Can You Freeze Snow Crab Legs?

Snow crabs are popular seafood due to its tasty meat. Most of the time, the crab legs that are sought after which is long and meaty. Most snow crabs sold in grocery stores and the seafood market are sold frozen in packages.

However, they are also sold as fresh whole snow crabs. What if you want to freeze them yourself? Can you freeze snow crab legs and how would you go about doing it?

So can you freeze snow crab legs? Yes, you can freeze snow crab legs. This is the recommended method for long term storage. To keep their texture and flavor intact while it’s frozen, they need to be cooked and properly stored.

Can You Store Uncooked Snow Crabs In The Freezer?

It’s not recommended to freeze uncooked snow crab legs. Freezing will cause damage to the crab meat.

When the snow crabs start to freeze, the meat will expand and stick to the shell.

While it’s in the freezer, it will freeze fine. The problem will starts when it thaws. As it thaws, the meat will separate from each other.

Once you cook them, you’ll find that it’s very difficult to remove the meat from the snow crab legs.

Can You Freeze Dead Snow Crab Legs?

It depends on how long it’s been dead. If the snow crabs were alive when you bought them and it died while in your possession, you can freeze dead snow crabs.

On the other hand, if the snow crabs died and you’re unsure when it died, it’s best to not freeze it. Like any other kind of seafood, snow crabs are highly perishable. They will go bad quickly when they die.

How Long Can You Freeze Snow Crab Legs?

Frozen snow crabs will last for up to a year if it’s stored properly. This means the crab legs are required to be stored either in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Simply placing them into a regular plastic bag and placing it in the freezer will not keep them fresh for too long. Due to the extremely cold temperature of the freezer, it will cause considerable damage to the flesh.

Also, you’ll need to cook the crab legs first before freezing them. Cooking the snow crab legs beforehand will minimize the damage will it’s in the freezer. As the crab legs get cooked, the flesh will tighten and be more compacted. The more compact it is, the lesser the chance it will damage from freezer burn.

Can You Freeze Snow Crab Legs

How to Freeze Snow Crabs Legs

When it comes to snow crabs, most people will freeze just the crab legs. This is the part of the crab that’s most enjoyed due to the highest concentration of meat.

Depending on what you’ll be using them for, there are two different methods for freezing crab legs. You can either freeze the whole crab legs or just the crabmeat.

Whole crab legs are great for eating them fresh, while the crabmeat makes an excellent addition to any cooking recipes.

Freezing Whole Snow Crab Legs

This is the best option to freeze snow crab legs. By freezing the whole crab legs, the shell will help protect the flesh from damage and prevent it from separating when it’s frozen.

Here’s how to freeze fresh snow crab legs:

  1. Bring the water to the boiling point.
  2. Place the entire crab in the pot for about 5 minutes.
  3. Then transfer them immediately to a container full of ice. You want to get them an ice bath to stop the cooking process. It will also the flesh firm and compacted.
  4. After about 10 minutes in the ice bath, place them in a colander for a few minutes to let them drip dry.
  5. Using a dry paper towel, gently press on the crab legs to remove any excess moisture from the shell.
  6. Place the crab legs into an airtight container or freezer bag.
  7. If using a freezer bag, press on the bag to remove excess air from it. If using an airtight container, make sure there are no leaks or damage to the airtight cover. The lesser there’s air in the bag, the longer it will remain in good quality in the freezer.
  8. Seal the freezer bag or airtight container tight.
  9. Label the bag or container with the freezing date and place it into the freezer.

Frozen snow crab legs will remain fresh for up to 12 months.

Freezing Crabmeat

If you don’t have space in the freezer, a good option is to freeze just the snow crab meat. It’s a simple process but takes a bit of time to prepare it.

Here is how to freeze crab meat:

  1. Break the crab legs in half and remove them from their shell.
  2. Place the meat into a bowl.
  3. Pour milk into the bowl covering the entire crabmeat. The milk will act as a barrier to prevent air from damaging the crabmeat. Also, the milk helps prevent the meat from separating while it’s frozen.
  4. In a freezer bag or an airtight container, transfer the crabmeat into it.
  5. If using a freezer bag, press on the bag to remove as much air as you can from it. Then seal the bag.
  6. For an airtight container, make sure the lid has no leaks. Then place the airtight lid on the container and seal it tight.
  7. Label the bag or container with the freezing date and place it into the freezer.

Snow Crabmeat will remain fresh for up to 3 months.

If you bought crab legs frozen, once you get home, place them into the freezer immediately. Letting them thaw and freezing it will cause it to lose some of its texture and flavor.

How Do You Defrost Snow Crabs?

Thawing snow crabs is quite simple. Simply remove them from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator overnight or for 6 hours.

If you need to use the snow crabs quickly, take them out of the freezer and place them into a plastic bag. Then put it into a bowl of cool water.  The snow crabs should thaw within 2 hours.

Make sure to never try the crabs by placing them into warm or hot water. It defrosts the crabs, but the texture will also be damaged.

Thawed snow crab legs should be refrigerated and consumed within 2 days. After that time, the crab legs will begin to spoil and harmful bacteria will start to grow on it. If you try to consume it, you may get food poisoning from it.

Using Frozen Snow Crab Legs

When it comes to snow crab legs, most people will simply thaw them and eat them fresh with butter or their favorite dipping sauce. Besides eating them fresh, you can use snow crab legs in many different entrees.

Here are some of the delicious entree you can use snow crab legs with:

  • Baked Crab Legs
  • Grilled Snow Crab Legs
  • Drunken Crab Legs
  • Steamed Snow Crab Legs
  • Crab Legs With Garlic Butter Sauce
  • Cajun Snow Crab Legs
  • Boiled Snow Crab Legs
  • Stir-Fry Snow Crab Legs

As you can see, there are many entrees you can make with snow crab legs besides eating them fresh. Snow crab legs are perfect for making the above entrees and other foods as well.

Does Frozen Snow Crab Legs Go Bad?

Yes, frozen snow crab legs actually do go bad. Like most other kinds of seafood, snow crab is highly perishable and will go bad quickly if it’s exposed to warm air temperature. This is why it’s very important to always keep the crab legs frozen or refrigerated.

Snow crab legs can go bad either from being left in the freezer for too long or it’s left to thaw for a prolonged time.

When the crab legs are stored in the freezer for more than a year, it will start to get freezer burn. They will get freezer burn no matter how well it’s stored. Over time, air will slowly leak into the container or freezer bag and slowly oxidize the crab legs.

Besides the freezer, crab legs can go bad if it’s left to thaw for too long in the refrigerator. In the fridge, once the crab legs are thawed, they should be consumed within 2 days. Otherwise, it will start to go bad.

Crab legs should not be eaten or cooked again after 2 days due to the risk of food poisoning. If it’s been sitting in the fridge, more than likely, harmful bacteria will start to on it.