How to Thaw Frozen Crab Legs

Most crab legs are cooked and flash frozen while they are still fresh.
Most crab legs are cooked and flash frozen while they are still fresh. (Image: alaskan king crab legs image by jedphoto from

Crab legs are one of the simplest foods you can eat at home. While many people only get crab legs at restaurants, they are easily prepared and served in your own kitchen. Since you will more than likely be buying crab legs frozen, you should know how to thaw them properly.

Things You'll Need

  • Crab legs
  • Refrigerator

Place the crab legs in the refrigerator overnight. This is far and away the best way to thaw frozen crab legs. Do not thaw crab legs at room temperature for safety reasons.

Thaw crab legs under running water if you don't have the time to thaw overnight. Running a stream of cold water over the crab legs will thaw them much faster than the refrigerator.

Once crab legs are defrosted, they just need to be heated. Make sure to do these in two separate steps: thaw, then cook. Since crab legs are usually cooked prior to your purchase, you just need to heat them in whatever way you'd like, such as steaming or grilling.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not microwave frozen crab legs to defrost them, as the meat can begin to cook and get tough.
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