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How to Reheat Crabs Legs (5 Different Ways)

Whether it be king crab, snow crab, Dungeness crab or blue crab, these crustaceans are pricy and too good to let any morsel go to waste. Crab meat, when cooked to perfection, is tender, sweet and juicy.

The trick is not to dry the crab out when rewarming it, as this will change the taste and texture of the meat. If you happen to have leftover crab legs, it is also worth noting that you can eat the leftover crab cold, served in a crab cocktail or salad with a squeeze of lemon and a dollop of aioli- delicious!

But if you want to reheat your crab leftovers, don’t make the mistake of drying the meat out and follow with these ideal heating options and helpful tips.

How to Reheat Crab Legs In the Oven

Turn the oven on to a moderate 160°C heat. Place the crab legs into an ovenproof dish and add about an inch of water so the crab is partially submerged.

This water is going to steam up the crab legs so that we can flavour this up with a wedge of lemon, a sprig of dill and even a crushed garlic clove. Tightly cover with some tin foil, be sure to secure the edges to prevent the steam from escaping.

Pop the crab into the oven and leave to reheat for 20 minutes. When the crab legs are ready and hot, remove them from the oven – taking care when removing the tin foil- and remove the crab legs with some tongs.  

How to Reheat Crab Legs In the Microwave

Using the microwave is the easiest way to reheat these tasty crustacean legs.

Place the crab legs in a microwave friendly container, ensuring it is a single layer with no overlapping. Then to add some extra flavour, place some slices of lemon, sprigs of dill or even chopped parsley, on top of the crab.

Then cover the crab legs with a damp paper towel. Cover the container with plastic wrap, secure all the edges and then pierce the plastic with a few holes to allow some steam out and prevent the plastic from popping open.

Microwave on a high heat for about 2 minutes until the legs are hot. Reheating the crab in short bursts is best so as not to overcook the crab.

How to Reheat Crab Boiling

Boiling leftover crab that is still in its shell is a great way to reheat it.

Adding some white wine to the water can also add an extra dimension of flavour to the crab. Bring a pot of equal quantities of water and white wine or beer to the boil. Place the crustacean legs in the pot, breaking them at the joint, if need be, to fit.

Leave to boil on a high heat for 4 minutes, remembering the crab will continue to h in its shell, and we don’t want to be overcooked, dry, chewy crab meat. Remove the crab legs from the water and place them on some paper towel to absorb any excess water.

How to Reheat Crab Legs By Steaming

The steaming method is a great way to rewarm leftover crab legs and helps retain the sweet juicy flavour of the meat.

Fill a large pot – making sure a bamboo steamer or colander can fit on top- with 2 inches of water, add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. In the bamboo steamer or colander, place a single layer of crab legs, and place over the pot of boiling water.

Make sure there is sufficient space between the steamer/colander and the water. Turn down to a moderate heat. Cover with a lid and leave to steam for about 8 minutes. Remove from the pot enjoy.

How to Reheat Crab Legs On the Grill

Reheating the crab legs on the grill outside can be just as easy.

Heat the grill until hot. On a large piece of tin foil, lay the crab legs in one layer, season with salt and add a knob of butter and a squeeze of lemon, a splash of wine wouldn’t hurt too.

Fold the tin foil into a neat flat little parcel securing all the edges. Place the foil parcel onto the grill over direct heat and leave for 5 minutes.

Flip the parcel over and go for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and allow to steam in the parcel for an additional two minutes. When opening the tinfoil, take care as there will be steam, serve and enjoy drizzled with the lemon butter juices.

One could also reheat the crab legs directly on the grill, and this will add a smokey flavour and a different flavour to the crab. When heating the crab legs now on the grill, just be sure to have the thinner parts of the legs out of the direct heat.

Leave the legs to warm for about 6 minutes, turning them continuously to not blacken on either side.

Remove from the grill and leave to rest for 2 minutes; the crab will continue to steam in the residual heat in its shell. Serve and enjoy.

To Sum Up

To enjoy crab in the shell takes a good amount of work and patience; one can’t just take it from the plate and devour it, and the legs are even more labour intensive.

It takes effort and care to crack them open and find the delicate meat. But once you do, it’s like finding gold.

With the cost verse yield you get from the crab legs, it’s imperative not to overcook the crab when reheating it. It would be sacrilege to overcook. There are many options for reheating these delicious legs, but by far, my first choice would be to steam the legs, allowing the meat to retain its sweet, distinct flavour. 

The steaming method may not be the fastest way, but it is the most effective way, as it keeps that all-important moisture and sweetness in. It’s hassle-free to get it going, and you can warm a few other ingredients if you need to so you can make a delicious, balanced meal.

Of course, when modern life gets in the way, and you need to head the crab legs quickly, then the microwave is the fastest; as mentioned, please just be careful not to dry the crab legs out.