I love crab, especially King crab and snow crab. They are my favorite seafood!
Whenever I go to Las Vegas, they are the first thing I would grab from the buffet. They are so delicious with sweet and juicy crab meat.
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How to Cook Crab Legs?
In the United States, crab legs we get from the market are mostly pre-cooked, heavily salted and frozen.
Here are the three basic cooking methods for home cooks:
- Oven baked.
At restaurants, they are boiled in hot water and served with melted butter. However, I don’t recommend boiling because it depletes the natural sweetness of the crab. It also overcooks them.
If you choose boiling method, I recommend boiling for 5 minutes, in rolling boil water.
Steaming is a better method and I recommend steaming in a steamer for 5 – 10 minutes.
The best method is oven baking. Season the crab legs with melted butter, garlic, lemon juice, parsley and bake them in the oven for 5 minutes.
This is one of the best crab leg recipes ever!
Cook’s Tips on How to Make Crab Legs
For the best results at home, please follow my tips below:
- If you choose boiling as the cooking method, do not use salted water.
- Do not overcook. Over cooking will make the texture tougher and taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Have to Thaw Frozen Crab Legs Before Cooking?
The answer is yes. Thaw them before cooking for moist, tender and juicy crab meat.
King Crab Legs VS. Snow Crab Legs
The former has bigger legs. The meat is firm and sweet. They taste more like lobster.
Snow crab has skinny and long legs, making them less meatier. However, there are no thorns or spikes on the the legs so they are easier to crack open and eat. They are also cheaper.
To learn all the differences between the two species, please click here.
Where Is the Best Place to Buy?
Crab legs are not cheap but you can get discounted price from stores whenever they are on sale.
The best place to buy is Costco. Costco has good quality King crab legs that taste sweet, fresh and not too salty.
During sales and promotion, you can get them for less than $20 per pound.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 398 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
This recipe is best served with a side of crusty skillet garlic bread, cheesy garlic Texas Toast or cheddar bay biscuits, as an appetizer. For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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Garlic lemon butter crab legs are one of the best king crab leg recipes. Season the crab with garlic herb and lemon butter sauce, this recipe is so good!
- 1 lb. king crab legs
- 1/2 stick salted butter melted
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
- lemon slices
1Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
2Thaw the crab legs if they are frozen. Using a sharp knife or a pair of a scissors, slice or cut the crab legs into halves to expose the flesh. Arrange them evenly on a baking sheet or tray.
3Melt the butter in a microwave, for about 30 seconds. Add the garlic, parsley and lemon juice to the melted butter. Stir to mix well. Drizzle and spread the butter mixture on the crab. Save some for dipping.
4Bake the crab legs in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the crab legs are heated. Serve immediately with the remaining garlic lemon butter and lemon slices. Squeeze some lemon juice on the crab before eating.
I just made this for my daughter and I, it came out so so good! It was my first time making crab, and I will only make it this way from now on, absolute perfection!
We had these on Christmas Eve! Easy and just made the house smell wonderful! Thank-you for the recipe…will definitely make these again! I did add Old Bay seasoning…for us it’s not crab without it!
Hi Bee, if the frozen crab leg comes heavily salted, would adding in salted butter makes the dish even saltier? Or can I do with unsalted butter if my family members do not take too salty food?
Yes you can!
Can these be refrigerated and heated the next day
This recipe is perfection! I used it on snow crab legs. I loved the idea of cutting the legs in half first; that made it soo easy to open later. The flavor was perfection! I will never cook crab legs any other way! I used disposable aluminum pans, and was able to reheat the dish as it cooled off, about half-way through eating them. So simple, but so delicious. Thank you, Bee!
Hi Joyce, thanks so much for your raving review. I am so happy. Yes, this recipe is so good and these crab legs are perfect 10. I also have another baked king crab recipe you might like: https://rasamalaysia.com/baked-king-crab/
Hi Rasa this recipe looks AWESOME! This will be my first time attempting crab legs so I had a few more detailed questions about the cutting/splitting process. In step two you instruct that we “slice or cut the crab legs into halves to expose the flesh”. My question is: when you slice the leg in half, do you leave the shell attached during the baking process? This is what it looks like when I review the pictures posted with this recipe. If that is the case, when placing the legs on the baking sheet is the exposed flesh faced up, down, or does it not matter?
Hi Kendra, yes leave the shell on when baking. Flesh face up.
Wow, this was very delicious crab recipes RASA!! My family has been involved the the Crab and Seafood industry for many years in the San Francisco area. Thanks for sharing this. If you have anything to send our way, we are looking for different ideas for serving Dungeness Crab to our customers.
We have a new business called Crab On The Run, we deliver the most Fresh Crab in Northern California, DOCK to DOOR in about an hour!! There’s a huge amount of logistics but it is all working out well!!! We attempted to start the business 4 years ago, but with the Demoic Acid and crabs being sick, it has been difficult, but everything looks good for this year! But we are still saying our prayers!!
Would love to talk with you more, maybe sometime over skype or Facebook.
(Tried to Rate you 5 STARS but the stars wouldn’t stick, let me know if there is a trick to it)
Best crab legs recipe ever! Nothing compares.
Ken, thanks so much for trying these crab legs, I love them, too!
Easy to make and so delicious!
That’s great that you tried this recipe. Yes very yummy!
Please explain how to cut the legs so that the meat is in 2 pieces
I used a pair of scissors to cut open and removed the shells.