How to Keep Crab in the Refrigerator

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Serve crab as part of a shellfish feast.
Serve crab as part of a shellfish feast. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

There are about 4,400 different species of crab, including some of the most popular for eating -- including king, Dungeness, rock, blue and stone. Crab can be served simply with melted butter, or used in recipes that call for lump crab meat added to a seafood casserole. No matter the method, make sure you properly refrigerate crab in order to prolong freshness.

Things You'll Need

  • Small fridge
  • Wooden bushel basket
  • Burlap sack
  • Sealable container

Live Crab

Dedicate a separate small refrigerator for your crab. This not only keeps the smell of shellfish away from other food, it also allows you to store live crab where they do best -- at 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 10 degrees higher than the average fridge setting.

Place a wooden bushel basket inside the refrigerator. If you need to store other food in the same fridge, place the basket on the bottom level so crab juices can't drip down to other food.

Wet a burlap sack and rest it on top of the crab. They can continue to breathe as long as their gills stay moist.

Crab Meat

Place crab meat in an airtight or sealed container.

Refrigerate the container.

Adjust the temperature to 33 degrees Fahrenheit. Most fridges are kept around 40 degrees. If you have a temperature control for a specific compartment in the fridge, use it to lower the temperature. Crab meat should be consumed within 1 or 2 days or moved to the freezer.

References

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