Crabs’ meat is a delicious and simple delicacy, which you can easily self-cook at home on your stove. Let us have a look at how you can boil a whole crab, how you can cook crab claws and legs and how long it will take you to cook without making crabs meat rubbery.

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How long do you cook a crab?

Boiling time depends on the size of crabs you decided to prepare. It can take you from several minutes for a small specimen to half an hour for the big ones. This parameter is the most important one, as you do not want to overcook your crabs. Meat becomes really rubbery and uneatable. Now, we will give you a specific list, where you can check how long you need to boil different types of crabs in a stockpot on the stove:

  • How long do you boil small crabs (approximate weight up to 500 grams/1 lb.)? It will take you around 7 minutes to get small crabs boiled on the stove.
  • How long do you boil medium crabs (approximate weight from 0.5 to 1.5 kg/from 1 to 3.5 lbs.)? When water reboils in the stockpot, you need to wait for 10-15 minutes for your crab to cook.
  • How long do you boil crabs, large in size (more than 3.5 lbs./1.5 kilos in weight)? You need to boil large crabs on the stove for 30-40 minutes to get them ready.
  • How long do you boil crabs’ meat? Crabs’ meat is boiled for an average of 10-15 minutes until cooked. You need to set your timer after water boils again.
  • How long do you cook crab legs and claws on the stove? Legs and claws from small crabs are cooked for 7-10 minutes, legs and claws of large specimens can be boiled for 15-20 minutes.

If you bought frozen crabs or frozen crab legs, claws, and they are colored red, it means that you have already an precooked crab. You do not have to boil them. You can place them into boiling water with chosen type of seasoning for 2-3 minutes or steam crabs for about 5 minutes to make their meat warm.

This was a quick guide for those searching cooking time of crabs and crab legs. Now let us have a look at the recipe how you can cook a delicious crab at home.

How do you boil crab at home?


There is one really satisfying thing about this recipe: it doesn’t matter what type, size of crab you bought, technique of boiling stays the same.  It is a simple recipe but you need to follow it step-by-step if you want to have a mouthwatering delicacy.

It is important to adhere to the recommended time for cooking crabs: if they are undercooked you can get food poisoning; if the meat is overcooked, it gets rubbery. The main sign of crabs’ readiness is a bright red color of the shell. Another key to a perfect boiled crab is an ice-water bath: place crabs immediately after boiling into a bowl with ice-cold water to stop the meat from overcooking.

Boiling is a great way how you can cook crab without a steamer. Here is a simple classic recipe, for those who want to learn how you can cook a frozen crab or fresh crab at home.

Easy Boiled Crab Recipe

Ingredients for the recipe: 5 liter of water , 1 kilo small crabs, sea salt (1 tbsp. for 1 liter), bay leaves, black pepper, squeezed half of a lemon, paprika. Type: Seafood recipes Cuisine: Mediterranean Calories: 96 kcal Yield: 4 servings Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 25 min Ready in 40 min

  • The first thing will be to determine whether a stockpot you have can fit all the crabs you have. There is a proportion, which can help you to decide: you need 5 liter of water for every 1 kilo/2 pounds of crabs.
  • Fill a pot with water and put it on a high heat to boil.
  • When water boils, add sea salt (1 tbsp. for 1 liter) and preferred seasoning (most classical ones will be bay leaves (1 leaf for 1 liter), black pepper (2 corn for 1 liter of water), squeezed half of a lemon, also you can have paprika, wine, bear added to the recipe). Let it boil for 5 minutes.
  • Now is the time to put a crab into the stock. Always have your crabs scrubbed under running water beforehand, you can even use a brush with a handle. If you have large crabs, specimens over 1.5 kilos in weight, you also need to get gills out before boiling.
  • When water reboils after you dropped crabs into it, lower the heat down and let your crabs cook for the necessary amount of time.
  • When you are sure that your crab is ready, put it carefully with tongs into a bowl with ice-cold water for several minutes. When you give a boiled crab a shock-bath, you prevent crabs meat from overcooking.

How much crab to buy? It is not an easy task to determine accurately how much any person can eat per serving, as there are different types of eaters. Well, you cannot satisfy everyone, that is why here is rough estimate. If you have crab legs prepared, than you need about 3 lbs. or 1.5 kilos of crab legs to serve 4 people. In addition, if you have a whole crab cooked for a serving, then I say that you need to buy 1.5 lbs. (700 grams) per person.

You may also like: How to cook shrimps in a pan or in a pot on the stove?

To summer up, we can say that cooking a crab does not take much time and effort. If you liked our recipe, please share with your friends. If you have any advice on how you can cook a perfect carb dish, leave all your comments in the section below. Love getting feedback from you!

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