How to Microwave Frozen King Crab Legs


Quick Answer: How to Microwave Frozen King Crab Legs

Frozen king crab legs need to be thawed first, this can be done by keeping them overnight in the fridge or by microwaving them for 2 minutes. After defrosting, the king crab legs should be wrapped in a damp paper towel and a plastic wrap over it, and then cooked for 3 to 4 minutes in the microwave.

This article gives a complete guide and a thorough understanding of how best to microwave frozen king crab legs.

From my personal experience, this technique works like magic.

So, let’s go ahead.

How to Prep Frozen King Crab Legs for Microwaving?

After buying frozen king crabs, it is important to thaw the crab legs before cooking them.

Crab legs can be thawed in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours, by putting them in a bowl, this is done to catch the water which will be released once the crab legs begin to thaw.

To quicken the defrosting of the crab legs, the microwave can be used.

Wrap the crab legs in a paper towel, make sure it is damp, then set the microwave at its lowest setting and defrost for 2 minutes.

Crab legs can also be thawed by placing the legs under cold running water.

How to Microwave Frozen King Crab Legs?

How to Microwave Frozen King Crab Legs?

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

After prepping the king crab legs as mentioned above, the legs should be wrapped tightly in a damp paper towel and should be covered with a plastic wrap over it.

You can add flavoring herbs as per taste, then the legs should be placed in the microwave and cooked for about 3 to 4 minutes.


  • Frozen King Crab legs - 1 pound
  • Microwavable safe plate/bowl


  • Paper towels
  • Microwave-safe plastic wrap


    1. Prep the Crab Legs: To prep the crab legs, begin by thawing them in the refrigerator or defrosting them in the microwave, just as it is described in the prep section.

    2. Fitting the Crab Legs in the Microwaveable Bowl: After the crab legs have been defrosted, make sure that they fit in the microwaveable bowl, if not, then cut them in half using a pair of scissors.

      You can also clip their claws

    3. Wrapping the Crab Legs: Separate the crab legs in bundles of three and then wrap them in paper towels.

      You can add dill and then wrap the legs with a microwave-safe plastic wrap over the paper towel tightly.

    4. Adding Water: If you don’t wish to add any flavor, you can forego wrapping it in paper towels and simply add one tablespoon of water to the bowl containing about 8 ounces of crab legs, before microwaving.

    5. Microwave Settings: Place the bowl in the microwave. Switch on the microwave. Set the timer for 3-4 minutes depending on the amount of crab legs.

      Set the temperature at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

    6. Serve Hot: After cooking them in the microwave, unwrap the crab legs and serve them immediately along with melted, plain butter or garlic butter and some lemon wedges.

    7. Removing the Shells: If the shells are very hard, you can use a nutcracker or a wooden mallet to crack them and get to the meat or else they can easily be cracked with a knife or by hands.


Temperature: 165 degrees Fahrenheit

Check out how to microwave frozen crab legs in this video,

Tips to Remember while Microwaving Frozen King Crab Legs

  • Before microwaving, it is important to just damp the paper towel slightly and not wet it completely.
  • It is advisable to reheat crab legs in the microwave immediately after thawing them as they taste better.
  • Remember that king crab legs come pre-cooked so don’t overshoot the thawing or cooking time as it will lead to dry and unsavory meat.
  • Do not microwave the crab legs in one go, for one pound of crab legs, divide the legs in bundles of three, and cook each batch separately, this ensures that your crab legs are evenly cooked.
  • While wrapping the crab legs, you can also add tarragon sprigs or other herbs so that the crab legs get infused with the flavor.2
  • Be very careful while using the nutcracker or the wooden mallet for cracking the shells as there is a risk of getting injured.

Is it Safe to Microwave Frozen King Crab Legs?

Microwaving is a quicker way to not just cook but also to thaw frozen king crab legs. It is fast, safe and very easy. Since the crab legs are already cooked, they only need to be reheated.

Just make sure that the FDA guidelines are followed when you buy the crab legs, make sure that they do not have any ice crystals on them and the packaging is not torn or damaged.

How Long does it Take to Microwave Frozen King Crab Legs?

It takes about 4 minutes to microwave 1 pound of frozen king crab legs, but if the legs are already thawed then it takes about 3 minutes.

The time also depends on the amount of crab legs present in the bowl and the kind of microwave used.

Is it Safe to Thaw Frozen King Crab Legs in the Microwave?

Thawing is very important before cooking any seafood.

Before reheating the king crab legs in the microwave they should first be thawed either in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours or they should be microwaved at low settings for 2 minutes.

Microwaving is very safe and easy. Remember not to overshoot the time to microwave or else the legs will become dry.

Alternate Ways to Cook Frozen King Crab Legs

1. Boiling: Take a large saucepan or pot, add enough water to submerge the crab legs. Add a pinch of salt to the water. Cover the pan with a lid till the water starts to boil.

Let the legs boil for 4 to 5 minutes and then use the tongs to remove the legs from the water.

2. Steaming: Take a large saucepan or pot, fill it with half with water. Place a colander over the water when it starts to boil.

Place the crab legs over the colander, then cover the entire thing with a lid. Steam for 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Baking in the Oven: Place the crab legs (thawed or frozen) in a deep baking dish. Pour water till the legs are partially submerged.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil, make sure there is enough space for the moisture to pass. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the legs for 15 to 25 minutes.

How to Store Cooked King Crab Legs?

After thawing the frozen king crab legs in the microwave or in the refrigerator, if you do not wish to cook them immediately, they can last in the fridge for about 2 more days, but it is better to reheat them immediately for better taste.

The cooked crab legs should be refrigerated within 2 hours.

They should be kept in an airtight container or should be covered with a saran wrap with ice over it so that it retains its freshness.


Can the Frozen King Crab Legs be Left on the Counter to Defrost?

The king crab legs can get spoiled very easily and so they are kept frozen to keep them fresh for longer periods, but they shouldn’t be left to defrost at room temperature because there is a risk of bacteria infestation which can spoil the crab legs and make them unpalatable.

To defrost them, they should be microwaved or refrigerated.

What to do with Leftover Crab Legs?

The leftover crab legs can be again reheated in the microwave at a low setting to avoid overcooking them.

The crab meat can be used to cook crab cakes, omelets or pasta or can even be incorporated in a bisque.

Bottom Line

I hope this guide helps you in microwaving frozen king crabs with relative ease.

If you have any queries or remarks, please let us know via comments or mail. We look forward to any tips or tricks that can be further added to this guide.

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About Marie Thomas

Marie is a food enthusiast who has always wanted to have her own food blog. She loves cooking and experimenting with new recipes, and she can't wait to share them with the world when she finally launches her blog! When Marie isn't in the kitchen cooking up something delicious or writing about her adventures at home or on vacation, you might find Marie taking care of her family and enjoying time with friends.

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