The best ways to reheat crab legs

how to reheat crab legs

You can consider crabs as one of the heavyweight contenders in seafood. I mean, who doesn't like crabs? It is a fact that the availability of fresh, delicious crabs depends on your location, but no seafood lover can resist not finding a place and going out of their way to buy them. 


Crab legs are the dish to go for on a beautiful holiday or just about any special event you can think of. But most importantly, treat yourself to a crab dish that involves butter, make crab cakes by boiling it, or choose from countless recipes that make it taste like heaven. 


However, as delicious as it is, crab legs don't come cheap, and no one wants to waste perfectly good leftover crab legs. Also, cooking and reheating the leftover crabs can be stressful if you have never done it or experienced an upset stomach. Leftover crabs can still be delicious if you know how to treat them.


In this article, we guide you through the best ways to reheat crab legs and everything you have to know about leftover crab legs.

Is it necessary to reheat leftover crab legs?

An important thing to note is that you do not necessarily need to reheat crab legs before eating them. Crabs are often served cold with melted butter or lemon wedges; you can also thaw them and use the meat as you like.


There are plenty of dishes you can make with cold or thawed crab legs, and they are delicious as ever. But for the likes of someone who wants to eat them warm or reheated, you must make sure not to overcook them since it becomes unappetizing and rubbery.


There are endless possibilities of dishes you can make with leftover crabs, and they can taste as favorable and be as tender as it was the first time you cooked them, by being careful and using the correct methods, of course.

The best ways to reheat crab legs

Boiling the leftover crab legs in hot water

To still get that delicious flavor and texture on leftover crab legs after reheating has a lot of methods, and boiling them is one of the easiest and the best ways to do it. You must completely submerge the crab legs in the water since adding more water will prevent the meat from drying out. 


Also, adding more water ensures they retain the deliciousness and non-chewy texture you get from overcooking them. So how do you go about it? Fill a large pot with enough water and after it comes to a boil, put the crab legs in, close the lid and cook for about 5 minutes. 


This will ensure they get enough heat and your leftover crab legs are ready to feast on. You can choose to occasionally flip the legs to make sure they are evenly heated.

Steaming the leftover crab legs

Having a steamer can't be more valuable to you than using it to reheat leftover crab legs. The secret to having tasty, tender, and juicy leftover crab legs is steaming them on a steamer.


 All the while being similar to boiling them, this method takes fast reheating to new levels, and you don't need to add as much water as you did while boiling them.


You can do this by simply putting water in the steamer's pot and adding the crab legs once the water boils. Make sure to add water to cover the bottom as well. 


The trick to adding more flavor to your leftover legs is to use beer, broth, or even white wine. Steaming usually takes around five minutes to reheat your crab legs thoroughly, and it is ready to serve.

Reheating your leftover crab legs in the oven

The steamer or a pot is usually not the most considerable preference for most people who like their leftover crabs whole. Sometimes the pot might be too small to fit in all that delicious leftover crab legs, and that is where the oven comes in.

Reheating the leftover crab legs in the oven is an excellent method to treat yourself to whole succulent meat. But there are steps to keep the legs tender and juicy in an oven. Make sure you place the crab in an oven-safe baking dish and fill it with half an inch of water with your favorite seasoning. 


You can then preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, put foil on the baking dish to cover it, and place it inside. This should take around 20 minutes to reheat your whole leftover crab legs thoroughly.

Grilling your leftover crab legs 

While the oven is a great way to reheat the whole legs, grilling them can be your savior if you think it takes too much time in an oven. Also, a tip is to serve the grilled crab legs with side dishes in foil. 

Usually, the trick is to avoid placing your leftover crab legs directly over the flames since this will only head in the direction of making your crab legs dry and unappetizing. Heat the grill and place the legs in a metal grate (make sure they are placed right). 


Then reheat them for about 10 minutes, and they are ready to serve. You can also brush your leftover crab legs with butter before grilling to add more flavor to them.

Have you tried the microwave?

While using the microwave may not be the traditional way of reheating your crab legs, it is often used as a last resort for people who want to reheat their legs quickly. However, it may not be as great as the other reheating methods we've mentioned, but you can get pretty well-cooked and juicy crab legs from the microwave as well.


How to achieve the moist, delicious texture of the crab legs while reheating in a microwave? Lock the moisture in by using wet cling wrap and paper towels to wrap around the crab allowing the moisture to stay in and steam inside the microwave. 


The target is to set the microwave to 2 minutes, and you're ready. 

What should you do before reheating your leftover crab legs?

All these methods require you to thaw your crab legs before you reheat them. This usually takes around 30-1 hour before it is completely thawed; it also depends on your crab legs. But why is thawing necessary? It ensures your crab legs cook or reheat evenly.


After you thaw them, ensure you do not overcook them since it makes the crab legs dry and often very chewy, which is not very good to eat.

How do you store leftover crab legs?

Knowing how to store your leftover crab legs is crucial if you don't plan on throwing them out. The ideal way to store them is in a refrigerator by placing the legs in a dish, covering it up with a plastic wrap, and placing some ice on top of it to retain freshness.

However, you should always refrigerate your leftovers within two hours after you're done cooking them. You can also store or put them in a freezer by placing the legs in an air-tight container or plastic bags that you deem fit and take them out when you're ready to cook or reheat them.


All these methods work exceptionally well when reheating your leftover crab legs.