For seafood lovers, there’s nothing better than digging into crab legs. They are typically juicy and meaty, and when they are freshly caught, there’s hardly a better taste in the world.
Of course, crab leg enthusiasts have their favorite types of crab legs, too, and when at a party, it’s hard to not pounce immediately on a big, ice-covered tray of crab legs.
But did you know that fresh crab legs or frozen (and thawed) crab legs aren’t the only way to eat them? In fact, they taste equally as good as reheated leftovers!
There are several ways to reheat crab legs to enjoy as leftovers. This post will explore these methods and answer your reheating crab leg questions. We’ll even let you know the best method for reheating crab legs!
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Can You Reheat Crab Legs?
Like many foods, the short answer is that yes, you can reheat crab legs. But there are a few things to remember about reheating any food.
Most food that is refrigerated can be reheated, including leftovers. It’s important to not let them sit in a refrigerator too long, though.
For example, frozen foods must be thoroughly heated before consumed, except for desserts like ice cream. Also, whenever foods are reheated, it is essential to remember that the food quality likely won’t be as good as it was initially, so expect some of the original flavors and tastes to be diminished.
Cooked crab legs can generally last for up to four days in a refrigerator. Freezing cooked crab legs will make them last for up to six months in a freezer if you want them to last longer. Consuming them within these periods will ensure that most of their original taste and texture are intact.
The method for reheating crab legs varies, and many people will have a favorite or desired method. As with any food, some reheating methods work better than others.
However, they are often best reheated the way they were initially prepared. For example, if you are reheating something that was originally baked, reheating it the same way is likely the best way to re-consume that food.
Another general rule to go by when it comes to reheating food is that dishes that are breaded or deep-fried often do better when reheated in an oven or air fryer, as they require dry heat. Foods that are baked or grilled usually do better when reheated in an oven or on a grill.
Given that crab legs are typically boiled initially, you may already have guessed where our recommendation lies!
Should You Reheat Crab Legs?
As with any food, reheating and consuming crab legs as leftovers must be done correctly. Poorly reheated food can make a person sick, so it is vital that your crab legs are thoroughly reheated.
The aim of this blog post is to show you how to reheat crab legs correctly so they will be safe to consume and taste great. If you are unsure whether it’s safe to reheat your leftover crab legs, be sure to consult resources like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where they have guidance for which leftover foods can be reheated.
How to Reheat Crab Legs in the Oven
Reheating crab legs in an oven is a conventional method for kitchens that aren’t equipped with large pots. Ovens also have enough space to handle whole crab legs, which is convenient.
Placing them on a tray will typically dry the crab legs out, so what many crab legs lovers suggest is to steam them in the oven.
To do this, place the legs in a dish with half an inch of water. During this step, you may add some seasoning to the water to infuse the legs with flavors.
Once the oven is preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place them inside, cover the dish with foil, and in 20 minutes, they should be ready for your belly!
How to Reheat Crab Legs in the Microwave
Using a microwave to reheat crab legs is quite common, but it is arguably the least desired option because the flavors are significantly reduced. However, the crab leg meat’s texture is retained if they are not left in too long.
This method is extremely quick, as the crab legs can be reheated in only two minutes, but some preparation is required to try to retain some of the moisture in the meat. First, wrap the legs in cling film and wet paper towels before reheating them. Next, with the wet towels, cover the legs and sheath them with the cling film.
When the timer is done, handle the crab legs carefully, as they may be piping hot.
How to Reheat Crab Legs in an Air Fryer
Reheating crab legs in an air fryer has become an increasingly popular option with many home chefs adding air fryers to their cooking arsenals. The good news is that it is a straightforward process, too.
Wrap the crab legs tightly in foil to start. You may even want to dust the foil or legs in seasoning first. Then place them in an air fryer basket and set the fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit for about 3 to 5 minutes.
How to Reheat Crab Legs on a Grill
Reheating crab legs on a grill is ideal if you also plan to grill up other leftovers or dishes for your meal like corn on the cob or grilled meats and vegetables.
Place the crab legs on a grill, uncovered, but avoid placing them directly over a flame. Give the legs around 8-10 minutes to heat through, and they should be ready to be enjoyed.
How to Reheat Crab Legs in a Toaster Oven
By reheating crab legs in a toaster oven, you are essentially mimicking the same method as an oven, as you are baking them. This method is much more convenient for people in smaller homes or apartments without a large stove.
But given the size of a toaster oven this option can be a tedious option.
At 350 degrees Fahrenheit, insert your dish filled with an inch of water or other liquid (as mentioned in the oven section above). Then cover the dish with foil, poke a couple of holes in the top and let the legs bake for 5-8 minutes. Leave them in longer for longer or thicker crab legs.
How to Reheat Crab Legs in a Pan on the Stove
This popular method is close to how crab legs should be cooked initially, so this reheating method captures their original flavor and tenderness quite well. In addition, it is a simple process that requires little preparation and won’t make a mess in your kitchen.
Simply fill a large pan about two-thirds of the way. Add a pinch of salt per crab leg to the water. Turn the burner onto a high setting, cover the pan and once there’s a rolling boil, throw in the crab legs!
Ensure the water covers the crab legs during this process and move them around in the water to create an even reheat. In 4-5 minutes, they will be ready to be devoured.
Another option is to steam crab legs on the stove.
Much like boiling crab legs, this method requires a large pot but significantly less water. Steaming crab legs also takes only a few minutes of your time and is the best way to retain these tasty seafood delights’ original tenderness and flavor.
Simply fill a steamer-sized pot with just enough water to cover the crab legs, which is likely only to be a couple of inches at the base of the pot. Some home chefs like to use beer, white wine, broth, or even sherry instead of water, too! It merely depends on your desired flavor.
When the liquid is boiling, place the crab legs inside and cover the pot. Give them 5 minutes to steam up, and voila!
WINNER – The Best Way To Reheat Crab Legs Is to Steam them in a Large Pot!
Steaming crab legs to reheat them mimics the way they were originally cooked and retains both the moisture and flavor of the meat making this the best way to reheat crab legs, hands down.
There are a variety of ways crab leg lovers can reheat their favorite food and eat as leftovers, but it mostly comes down to what utensils and appliances you have at home to accomplish it. Ensure you thoroughly reheat the crab legs, though, to avoid illness.
What are some of your tips for reheating crab legs? Let us know in the comment section below.