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How To Cook Crab Legs

Authored by Sharon Carter in Food and Cooking 
Published on 06-09-2009

Crab legs are probably one of the easiest foods to cook. Although crab legs tend to be on the expensive side, they are definitely worth the money and the time. There are various ways to cook crab legs, but the easiest ways to cook crab legs are boiling and steaming them. I’ll take you through a few simple steps that will leave you with succulent crab legs.

Start by gently rinsing and soaking your crab legs. Soaking and rinsing the legs beforehand will remove any sand or dust that might be lingering on your crab legs. Fill a steep pot or a sauce pan with cold water; you will only need to fill the pot half-way. Depending on your diet and palate, add one teaspoon of salt or seafood seasoning. Crab meat tends to be salty all by itself; therefore seafood seasoning is a better ingredient to use in this case. I’ve found that seafood seasoning gives your crab legs a better taste, but it all depends on your taste buds.

Bring the water to a high boil and place the crab legs into the pot. Crab legs aren’t a dish that you need to watch constantly, but you do need to make sure that you don’t cook them for too long. If you over cook the crab legs, the crab meat will break apart and become stringy.

If you are cooking king crab legs, then you will need to boil the legs for 20-25 minutes. If you have small crab legs, then you will need to boil them for 15- 20 minutes.

If you’ve decided to go the easy route and cook frozen crab legs, then the recommended cooking time is 8-10 minutes.

Your crab legs are finished cooking when they turn a bright reddish color. Even if you aren’t certain if your crab legs are fully cooked, the aroma that the legs give off will tell you when they’re finished. One recommendation to give your crab legs a better taste is to add lemon juice to your boiling water. A teaspoon of lemon juice will change the entire taste of your crab legs. One teaspoon is the equivalent of half of a freshly squeezed lemon.

Once your crab legs have finished cooking, remove them from the water and place on a dry rack. If you don’t have a dry rack, a paper towel will do the trick.

Steaming your crab legs is just easy as boiling them. It’s all a matter of preference on which way you’d rather execute the cooking of your legs.

To steam the legs, fill your steamer or a large pot with 4 cups of water.

Add the crab legs onto a rack in the bottom of your pan. Steam the crab legs for approximately 5 to 7 minutes. The time you steam your crab legs all depends on the size of the legs you’re cooking.

Crab legs are best when they’re served hot. Melt a couple of table spoons of butter on your stove top and serve on the side with your crab legs.

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