Do You Have to Clean Frozen Crab Legs Before-Cooking

Do You Have to Clean Frozen Crab Legs Before Cooking?

When it comes to preparing a seafood feast, crab legs, an expensive delicacy, are often a crowd favorite. If you are a seafood lover you definitely know the preparation of fresh crab legs. But what about frozen crab legs? Do you have to clean frozen crab legs or you can just add them to a steamer or grill?

Because many of you may be unfamiliar with the process, we’ll offer a detailed explanation of whether or not cleaning crab legs is necessary, discuss food safety in preparation, and offer a glimpse into cooking crab legs.

Do You Have to Clean Frozen Crab Legs Before Cooking

Source: Photo Contributor: Foodio

Do You Have to Clean Frozen Crab Legs Before Cooking

No, cleaning crab legs is not necessary when purchasing a frozen crab. Talking from experience, frozen crab legs usually come cleaned and pre-cooked, which is why you can freely skip the cleaning procedure. Our crab legs are fresh-frozen, cleaned, and pre-cooked right after harvest. We take great care in the hygiene of our products; therefore, by selling them pre-cooked, we prevent cross-contamination with other seafood products.

While frozen crab legs, such as Alaskan King crab legs, don’t need cleaning, they should be thawed and rinsed through cold water before use. Only after you have thawed, rinsed, and cooked the crab legs can you clean the shelf to add that juicy meat to your dish.

When it comes to the shell, are frozen crab legs clean in the shell? The same applies to the shell. Since the frozen crab legs come already cooked, the shell is just as clean as the mat of the crab legs. 

Note: This is not true for fresh crabs. When making a dish with fresh crab legs, you need to clean the crab or the crab legs to prevent cleaning them becomes essential. 

How to Clean Frozen Crab Legs

While we explained, there is no need to worry about cleaning Alaskan King crab legs; they should be properly thawed and rinsed. The best thaw method is leaving the frozen crab legs in the refrigerator for a day or overnight (and this goes for any type of seafood). You can also fill the sink with cold water and let it sink in the colander for a couple of minutes.

Once thawed, we can move on to rinsing out frozen crab legs. So, just before cooking, we give the crab legs one last rinse and pat them dry with paper towels. This step ensures that no water dilutes the crab's flavor as it cooks.

Cooking techniques

It’s only natural to wonder why we would cook frozen crab legs if they come pre-cooked hours after being landed. If you want them to be used as a part of a meal, you only need to heat them up.

There are plenty of different preparation techniques for crab legs. In this section, we decided to cover the simplest cooking and grilling procedures.

Heating up the frozen crab legs 

We start the preparation process by placing the already thawed crab legs in a pot with water. For optimal results, we would like to fill one-third of the pot. We then put the crab legs either in a microwave, oven, or air fryer and let them heat up for a couple of minutes.

For instance, when cooking our frozen Alaska king crabs, KnowSeafood advise taking off the knuckle piece and the thin part of the legs. Now, we are left with the best part– the Maris. Then, we rinse them and put our frozen king crabs in the oven at 375 F for about four minutes to heat up the meat completely. 

Or, if you want, you can put the pot on the stove in the boiling water and let the crab legs cook for about two to three minutes.

Grilling frozen crab legs 

Before placing the carb legs on the grill, we thaw, rinse, and heat up the crab legs. Then, we like to cover both sides of each leg with olive oil. The grill should be set at 300 degrees, and each side of the carb leg should be grilled for about five minutes. Once both sides are grilled properly, we remove the crab legs from the grill and serve them with sauce or butter. Serve them with white wine, and you have yourself a feast. 

Grilling Frozen Crab-Legs

Source: Photo Contributor: Nishihama


If you find yourself wondering do you need to clean frozen crab legs before boiling, know that your answer is a definite no. While you may find plenty of articles dedicated to cleaning crab legs, these explain the process of cleaning fresh crab legs. 

The only cleaning involved when working with frozen crab legs is thawing and rinsing. These two processes are carried out to ensure all substances that might compromise the taste or presentation of the crab legs are removed. Once this is done, we may move on to preparing the crab legs by cooking, grilling, or any other technique you find suitable.