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How to Microwave King Crab Legs

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Crabs are the most mouthwatering kind of crustaceans. A single bite of the tender and juicy meat from inside the hard shell, and you cannot hold back from asking for more.

One of the tastiest delicacies in the world is king crab legs. Not only are they sweet and salty, but the meat is soft, tender and delicious. 

The most underrated way to prepare the crustacean is to microwave king crab legs. This method is underutilized because a lot of people are unsure if it is safe to put king crab legs in a microwave. 

Can you microwave king crab legs? Wrap the king crab legs with a damp paper towel, then place them into a microwave safe dish with a cup of water at the bottom and nuke on high for 4 to 5 minutes per pound. For best results, thaw the crab legs overnight in the refrigerator if they are frozen.

The tasty meat is incredibly healthy, nutritious and very low in fat, which means you can gobble down a generous amount of the yummy meat without having to worry much about the inevitable weight gain.

This guide will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about microwaving crab legs, and will also give you a few tips and the best method for you try out.

Is it okay to microwave king crab legs?

It is definitely okay to microwave king crab legs. In fact, microwaving is a much better way of cooking or thawing crabs, as it retains the original taste of crab unlike when boiled or steamed. 

When you boil or steam the crab, the sweet and salty flavors are rinsed away with water, which does not happen when baked or microwaved.

To microwave king crab legs, you will need to add water to the bottom of a microwave safe dish. Add between a quarter cup and full cup of water depending on the size of the dish and how much king crab you are nuking. 

The little amount of water is used to help steam the crab while retaining the original taste and preventing the meat from drying out. 

The crab legs can stay refrigerated for no more than 2 days, but it is highly recommended that you cook it as soon as they are defrosted for better taste. 

Thaw the crab legs by refrigerating overnight before microwaving is very necessary, but if you want to cook right away, you can thaw it by running under cold water or using the defrost setting of the microwave.

Can you warm up king crab legs in microwave?

Yes, you can warm up king crab legs in microwave. Thawing or heating king crab legs in microwave is one of the easiest and fastest ways of warming up the meat. 

King crab legs are always sold as precooked, so you are more likely to retain the taste by microwaving it instead of boiling or steaming.

Warming up crab legs in the microwave, rather than steaming or boiling, is the recommended method. This is because it does not wash away the vibrant taste of the crab meat, unlike when warmed using other methods. 

The king crab legs are usually precooked and frozen before being sold in the markets. You may be tempted to use a lot of water and boil them as you would do for live crustaceans, but this is not the best solution. 

Microwaving after thawing the crab legs will use only a tiny amount of water, which will be enough to fully heat the leg meat. Don’t over do it with water and this can wash away some of the delicious flavor.

How long do you microwave king crab legs?

Microwave king crab legs for 4 to 5 minutes per pound, which will give enough time for your crab to heat up. You will know they are done when you can smell the sweet and salty aroma and the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

To microwave legs of king crabs quicker and easier, it is recommended to thaw the legs if they come frozen

The best method is to refrigerate them overnight, or you can run it under cold water for a few minutes before microwaving. You can also use the defrost setting on the microwave to thaw the legs for 3 to 5 minutes using a low power setting.

Preparation is an important part when you place the microwave safe dish into the microwave. Assembling the crab legs well will ensure the meat is cooked thoroughly.

If your crab legs are too long to fit into the dish, you can always snap them into two or three pieces, and you should also add a splash of water to the bottom of the dish before microwaving.

You will know when the crab is done by its sweet and salty aroma, the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit and the meat will feel tender to touch.

Tips to microwave king crab legs

To ensure a successful reheat, some preparations need to be done before you put the king crab legs inside the microwave. 

  • One of the most necessary preparations is to thaw the legs if they arrive frozen. Refrigerate them for at least 12 hours before you put it into the microwave. 
  • For fresher taste, always cook the crab legs as soon as they are done thawing.
  • Use a large glass or ceramic dish that is big enough to hold the crab legs. If the legs are too large for the dish, then break them at the knuckles to make them smaller.
  • Add some water to the bottom of the dish before you put it into the microwave. One cup of water should be enough to create steam without drowning the legs in water.
  • For softer and juicy meat, dampen a paper towel with water and wrap the bundle of crab legs with it. This will seal the legs with a layer of moisture that will help to steam the meat.
  • Use a microwave safe plastic wrap on the outside of the paper towels to further trap the steam, but this adds its own layer of risk. Some people do not like the idea of using any plastic in the microwave, and that is probably a smart idea.

The result will be amazing, juicy, and tender crab meat. After heating in the microwave, the crab legs are ready to serve. You can add a splash of lemon juice and dip in clarified butter to enhance the flavor.

How to microwave king crab legs

Best way to cook king crab legs in microwave

The best way to cook king crab legs in microwave is to assemble the legs in a microwave safe dish, wrapping the legs with a damp paper towel and adding a little water to the bottom of the dish before putting into the appliance. For best results, thaw the crab legs overnight by putting them into the refrigerator if they are frozen.

Wrapping the crab legs with damp paper towels before zapping in the microwave will prevent the moisture from evaporating and will steam the meat evenly. This will result in a tender, juicy, and tasty meat. 

Assembling the crab legs well is also a necessary task for even cooking throughout. If your crab legs are too long to fit into the microwave safe dish, you will need to snap the legs into two or more pieces so that they fit accordingly. 

Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes per pound, or until you can smell the aroma and the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for well cooked and tasty crab meat.

Serve with lemon wedges, clarified butter and use nutcrackers to open shells. The shells are not very tough, so the best way to expose the meat is actually to use a sharp knife to cut a straight line the length of the leg and peel the shell open to expose large chunks of meat.

Remember, boiling is not the recommended method for reheating king crab legs. The excess water will dilute the flavor when drained, so stick with the microwave method for best results. Enjoy!

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