How to Reheat Crab Legs

Crab legs are a delicious and popular fulfillment for get-togethers, or just a casual, indulgent meal. They take some effort to make, but well worth it. Though, with the effort of purchasing and preparing crab legs, you probably don’t want any to go to waste.

Leftover crab can certainly be reheated or repurposed, but it is sort of a craft. Undercooked crab legs can make you sick, so it is important to do it properly. If anything, you surely do not want your reheated crab legs to be too chewy or stiff.

How to Reheat Crab Legs

Crab legs can be reheated in virtually any appliance that radiates heat. Some methods take more time than others, but you will be pleased to know that even when reheating, if done properly, the crab legs will retain the suppleness that you love them for.

Storing Crab Legs

For the best results, you will want to make sure you store your leftover crab legs properly. They should be refrigerated in an airtight container within two hours of cooking. In the fridge, they can last for around four days. 

If you want them to last longer, your best bet is to put them in the freezer in sealed freezer bags. Crab legs should only be frozen once they have already been cooked. When stored properly, crab meat can safely last for up to three months in the freezer.

Best Way to Reheat Crab Legs

The best ways to reheat crab legs are similar, or even the same, to how they were cooked originally. Boiling crab legs is considered one of the best methods to reheat them. It helps ensure that they don’t dry out too much and retain as much of their flavor as possible.

Boiling crab legs only takes a few minutes total. It is relatively quick and easy. To reheat crab legs by boiling them, all you need is a large pot and some water. Make sure you fill the pot enough to entirely cover the crab legs. Once you notice the water begin to boil, submerge the crab legs. For them to heat all the way through, it should only take around five minutes.

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Reheating Crab Legs by Steaming Them

Steaming your crab legs is a similar method to boiling them. The biggest difference is that using this technique requires much less water. Again, it only takes a few minutes so it is pretty convenient. 

To reheat crab legs by steaming them, just fill a steamer pot with enough water to cover the crab legs. A pot with a metal colander over it will work just as well if you do not have a steamer pot on hand. Cover the bottom with a couple inches of water. 

Once the water gets to a boil, place the crab legs on top of the water and cover. Let them steam for about five minutes and you should be good. For added flavor, try adding beer, broth, or wine to the water.

Reheat Crab Legs on the Grill

Using a grill to reheat crab legs is especially convenient if you’re planning on eating them with a grilled side, like corn or potatoes. One appliance can cook your whole meal, and it can give the crab legs an added smoky flavor. To reheat crab legs on a grill, just heat the grill as you normally would.

You can then place the legs directly on the metal. One thing to know is that you must avoid putting the legs directly over the flames. This can cause them to dry out. With that being said, it only takes about ten minutes for crab legs to heat all the way through on the grill.

Reheat Crab Legs in the Oven

You can also use an oven to effectively reheat crab legs. This method is great because it guarantees that the crab legs won’t fall apart. It does have a higher risk of drying the crab legs, so there are a few extra materials you’ll need.

  1. First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grab a deep glass or casserole dish and fill it with around a half inch of water. Upon placing the crab legs in the dish, they should be only partially submerged in the water.
  3. (optional) Add any seasonings to the water for extra flavor. 
  4. Place aluminum foil over the dish and poke some holes in it to let steam out.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or 25 if the crab legs were frozen.
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Can You Microwave Crab Legs?

For crab legs, the microwave should be a sort of last resort. You’re in a time crunch and need to eat something fast, or you only have a microwave available to you. Crab legs certainly can be reheated in the microwave, but there are some key steps to take.

How to Reheat Crab Legs in the Microwave

A microwave is the most likely culprit to dry out your crab legs, so we want to prevent this. Fortunately, you can do so by wrapping the crab legs in damp paper towels. Then, wrap them again with plastic wrap. Microwave for about two minutes.

When removing crab legs from the microwave, be careful as they will be extremely hot. But using this method, you can achieve succulent reheated crab legs in very little time.

Reheating Frozen Crab Legs

If your crab legs are frozen, you can still reheat them using any of these methods. It is best to double the cooking time, so if you microwave them, cook for about five minutes, and so on. Before cooking, thawing the crab legs is a good idea too. 

You can defrost them in the refrigerator overnight, or run cold water over them. Frozen crab legs should be thawed before cooking because it helps to ensure that they will get thoroughly cooked to one temperature.


There are many ways to reheat crab legs. The most important thing is that you store them properly, within two hours of cooking the first time. It does not take very long to reheat crab legs and preserve their craveable flavor and texture while doing so.