Crab is a delicious seafood that can be prepared in various ways. However, leftovers often need to be reheated before serving again. Properly reheating crab is important to avoid overcooking it and drying it out. Here are several effective methods for reheating crab.
Reheating Crab in the Microwave
The microwave provides a quick and easy way to reheat leftover crab. Here are step-by-step instructions:
- Place the crab on a microwave-safe plate or in a bowl. Make sure not to overload the dish, as cramped crab is more likely to dry out.
- Cover the dish with a damp paper towel or microwave-safe lid. The moisture from the towel or lid will help prevent the crab from drying out.
- Microwave the crab for 30 seconds to 1 minute per serving. The time needed depends on the amount of crab and your microwave wattage.
- Check the crab’s internal temperature with a food thermometer. It should reach 165°F. If not, continue microwaving in 30 second intervals until warm throughout.
- Allow the crab to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving. This lets the heat evenly distribute.
Reheating Crab in the Oven
The oven also evenly reheats crab without drying it out. Follow these instructions:
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Place the crab in an oven-safe dish or pan. Make sure the crab is not crowded together.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil. This traps steam and moisture.
- Bake the crab for 10-15 minutes until heated through, checking temperature with a food thermometer.
- Remove crab from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. The temperature will rise a bit more as it rests.
Reheating Crab with a Steamer
A steamer uses hot steam to gently reheat crab without making it rubbery. Here’s how to use one:
- Fill the steamer pot with a couple inches of water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
- Place crab in the steamer basket, spreading it out in a single layer.
- Put the steamer basket in the pot, making sure it hovers over (not in) the boiling water.
- Cover pot and steam crab for 4-7 minutes until hot throughout. Check internal temperature.
- Remove steamer basket and serve crab immediately for best texture.
Tips for Reheating Crab
- Only reheat leftovers once for food safety. Refrigerate within 2 hours after cooking.
- Portion crab meat into smaller quantities before reheating for more even heating.
- Adding a moist cooking method (steam, foil cover) prevents crab from drying out.
- Don’t overcook reheated crab or it will become rubbery and tough.
- Let crab rest a few minutes after reheating so heat distributes evenly.
- For reheating frozen crab, defrost first by refrigerating overnight before using these methods.
Q: How should I reheat crab legs or crab cakes?
A: The best way to reheat crab legs is to steam them for 4-5 minutes until heated through. For crab cakes, you can bake them in a 375°F oven for 10-15 minutes or pan fry them over medium heat for 2-3 minutes per side. Make sure not to overcook the crab when reheating or it can become rubbery.
Q: What is the best way to reheat a crab dip or crab soup?
A: For crab dip, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until heated through. For crab soup, transfer it to a saucepan and gently heat over medium-low, stirring occasionally until hot. Avoid boiling the soup again when reheating.
Q: How can I reheat leftover crab without drying it out?
A: Use a moist reheating method like steaming or microwaving with a damp paper towel over the crab. You can also reheat crab in a sauce or soup to keep it from drying out. Only reheat until just warmed through instead of piping hot.
Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce
- 1 lb lump crabmeat, picked over
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Remoulade sauce
- Gently mix together crabmeat, egg, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire and Old Bay.
- Fold in panko breadcrumbs. Form into patties, about 3 inches wide.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry crab cakes 4-5 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Serve crab cakes with remoulade sauce.
Steamed Dungeness Crab
- 2 live Dungeness crabs, about 1-1.5 lbs each
- Old Bay seasoning or other crab boil seasoning
- Melted butter for serving
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Fill a large stockpot with a steamer basket insert with enough water to fill below the basket. Bring to a boil.
- Sprinkle crabs liberally with Old Bay seasoning. Place crabs in steamer basket.
- Steam covered for 13-18 minutes until bright orange. Check for doneness by ensuring shells are bright and legs pull off easily.
- Serve immediately with melted butter and lemon wedges. Crack shells and pull out meat.
- Cuisinart Digital Glass Steamer
- Oster Double Tiered Food Steamer
- Aicok 3-Tier Steamer
- Hamilton Beach Digital Steamer
- Ovente Electric Multi-Level Steamer
- Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven
- Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN936B
- Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven
- LG NeoChef Countertop Microwave
- Galanz Retro Countertop Microwave
- GE JT5000SFSS 30″ Electric Range Oven
- LG LDE4415ST Electric Range Oven
- Bosch HGI8054UC 800 30″ Gas Range Oven
- Frigidaire FFEW2726TS Electric Single Wall Oven
- Whirlpool WOS51EC0HS Electric Double Wall Oven
With the proper technique, reheated crab can taste nearly as fresh as it did the first time. Use these reheating methods to enjoy your leftover crab.