How to Eat Crab Legs

Things You'll Need

  • Crab legs

  • Small fork

  • Cracking device similar to nut cracker

  • Kitchen shears or scissors

Crab legs are one of the most enjoyable and flavorful dishes you can order. The trouble with crab legs is that you have to work to get the meat, and the amount of work you do is not always equivalent to the amount of meat you get out of them. But done right, you can quickly get your crab legs opened up and ready to eat, all with minimal effort.

How to Eat Crab Legs

Step 1

Break the crab legs at the joints. Often, a crab leg will open up at the joint, allowing for easy removal of the meat.

Step 2

If a clean break isn't made at the joint, or if the meat is still tough to get to, begin to break the shell with the tools you have available. If you start at the broken joint and proceed to work in a straight line, you can split the shell down the middle, allowing for removal of the meat.

Step 3

If you have scissors or kitchen shears available, you can cut directly down the crab leg and simply open and remove the meat. If you are in a restaurant, this is usually not an option.

Step 4

After removing the meat from the long shafts of the shell, use your fork to pry the meat out of the main joint at the opposite end from the claw. After removing the meat from the shells, the joints and the claws, you are done.


Don't be afraid to make a mess. Cracking crab legs is expected to be messy.