September 29, 2020


When I was planning the recipes I wanted to share for Alaska Week in my American Eats series, I knew I wanted to make Alaskan king crab legs. Mostly because even though I always see them at the store, I had truthfully never actually purchased them before!

Those things are pricey! And I felt all intimidated!

Did I need special crab-cracking equipment to eat them? I didn’t know how to cook frozen crab legs! Would my family even like the taste of crab legs? What would I serve with them? (Even food bloggers have insecurities when it comes to cooking new foods!)

It turns out my fears were all unnecessary because king crab recipe are insanely easy to prepare!

And I didn’t need any special tools or equipment. And yes, my family liked them!

If your family enjoys shrimp, fish, and seafood in general, chances are these are going to go over well with your clan.

And something as simple as some good crusty bread and a nice salad was the perfect side to serve with crab legs.

I did quite a bit of research before deciding to purchase some king crab legs and make it at home. Ultimately I found that there are 4 main ways of preparing king crab legs:


It’s actually SO easy to cook crab legs on the grill that I almost feel a little weird posting this.

Except that if you are anything like me, you may have seen crab at the store (there are often gorgeous displays of them at booths at Costco) and wondered how in the heck to prepare them or who buys it!

Here’s the thing:  did you know it takes less than 10 minutes to cook king crab legs on the grill?!

I know! I was shocked!

See, basically, ALL king crab that we see in the lower 48 has already been cooked up in Alaska and then flash frozen. Crabmeat is very delicate and it just doesn’t ship without being cooked and frozen first.

So you aren’t actually cooking so much as reheating!

Here is how you do it:

Heat the grill to medium-high heat.

Lightly brush the outside of the crab legs with olive oil.

Place the crab legs on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes more until the meat is hot all the way through.

Remove from the grill and cut open the underside of the crab legs (the white, smoother part, not the spiny, bright reddish-orange part) using kitchen shears and crack open the split shell with your fingers.

Pull the crab meat out, dunk in melted butter, and enjoy!

It’s totally okay to buy king crab legs frozen and let them defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Although many stores like Costco, or the seafood counters at large grocery stores, will already have defrosted them for you, which makes things that much easier.

But don’t buy defrosted crab legs and then refreeze them – they won’t taste fresh when you finally get around to defrosting them (again) and eating them.

Because all the king crab we get is frozen, we pretty much have access to it year-round, although it is only harvested from the Bering Sea during the winter months and during short periods in July and September.