If you have never done it before, not knowing how to steam king crab legs can be nerve-wracking, because everyone wants to get it right the first time. If you don’t have a steamer at home, you also need to know how to steam crab legs without a steamer, as well as how to steam crab legs with old bay. We are going to share with you all the great tips today, so don’t worry anymore if you don’t know how to cook frozen crab legs without a steamer.
Steaming Perfect Crab Legs (And Other Cooking Methods)
King crabs are flash-frozen when they are caught because there is always the risk that the crabs will develop bacteria that are harmful to consumers. Therefore, you must know how to cook them properly because they are still going to be frozen when you buy them. Of course, if you buy them and are not ready to prepare them, you will likely also chuck them in the freezer. We’re going to share with you a couple of ways that you can reheat your king crab legs, starting with the conventional method of steaming.
Steaming Crab Legs
Steaming crab legs is fantastic if you want to maintain all of the flavors in the shell. A lot of people swear by this method, and we believe that if you’re going to start comparing methods, you should start with the tried and tested one first before moving on to the others.
Conventional steamer baskets usually can hold only an average of one pound of king crab legs, so if you have more than a pound, you may need to do it in batches. Scrunching together the king crab legs in the steamer basket is not a good idea as your crab legs may end up being undercooked in some parts.
To begin, pour an inch of water in the steamer pot and place the crab legs over it. Bring the water to a boil and allow the king crab legs to be steamed for five to seven minutes. Remember to reduce the flame or heat when the water begins to boil vigorously. It is always best to simmer the water while steaming crab legs and other seafood, for that matter. After five to seven minutes, turn off the heat and use big tongs to remove the king crab legs from the steamer basket. Place them on a tray, dish, or bowl, and allow the meat to rest before consuming, or preparing them for a specific dish.
Boiling Crab Legs
Boiling is the second preferred method of preparing frozen crab legs. It takes longer to boil, but you can season the water and do other stuff with crab legs with this method, so it is understated why different people prefer it to just steaming.
To begin, fill a Dutch oven or large pot with enough water to submerge the number of crab legs that you want to cook. Whether you have a pound or two pounds of crab legs, it is always best to use a pot that is slightly larger than what is precisely needed. Salt the water and bring it to a vigorous boil. Lower the crab legs into the water once it begins boiling. Since you are boiling the crab legs, it’s okay if you cook them frozen or thawed.
About the seasoning: salt is traditionally considered sufficient for crab legs because king crab meat is already succulent and flavorful. However, if you want to add seasoning like Old Bay, you’re free to do so. You are also free to boil your crab legs in sauces or marinades – this depends on what you want the outcome to be. Seasoning does affect the meat’s flavor, even if the meat is in the shell, so don’t hold back if you feel that you need to upgrade the flavor profile of your crab legs.
Now, a vigorous boil will cook your crab legs too quickly, and this may work against you if you want the seasonings to penetrate the meat. Turn down the heat when the water is vigorously boiling, and just simmer everything for about five minutes. Once the crab legs are cooked, all you need to do is lift them out with long tongs, and they are ready to be consumed.
Other Methods of Cooking Crab Legs
Broiling crab legs is preferred by some when they want to intensify the flavors of the crab meat even more. The higher temperature inside the oven will also cause the natural sugars in the meat to caramelize, which in turn will make the crab meat slightly sweeter.
To begin, place your king crab legs in a large baking tray. Make sure that there’s a little bit of space between the crab legs. Also, do not forget to line the baking tray with some parchment or aluminum foil. When the crab legs have all been lined up, brush them down with some butter or olive oil. Turn your oven up to high and cook the crab legs for four to six minutes. Place your crab legs on the upper level of the oven.
Another alternative method of preparing king crab legs is grilling. Who would have thought that you can grill massive king crab legs, too?
Adjust the grill, so it gives off medium heat. Make sure that the grill is clean, too. Use a grill brush to remove any burnt food from the individual grills. You also need to brush the crab legs with some melted butter or EVOO. Place them on the grill and cook thoroughly for four to five minutes. Remember to turn the crab legs, so they cook evenly. When in doubt, crack one open and see the meat’s doneness inside. Use shears to cut the shell out if you are having trouble opening the crab legs.