How To Store Cooked Crab Legs (for Better Leftovers)

Storing and reheating cooked crab legs is essential for delicious leftovers. Cool down, wrap, and refrigerate them properly to prevent spoilage and enjoy their flavors.

how to store cooked crab legs

For seafood lovers, crab legs are the epitome of good eating. This is primarily because crab legs are not only delicious, but they are rich in vitamins such as zinc, Vitamin B12, folate, iron, niacin, selenium, and others.

Nevertheless, crab legs seem to be the type of food you make either too little or too much of. In the case of the latter, you must be sure to know how to store cooked crab legs for better leftovers.

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How To Store Cooked Crab Legs


If you frequently cook crab legs, you need to learn how to store the leftovers properly. Otherwise, you could waste lots of time and money by improperly storing them (not to mention risking illness).

Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to store leftover crab legs:

Cool Them Down

The first step to storing your leftover crab legs is to make sure they have cooled down. To do so, simply leave them in the pot or pan you cooked them in until they are cool to the touch. This process usually doesn’t take that long, usually an hour or less. 

Wrap the Leftover

Once you have eaten all the crab legs you wish, you should then wrap them up so they can stay as fresh as possible once you have stored them in the fridge.

To do so, simply take some aluminum foil or plastic wrap, then use it to wrap the cooked crabs. Taking this step helps prevent air and moisture from getting inside the package.

Failing to do so can cause premature spoilage. Alternatively, if you have neither plastic wrap or aluminum foil handy, you can simply use an air-tight container.

Put them in the Fridge

Once you have packaged your cooked crabs properly, you can then place them in the fridge. However, you should do your best to put them in the back of the refrigerator.

This is because leftover cooked crab should be in a temperature-controlled environment to avoid premature spoilage.

However, your leftover cooked crab can last 3 to 5 days or more when stored properly. Be sure to eat them or freeze them before they go bad. 

How long can you keep cooked crab legs in the fridge?

As mentioned, in many cases, the cooked crab can be stored safely in the refrigerator for 2-4 days according to the USDA.

However, this depends on the temperature of your fridge as well as how well they are wrapped and where in the refrigerator they are stored.

If frozen, they can be stored for longer. Either way, in order to avoid spoilage, you should eat them as soon as possible. 

Can you refrigerate and reheat crab legs?

If you are wondering if you can refrigerate and reheat crab legs, the answer is yes. However, you must also be mindful of the message you will use to reheat them. Some of the best ones are as follows:

Boil Crab Legs

One of the top ways to reheat crab legs is by boiling them. To do so, simply fill a pot 2/3 of the way with water and add a pinch of salt.

Next, heat the pot on high and cover. Once the water has started boiling, you simply add the leftover crab legs into the water, ensuring that the crab legs are totally submerged in the water.

After that, cook the crab legs for four to five minutes, adjusting them with tongs as necessary. 

Microwave Crab Legs

Another option is to simply microwave them. To do so, simply wrap each of them in damp paper towels. From there, wrap each of them in plastic wrap, ensuring that each of them is well-sealed.

Next, heat them for around two minutes, let them stand for at least one minute, and remove them from the microwave using tongs or potholders. 

Steam Crab Legs

Another method of reheating them is by steaming them. To do so, simply fill a large pot with around 2 inches of water.

From there, you place a steamer or colander over the pot and allow it to come to a boil. After that, place the crab legs in the steamer or colander and cover them with a lid. After six to eight minutes, remove them from the colander or steamer and serve. 

Bake Crab Legs

Lastly, you can bake crab legs to reheat them. To do so, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then arrange them in a deep glass baking dish.

Fill the dish with enough water to cover the crab legs, and then cover the dish with aluminum. Poke the aluminum foil with a few holes to allow some of the steam to escape. Bake them for 15 minutes, and remove them from the oven.

Can you reheat already cooked crab legs?

As mentioned, you can reheat crab legs that have already been cooked. However, if they have not been refrigerated long, you will need to assess how cold they are.

If they are not very cold, you can use the above methods, but do them for less time to avoid overcooking them.

On the other hand, if they are already cold, you can use the methods above exactly. 

Ready to Enjoy Your Leftover Crab Legs?

Overall, when it comes to storing and reheating cooked crab legs, there are plenty of things to consider.

First, you have to consider how cold or warm they are when you reheat them. Other than that, you should choose the reheating method that is most convenient or attractive to you.

Moreover, you will want to ensure that you follow the instructions to the letter to avoid food poisoning and other issues.

Either way, storing and reheating crab legs should be simple and quick processes that allow you to enjoy the optimal flavor of this amazing seafood. For more convenience, you can also look into canned crab meat.

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