Crab legs are one of the most popular delicacies throughout the world and learning how to cook them can be quite advantageous for your personal enjoyment or even for a dinner party. Whether you want to bake, steam, or even grill your crab legs, the options for cooking are relatively endless. With that being said, the most popular way to cook crab legs is to boil them as it is the least time consuming and it helps to make them taste their best.
Step 1: Purchasing the Crab Legs
When you are preparing to boil the shellfish, you will want to consider whether you want them frozen or fresh. Generally, frozen crab legs taste better than fresh legs as they do not retain the same amount of flavor, they retain more. This can also be preferable for shoppers as they can be found in relatively any grocery store.
Expect your crab legs to be precooked as this helps to prevent bacteria from spreading through the meat on the fishing boats. When inspecting the package, uncooked legs are pale and cooked legs are either red or bright orange.
Step 2: Preparation
In order to cut down on cooking time, you may want to consider thawing the crab legs before you put them in the pot to boil. The safest way to defrost is to put them in the fridge for about 8 hours as they can be kept refrigerated for up to 2 days without having to worry about spoiling.
Once they have defrosted, rinse off the legs and fill a pot with cold water. Add vinegar or lemon juice as this will help the meat to taste fresher and will get rid of the pungent seafood odor that many people do not like.
Step 3: Boiling the Crab Legs
Once the water has boiled, drop the legs into the water and wait for them to return to a boil. For smaller crab legs, boil them for about 4-5 minutes, larger ones should take about 8-15 minutes. After this time is up, remove them from the heat as you are going to be reheating them instead of cooking them (if they are precooked).
Step 4: Serve
Now that the crab legs are finished boiling you will want to serve them immediately with butter as this will add to the flavor and your guests will enjoy the meat while it is warm versus when it is cold.