Crab Mentality: The Best Way To Reheat Crab

Crab is an ingredient that I just can’t get enough of. The sweet and juicy white meat sends my tastebuds into a frenzy. So when I create a set menu for a dinner party, I almost certainly include crab in it. The appetizers could be crab risotto or the main course crab ravioli. And don’t get me started on how many crab cakes I have made during my life. I even once tried to make bread pudding with crab (which I have to admit got very mixed reviews from my family). Whatever the occasion or the reason, it is certainly great to cook with crab.

One problem I have is that I tend to buy a bit more crab than I can chew (pun intended). So whenever I make a crab dish, there’s a big chance my freezer will be full of the fantastic crustaceans the following day. And while that may seem to be a fun problem to have, the hard truth is that reheating crab is not an easy task (and it can also fill up precious fridge space quickly). Unlike meat and poultry, crab has a much more delicate texture, so if you don’t reheat it the right way, your dinner will be spoiled.

Luckily for you, I have been reheating crab for a very long time now, and have had my fair share of reheating disasters. However, through a combination of research and a little experimentation in my kitchen, I have finally found the most effective methods to reheat crab. There are three ways you can do this, and I will later tell you which one of these methods is best at retaining the crab’s texture and flavor.

However, before we proceed any further, always remember that you should store your cooked crab the right way. I will be giving you a guide near the end of the article that will help you to store crab in your fridge. Be sure to check this out because it is just as important to store crab correctly as it is to reheat it properly (or even more so).

So here we go. Let’s take a scrumptious and rewarding journey that will reveal the best ways to reheat crab. Enjoy!


Best Way To Reheat Crabs

How To Reheat Crab – The Best Way

1. Prepare To Get Steamed!

Things are about to get steamy because steaming is the best way to reheat crab. It ensures that the white meat not only retains its moist and juicy properties, but also retains all that great flavor. Steaming is quite a process, so you will need to make some preparations if you want to do it quickly. Here are the things you need to have:

  • A large pot with a steaming rack (big enough to fit all the crab you want to reheat).
  • Water.
  • Your cooked crab.

2. Let It Thaw!

Your crab is going to be frozen, so thawing it is very important. Place it under paper towels to avoid making a wet mess in your kitchen. Pat your crab as you go along until it is dry enough.

The thawing process can take about thirty to forty-five minutes depending on how frozen your seafood is. So it is best to give yourself ample prep time before reheating your crab.

3. Steam!

Put a bit of water inside the large pot (about an inch of water should be fine). Too much water can cause your pot to overheat. If this happens, you will end up with dry, overcooked crab. Bring the water to the boil and prepare for the next step.

Next, install your steaming rack inside the pot. After this, get the thawed crab and carefully put it on your steaming rack. If the crab’s legs are too large to fit, break them at the joints into smaller parts.

Keep in mind that different kinds of crab have different steaming times.

  • If you are cooking the legs or the claw of a snow crab, then you might have to wait about five to six minutes.
  • If you are cooking king crab, then expect your reheating time to be about seven to eight minutes. 
  • For Dungeness crab, let it steam for about ten minutes.

Take out your crab out immediately after the prescribed minutes have passed. Serve it nice and hot and enjoy!

  • Pro Tip: Add a few veggies, like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, and season them well before your steaming. This will spice up your crab and turn it into a whole new dish.

Other Things You Could Try!

If steaming is not your thing, then you could try the following methods. I have also tried these ways to reheat crab, but I still prefer steaming. However, you might be better off experimenting to see which one suits you best!


Preheat your oven to about 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grab a baking sheet and spray your preferred non-stick cooking oil on it. Take out your thawed crab and carefully place it on the baking sheet. Place it in the oven and bake crab for about 8-10 minutes. Check if the meat is cooked all the way through.

You can also wrap your crab in tinfoil, forming a small tent around it before baking. This will give a steaming effect and help to stop the crab from drying out. After all, we all want our crab to retain all its juicy and sweet properties! Serve and enjoy!


This is the easiest method but also the one that has unpredictable results. Place your thawed crab on a microwave-safe plate and then put some damp paper towels on top of it. After this, put your microwave on a high setting and start nuking that crab.

Keep checking every few minutes to see it has been cooked thoroughly. If it has not cooked, give it another minute or so, checking every thirty seconds. After getting the desired result, take your crab out using an oven mitt and serve it hot!

Learn To Store Your Cooked Crab Properly!

Learning to reheat your delicious crab is only half the job, as you firstly need to learn how to store the crab correctly. If you are planning to put your crab in the refrigerator, then you should place it in an airtight container (the best choice), as crab can have a pretty strong smell. This will keep your fridge from smelling crabby while keeping your crab free from the other smells in your refrigerator that could affect it. If you do not have one of these containers lying around, then wrap the crab tightly in some heavy-duty foil.

Your crab will stay fresh inside the refrigerator for three to five days. However, if you are planning to keep it for a long time, then you might need to use your freezer. Grab an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag for this one, as you do not want your bags to rip inside the freezer, and chuck it in there.

Food kept at a frozen temperature of zero degrees is safe for consumption indefinitely. However, as a rule, try to throw out anything that has been in your freezer for more than five months

Let’s Crab A Spatula And Start Cooking!

As I live in a fishing city, delicious crab has always been part of my daily life. If you search around every corner of my town there’s a small shack restaurant that claims to have the best crabs in the entire city. I have lived my whole life eating crabs in soups, rice, noodles, and even desserts. Has any reader tried crab claws on Chinese birthday noodles, or added some crab to your Japanese fried rice? Well, I have tried both by using this wonderful ingredient from under the sea.

I had a great time making this list because it reminds me of home. And isn’t our idea of home something that we want to share with the people we meet? Making this list for you makes me feel like I am sharing a piece of my home with you.

Crabs are fantastic and if you loved our topic today, then please share it with your friends and family. Don’t forget to tell us your own stories about reheating crab in the space provided below. Always remember – keep on cooking and eating great food!