Crab is one of the best foods to cook to entertain at a party. However, you might be wondering how long you can leave the crab out once you have cooked it. Since it might be sitting on a table or counter for a few hours at someone’s house, you need to make sure it’s safe to eat for all the partygoers including the ones that show up late.
The guide has all the information you need about how to store crab and the signs you need to look for to ensure it has not gone bad.
The exact time the cooked crab can stay out depends on how you cooked it and what other ingredients if any you used to cook it with. In general, though, most cooked crab dishes only last about two hours at room temperature.
So, you need to make sure you stick it in the fridge before the hours go by. If you leave the crab for more than two hours at room temperature, it can go bad really quickly.
The temperature of the room also depends on how quickly the crab will spoil. If you are at an outdoor event, for example, the crab can go bad in just a few minutes especially if the weather is humid.
How to store cooked crab
Since crab can only stay good for about two hours at room temperature, it’s important to know how to store it properly when you are ready to put it in the fridge or freezer. If you do not follow the proper precautions when it comes to storing cooked crab, you can easily get food poisoning.
Here are the best methods for storing cooked crab so you can keep yourself and your party guests safe.
Store cooked crab in the fridge
If you have already cooked the crab, the best way to store it is in the fridge rather than the freezer. First, make sure the crab has cooled down. Never take the hot crab and stick it immediately in the fridge.
Next, you can take some foil or plastic wrap and wrap the crab in it. Make sure to get out all the excess air. If you do not have wrap or foil, make sure to use an airtight container.
Put the crab in the coldest part of the fridge, which is usually the back part. If you follow all these steps, the crab should last about 3 to 5 days in the fridge.
Store cooked crab in the freezer
Although the best way to store cooked crab is in the fridge, you can still put the cooked crab in the freezer if you need to. First, you should separate the meat from the other parts of the crab you do not eat like the claws and shells.
The claws and the shells are very hard to freeze. They can easily grow bacteria which can then get inside the meat and cause all the crabs to go bad.
Wrap the meat in plastic wrap or put it in a vacuum seal bag. Make sure all the air is out of the bag before putting it in the freezer. Taking out the excess air ensures the meat does not become freezer burnt.
You might also want to write down the date you put the meat in the freezer so you remember how long it has been in there. When stored properly, cooked crab should last in the fridge for about 2 to 3 months.
How To Know If Cooked Seafood Has Gone Bad
Sometimes cooked seafood can go bad especially when you do not store it correctly or if you leave it in the fridge or freezer for too long. Before eating the crab you have stored in the fridge, make sure to check for these signs.
If you notice the texture is sticky or slimy, it has gone bad. It might be sticky before you reheat it or after. Make sure you do not consume it has lost its original texture as you might fall ill if you choose to consume it.
Crab that has gone bad can start to smell sour. If you notice a sour smell or any other foul odour, make sure you throw it out right away. The odour might also come with a change in colour such as the crab turning blue, yellow, or grey. It might also have an acidic or ammonia smell signalling that it has gone bad.
If the crab has gone bad, it will taste sour. If you notice the taste being different from how it tasted when it was fresh, you should not consume it. The crab should taste the same as when it was fresh once you reheat it as long as you have stored it properly. Eating crab with a bad taste can cause vomiting and other gastrointestinal issues.
Does It Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
One of the main things people wonder is if crab will go bad if it has not been refrigerated. The simple answer is yes, the crab can go bad very easily when left out at room temperature especially if you leave it out for more than 2 hours.
If the temperature outside or inside the room is more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the crab can go bad in one hour or less.
The more time that goes by when crab is not in the fridge, the more bacteria it will grow. After two hours, you need to put it in the fridge immediately or you should throw it away if you do not have a fridge you can store it in.
Cooked crab will quickly go bad if it has not been put in the fridge within two hours. If you notice a weird smell or slimy texture, you should not consume it. Make sure to always store it in an airtight container and keep your fridge as cold as possible.