How to Grill King Crab

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King crab lovers who happen to know their way around a grill have reason to rejoice. Succulent crab legs are quick and easy to prepare on the grill and simply delicious.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 to 3 pounds king crab legs
  • Small sharp knife
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, olive oil or other preferred oil
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice or white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. seafood seasoning (optional)
  • Gas grill or charcoal grill
  • Nonstick spray (optional)
  • Barbecue baster or basting brush
  • Small bowl with melted butter
  • Lemon wedges
  • If you're using frozen crab legs, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight. For quick thawing just before grilling, if the crab legs already come in plastic bags, place the bags in cold water (not warm or hot) in the sink or a large plastic tub for one hour. If they are frozen but are not in plastic bags, place them in a large freezer bag or wrap them in plastic wrap. Pat dry with dishcloth or paper towels.

  • Make sure the grilling surface is thoroughly clean. Spray the grill with nonstick spray if you wish. If you're using a gas grill, heat it to 300 to 350 degrees (medium temperature), or if you're using a charcoal grill, heat the coals to moderate heat.

  • If you're using whole crab legs, punch a few holes in them with a sharp knife so the heat can penetrate and cook the meat. Mix melted butter or olive oil (or 1/4 cup of both, if you wish) with lemon juice or white wine (or 1 tbsp. of each).

  • Place lemon butter into a barbecue baster and drizzle it onto the crab legs, or brush it on with a basting brush.

  • Place crab legs on the grill. If you're using split crab legs, place them flesh side down on the grill. If you're using a charcoal grill, wrap crab legs in foil before setting them on the grill.

  • Grill for about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn them over, baste with more lemon butter, and grill an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Pay close attention to the color, texture and aroma. They should be white with a firm but not rubbery texture and a sweet smell. If you wish, sprinkle them with seasoning just before serving.

  • Serve with a small bowl of melted butter and lemon wedges on the side.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using a gas grill is preferred over a charcoal grill, because you have more control over the temperature. If you're using a charcoal grill, wrapping the king crab legs in foil before you grill them is recommended to prevent them from drying out. To get the best flavor, start grilling the crab legs as soon as possible after they're thawed.
  • Do not overcook crab legs, or they will have an unpalatable, rubbery texture. Never thaw frozen crab legs in warm water, because the bacteria that cause food poisoning could grow.

References

  • Crazy For Crab: Everything You Need To Know To Enjoy Fabulous Crab At Home; Fred Thompson; 2004
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