Crab legs are a popular seafood choice for many people, but they almost always come frozen and must be thawed and stored properly to ensure that they are safe to eat and maintain their quality.
How to Properly Thaw Crab Legs
There are several methods for thawing crab legs safely. The best way is slowly in the refrigerator.
Placing the frozen crab legs into the fridge is the safest and most recommended method for thawing them out. Place the frozen crab legs in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours, until they are fully thawed.
If you need to thaw the crab legs more quickly, you can place them in a sealable plastic bag and submerge them in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until the crab legs are fully thawed.
You can also thaw crab legs in the microwave, but this method can be risky as it can cause the crab legs to become overcooked or rubbery. If you do choose to use the microwave, run it on low and in short bursts. Check them often to see when they might be just thawed enough to maybe submerge in cold water to take them the rest of the way.
How to Store Uncooked Crab Legs
Once the crab legs have been thawed, they should be stored in the refrigerator until they are ready to be cooked. Crab legs can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days, but they should be cooked as soon as possible for the best quality.
If you are not planning to cook the crab legs within two days, you can freeze them for longer-term storage. To freeze crab legs, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place them in a sealable plastic bag. Crab legs can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.
How to Store Cooked Crab Legs
Cooked crab can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days, as long as it is properly stored. To store cooked crab in the refrigerator, place it in a sealable container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Be sure to keep the crab at a safe temperature by storing it in the coldest part of the refrigerator (below 40°F).
It is important to note that cooked crab can spoil quickly if it is not handled and stored properly. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, be sure to refrigerate the cooked crab as soon as possible after cooking, and do not leave it out at room temperature for more than two hours.
If you are not planning to eat the cooked crab within three days, you can freeze it for longer-term storage.