How to Reheat Steamed Crabs

Getting your seafood to go is sometimes the only option after you have dined at your favorite seafood restaurant. You take your steamed crab and leftover vegetables home and shove them in your fridge for tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and as you open your fridge you wonder how you’re going to reheat those steamed crabs for lunch. 

The best way to reheat steamed crab is to re-steam the crab in a pot with a steam basket or a raised rack at the bottom. If you do not have the means to re-steam the crab with this method, then you can also reheat steamed crabs in the microwave. The oven is also a decent place to reheat steamed crabs if done with caution. Steamed crabs may lose their texture and quality if reheated in any other way or for too long.

How to Reheat Steamed Crabs

So you have your leftover steamed crab and you decide you want to try the method of re-steaming the crab to heat it up. It is important to note that there are multiple different ways to re-steam the crab. One of the most advised methods includes a pot and a steam basket. 

To Reheat Steamed Crabs Using the Steam Basket Method:

This assumes you have a steam basket at the ready. A large, deep pot and a steam basket can help you reheat your steamed crabs in no time. If you have these items readily available then:

  • Grab a deep pot, the deepest pot you have.
  • Fill the pot with about three inches of water.
  • Heat the water until it’s at a rolling boil.
  • Sort through the steamed crab and get rid of any unwanted bits.
  • Place the crab into the steam basket and place the steam basket into the pot of boiling water.
  • Put the top on the pot and let the crab re-steam for about 7-8 minutes.
  • Test the crab at this point by cracking into a leg and testing the meat inside.
  • If the crab meat is warm, or hot, it is ready, if it is still cool to the touch, return to the pot to steam for another 4-6 minutes. 
  • It is important to not re-steam steamed crabs for too long while reheating because they can turn into a rubbery, gross texture, that resembles nothing of its former self. 
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To Reheat Steamed Crabs Using the Raised Rack or Colander Method:

Sometimes you may not have access to a steaming basket, and that is perfectly okay! A small raised rack or metal colander will work just the same. If you have a raised rack or colander you can then:

  • Find a deep pot.
  • Fill the pot with about two inches of water.
  • Place a raised rack at the bottom of the pot, or if you are using a colander, place it at the top of the pot or as far as it can go into the bottom of the pot without touching the water. 
  • Sort through the cold steamed crab leftovers and remove anything unwanted. 
  • Place the cold steamed crab onto the rack, ensuring none of the crab touches the water.
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  • Place a lid over the top of the pot.
  • Steam for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Check the re-steamed crab meat by cracking open the shell and testing the temperature of the meat.
  • If the crab meat is warm or hot then it is ready. 
  • If the crab meat is still cool to the touch then return it to the pot.
  • Continue to re-steam the steamed crabs for another 2-4 minutes.
  • Be careful to not let the steamed crab get too overcooked or it will become rubbery and inedible.

To Reheat Steamed Crabs Using the Microwave:

It is argued that using the microwave is better to reheat steamed crabs than a steamer, oven, or raised rack in a pot. This is because the crabs can be microwaved relatively quickly and develop the “just freshly steamed” taste. If you venture forward in using a microwave do not overcook the steamed crab because it will become rubbery, tasteless, and will be useless in any dish. To use a microwave to reheat steamed crab:

  • Find a microwave-safe dish or plate.
  • Sort through your leftover steamed crab and make small groupings of crab to reheat.
  • Place the cold crab onto the microwave-safe dish or plate.
  • Take a moist paper towel and drape it over the crab, or cover with a microwave-safe plate cover.
  • Microwave on its normal setting for 45 seconds to 1 minute. 
  • It is important to not reheat steamed crab any longer than a minute or so because it will turn into a dry, rubbery, inedible item. 
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To Reheat Steamed Crabs Using the Oven:

Using the oven is the least advised method of reheating steamed crabs, but if that is the only way you have, do not fret! Steamed crabs can be safely reheated in the oven following some simple steps: 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A deep casserole dish is preferred, but anything that can hold an inch or two of water will suffice.
  • Sort through your cold steamed crab meat and decide which is going in the dish.
  • Fill the casserole dish with an inch or so of water.
  • Place the crab into the dish and add seasonings or butter if you wish.
  • Cover the cold steamed crab with aluminum foil and then make vents in the foil by poking holes into the top of it.
  • Bake the crab for about fifteen minutes.
  • Test the crab meat by cracking into its shell.
  • If the crab meat is warm then it is ready to consume.
  • If the crab meat is still cool, return it to the oven for five minutes.

Conclusion

Let’s say that you have leftover steamed crab and you want to reheat it by steaming it again. It is possible to reheat steamed crabs in several different ways. The most recommended method is to use a steam basket and a pot to cook the food. 

When reheating steamed crab, use a pot with a steam basket or a raised rack at the bottom. Alternatively, if you do not have the ability to re-steam the crab, you can reheat steamed crabs in the microwave. 

If done carefully, the oven can also be a good place to reheat steamed crabs. If reheated in any other way or for too long, steamed crabs may lose their texture and quality.