How to make great crab legs

Bake, boil or steam crab legs.
Bake, boil or steam crab legs. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Crab legs are a tasty seafood dish that is fairly easy to make. You can use Dungeness, snow or Alaskan king crab legs for your recipes. Steamed or boiled crab legs are the common cooking methods but you can also bake crab legs. Crab tastes delicious with just a hint of lemon and melted butter. When serving crab legs, include crab crackers (nut crackers are a workable substitute) for each diner so they can break into the crab legs.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot
  • Crab legs
  • Melted butter
  • Sea salt
  • Steamer insert
  • Lemons
  • Baking sheet

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Fill the pot halfway with water. Add 1 ½ tbsp. salt to the water and bring to a boil on high heat.

Place the crab legs in the water once it boils, and turn the heat down to medium-high.

Simmer the crab legs for 6 to 7 minutes in the pot.

Take the crab legs out of the pot and briefly rinse them before serving.


Add 2 cups of water and 1 tbsp. sea salt to a large pot and boil on high heat.

Place the steamer basket inside the pot after the water boils, and add the crab legs to the basket.

Return the water to a boil, then steam the crab legs for 5 to 6 minutes. You should be able to smell the cooked crab.

Remove the crab legs and serve with melted butter and sliced lemon wedges on the side.


Use a cracker to crack the crab legs in 2 to 3 places.

Line the crab legs in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Brush melted butter over the crab legs and a little lemon juice.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.


  • “Totally Crab Cookbook (Totally Cookbooks)”; Helene Siegel; 1997
  • “The Crab Cookbook: How to Catch and Cook Crabs”; Cy Liberman et al; 1998
  • “Crab: Buying, Cooking, Cracking”; Andrea Froncillo et al; 2007
  • “Crazy for Crab: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy Fabulous Crab at Home (Non)”; Fred Thompson; 2004
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