Crack the Code: How to Cook Frozen Crab Legs in the Oven

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cooking frozen crab legs
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If you’re after a delectable seafood meal that can be made in the comfort of your kitchen, frozen crab legs may be just what you need. With just a few simple steps, you can easily cook frozen crab legs in the oven and enjoy an amazing seafood dinner. From prepping to baking to storing leftovers, we’ll provide all the tips and tricks necessary to ensure your dish is perfectly cooked every time. So let’s get started on this journey into cooking delicious frozen crab legs in the oven – there are plenty of alternatives, too if baking isn’t quite what you had in mind.

Table of Contents:

Prepping the Crab Legs

Thawing the Crab Legs:

Before baking frozen crab legs, they must be thawed.

To thaw the crab legs quickly:

  • submerge them in a sealed plastic bag filled with warm water for 15 minutes. Never use boiling or hot water to thaw the crab meat, as it can make the texture tough and rubbery when cooked.
  • Once thawed, rinse the crab legs under cool running water and season them with your preferred spices, such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, or lemon juice.
  • For an extra flavor kick, you can also drizzle some butter or olive oil over the crab legs.
  • Prepare your oven by preheating it to 375°F.

Baking the Crab Legs

Now that your oven has been preheated (375°F) and your pan lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up.):

  • place your seasoned crab legs on top of the foil in an even layer – making sure they aren’t overlapping each other too much, so they cook evenly throughout.
  • Bake for 10 minutes until heated through and golden brown on top; if needed, turn up the heat slightly after 8 minutes for extra crispiness.
  • Serve immediately while still hot with melted butter on the side if desired. You can pair it with some steamed vegetables or mashed potatoes for a complete meal experience that seafood lovers won’t soon forget.

Key Takeaway: For perfectly cooked crab legs, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and season them before baking at 375°F for 10 minutes. Brush with melted butter before serving.

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Crab Legs

Timing is Everything:

If you don’t time your dish correctly, you risk overcooking or undercooking your seafood. To ensure that your crab legs are cooked perfectly, set a timer for 15 minutes and check on them periodically throughout the cooking process. If you have more than the usual amount of crab legs in the oven, extend their cooking time by 5-10 minutes.

Keep an eye on your dish while baking to make sure it doesn’t get overdone – keep track of its progress. Every few minutes, take a peek inside the oven and check whether or not your crab legs look done yet – they should be golden brown with some crispy edges when finished. Don’t forget to use oven mitts as well – it’s tough to eat these saucy legs with burned fingers.

The last thing you want is dry, rubbery seafood. To prevent this, take the dish out of the oven just before it is done and allow residual heat to finish cooking it. 

By following these tips, you can be sure your crab legs will turn out perfectly cooked every time. Storing and reheating leftovers correctly will ensure they maintain their taste and texture so you can enjoy them another day.

Key Takeaway: Time the crab legs cautiously in the oven; watch them while they bake to achieve a golden brown finish, and remember that even after taking out of the heat, they will still be cooking from retained warmth – so don’t let it go too far or you’ll have an unpleasant dry, rubbery outcome.

Storing Leftover Crab Legs

Refrigerating Leftovers Quickly and Safely:

It is important to refrigerate cooked crab legs as soon as possible after cooking. To do this, place the cooked crab legs in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the container in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking for the best results. Set the refrigerator to a chill below 40F, label your cooked food, and note the date it was stored, so you can monitor its freshness.

Reheating cooked crab legs properly helps preserve their flavor and texture. Set your oven to 375F before placing the crab legs on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or, if microwaving, place them in a loosely covered dish and heat at high power for 1-2 minutes per portion.

Storing leftover crab legs correctly is important to ensure the safety and quality of your seafood. With that in mind, let’s look at alternative methods for cooking frozen crab legs without using an oven.

Alternatives to Baking Frozen Crab Legs in the Oven

Boiling frozen crab legs in water is a great alternative to baking them in the oven. It’s an easy, fast, and delicious way to enjoy your seafood dinner. To start, fill a large pot with enough cold water to cover the crab legs completely. Add 1 tablespoon of salt per quart to the pot of cold water, then bring it up to a boiling point. Once boiling, submerge the frozen crab legs in hot water and cook for approximately 5 minutes or until they have turned a vibrant red. Drain off any excess liquid before serving hot with melted butter on the side.

Steaming frozen crab legs in a pot is another great option if you’re looking for something quick and flavorful without turning on your oven. Fill a large pot with cold water and boil over high heat, then place your steamer basket in the boiling liquid. Add the frozen crab legs into it along with some seasonings such as garlic powder or Old Bay seasoning if desired. Cover tightly with the lid, then steam for 8-10 minutes or until heated and cooked evenly throughout (check periodically). Serve warm with melted butter alongside favorite sides like mashed potatoes or coleslaw.

Key Takeaway: Boiling or steaming frozen crab legs is a quick and easy way to enjoy delicious seafood. For a flavorful feast, boil the crab legs in salted water for 5 minutes and then steam them with seasonings of your choice until cooked before serving them with melted butter. Enjoy this tasty treat.

FAQs in Relation to How to Cook Frozen Crab Legs in the Oven

Can you bake frozen crab legs without thawing?

Yes, you can bake frozen crab legs without thawing them first. Set your oven to 375F and place the frozen crab legs on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet before cooking for 15-20 minutes until they reach 145F internally. Be sure to check periodically, as overcooking may dry out the meat. Once cooked, serve immediately for best results.

How long does it take to cook crab legs in the oven?

It takes around 12-15 minutes for frozen crab legs to cook in a preheated oven set at 375F. You may have to adjust the cooking time depending on the number of crab legs you’re planning on making.

What’s the best way to cook frozen crab legs?

There really is no one best way to cook crab legs. It always boils down to your preference. Cooks from around the world all favor a certain cooking method. From steaming to boiling and baking. Ultimately, it depends on who the crab legs are being cooked for. Pro tip – you can prepare your crab legs in 3 different ways so all your guests can take their pick.


The key to cooking frozen crab legs in the oven is patience and practice. With a few simple steps, you can have perfectly cooked crab legs every time. Boiling or steaming can be an option if you don’t feel like baking; both methods will give a delicious outcome. No matter how you cook them up, frozen crab legs are sure to be an enjoyable addition to any meal.

For a delicious seafood dinner, order Maine Lobster House‘s frozen crab legs and learn how to cook them in the oven for an easy meal. Our step-by-step instructions will help you create a delectable dish that your family is sure to love!