled, you can crack them open. Serve with melted butter for dipping.
2. Crab Roll
1 cup fresh crab meat
2 T mayo
2 T unsalted butter
2 split hot dog rolls
When it comes to a crab roll, the crab meat is the star of the show. Be sure to buy fresh, quality crab. Now that you know how to cook crab meat, you can prepare the crab for your roll the same way as the king crab legs.
Chill the meat. When completely cooled, pull apart the crab and mix with mayonnaise. Add salt to taste.
Prepare your rolls by spreading butter on the outside. Grill them in a hot pan. Fill your rolls with the crab mixture and enjoy while the buns are still warm.
3. Crab Rangoon Dip
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1 1/2 cup lump crab meat
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 chopped green onions
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t soy sauce
1 sesame oil
1/2 t garlic powder
Combine cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo in a bowl. Then mix 1/2 a cup of the shredded cheddar cheese. Then add the crab meat, parmesan, green onions, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic powder.
Put this mixture into a 9-inch baking dish coated with non-stick spray. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Place in a 475-degree oven.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the cheese on top is bubbling. Sprinkle with more chopped green onions for garnish. Serve with crispy wonton crackers.
4. Crab Grilled Cheese
Sourdough bread, sliced
2 thin slices of tomato
1/2 cup crab meat
2 slices of Havarti cheese
2 T of butter
Take two slices of bread and add a slice of cheese to each. Then, to one piece of bread top with crab meat. To the other, top with the tomato slices.
Put the sandwich together and butter the outside facing bread slices. In a medium heat pan, cook the sandwich with a lid over it for 2-3 minutes.
Flip the sandwich over, and cook for another 2-3 minutes without the lid. Both sides of bread should be golden brown. The cheese should be melted and gooey.
5. Crab Salad Sweet Potato Bites
1 cup crab meat
1/3 of a cup chopped celery
2 T minced shallots
4 T creme fresh
1 t fresh lemon juice
1 cup grated swiss cheese
2 t chopped chives
20-24 sweet potato chips
Simply mix everything but the chips and chives together in a bowl. Top each chip with about one tablespoon of the crab salad mixture.
Sprinkle a little chopped chive to garnish. Enjoy your crab salad sweet potato bites immediately.
6. Crab and Artichoke Dip
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
The juice of 1 lemon
14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 pound of crab meat
1 smashed garlic clove
2 T grain mustard
1 T dill fresh or dried
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Once completely mixed, pour mixture into a baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Serve with grilled bread or fresh pita chips.
7. Baltimore Crab Cakes
1 cup bbreadcrumbs
2 chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup mayo
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t garlic powder
1/8 t cayenne pepper
12 ounces of crab meat
1 T butter
In a bowl combine 1/3 of the bread crumbs, green onions, red pepper, egg, mayo, lemon juice, garlic powder, and cayenne. After that's mixed well, fold in the crab meat.
Take the rest of the breadcrumbs and put them on a plate. Divide the mixture into 8 portions. Form them into balls.
Roll the crab balls in the breadcrumbs until they are evenly coated. Slightly flatten them into thick patties.
In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the crab cakes cooking for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
8. Crab Eggs Benedict
1 crab cake
1 poached egg
Pre-prepared hollandaise sauce
1 T chopped chives
Take your leftover crab cake from last night's dinner and reheat it in a skillet. Prepare a poached a lay it on top of the warm crab cake. Heat up the hollandaise in a saucepan.
Drizzle the hollandaise over the egg. Sprinkle chives over the egg as a garnish.
9. Avocado Crab Soup
1 cup lump crabmeat
1 diced celery stalk
1 t lemon zest
1 cup vegetable stock
2 T creme fresh
1 T lime juice
1 1/4 cup of water
Make the crab salad by combining the meat, lemon zest, and celery in a mixing bowl. Chill in the fridge.
Cut the avocados in half, removing the pits. Scoop the avocado out of the skin and into a blender, along with the remaining ingredients. Puree smooth, and then let it chill.
When you're ready to eat, pour the soup into four bowls. Evenly divide the crab salad into the center each bowl. You can also add a dollop of creme fresh to garnish your avocado crab soup.
10. Crab Stuffed Salmon
2 salmon fillets
1 cup lump crabmeat
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 T fresh parsley
The juice of 1 lemon
Start by making the crab filling by mixing together the crab meat, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley together in a bowl. Add a touch of salt or pepper, to your taste.
Slice down the middle of each salmon fillet, not cutting all the way through. It should be like a hot dog roll. Add some stuffing in the middle and then put more on top.
Put the salmon on a baking sheet. Place inside a 375-degree oven. Cook for about 18-20 minutes.
How to Cook Crab Meat: The Takeaway
Now you know how to cook crab meat in a number of different ways. Hot or cold, for dinner and even breakfast, crab is a delicious treat.
Is your mouth watering yet? If you want to try out some of these recipes, you need some great crab meat.
Check out the variety of crab we have to offer. It'll be shipped fresh, on-time, and at a reasonable price.
Great Online Seafood Options for the Winter
How To Buy Fish: What to Look For
Is there clear or milky liquid present? If a liquid is present, it should not be milky but clear.
The smell test. Smell the fillet and check for pungent odors. There should be none.Press fish with a finger. If you press with a finger, the meat should bounce back.
Crab Dynasty Testimonials
"My last order of crabs were the best crabs I have had in a long time. When I opened the box, I was really surprised to see how well they were packed - like a picture. They were also very tasty and heavy as I requested. My wife also loved them. Many thanks to you all at Crab Dynasty." -Robert of Cranford, NJ
"Thanks Crab Dynasty! The #3 Jimmies are absolutely delicious and full of
meat!!! Packing and the lineup of crabs made for a great Instagram and Facebook
photo posting!! Also, I will be making crab cakes and crab balls!!! Thanks again
James! Till Later!" - Pamela of Euless, TX
"We ordered two bushels recently and they were excellent! Our party was a complete success. The crabs were seasoned perfectly and very meaty! Thanks for taking care of us Marylanders in Sand Diego!" Best! - Linda of San Diego, CA
"The soft crabs were excellent. The entire family went nuts they were so good." -Stephen of Victorville, CA
"The lobster tails were so big, that they scared my kids when we pulled them out of the box. That fear went away when we sat down for dinner. They were fabulous! Will definitely order again. -Mary of Arlington Heights, IL
"My father really enjoyed his 85th birthday having your seafood! The king crab, shrimp and little neck clams were beyond our expectations, and turned out to be better than what could have gotten in a restaurant. Thank you Crab Dynasty for making my Dad's birthday a hit!" - Katrina of Briarcliff Manor, NY
How to Steam Blue Crab
It's quite easy to steam Maryland blue crabs. You start by filling a large pot with water and 1 cup of cider vinegar. Heat until a full boil occurs. Go ahead and add the live Maryland hard shell blue crabs to the pot by sprinkling each layer of crabs with crab seasoning.
Cover the pot and wait for signs of steam coming from the lid. This usually takes about ten minutes before this occurs. Continue to cook for another ten to twenty minutes until the crabs change to a bright orange color. The crabs are not finished if they are red or show signs of red/green areas.
Take crabs out of the steamer and place on a tray. Sprinkle crab season on the crabs to a desired amount. It is easiest to cover a table with newspaper to eat your crabs, making cleaning up a snap!
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Know Where Your Seafood Comes From
It's important to know where the seafood comes from and how it is handled before it is eaten. Aside from safety and enjoyment, let's face it. You are paying good money for seafood - it should be good. One thing that I learned about Crab Dynasty is that they cut out the middle man, distribution chains and retail market. They receive the seafood directly before it is shipped. By doing this, freshness is optimal. In addition, each piece of seafood is hand inspected. If something is not right, it won't be shipped. That's the kind of high quality control that you can expect from Crab Dynasty. Safe, fresh and delicious seafood is exactly what you get!