Why You Should Cook Your Own Crab Legs At Home

Crab legs are the fanciest, most low-effort food to prepare at home.

They’re so easy to prepare, it’s almost stupid.

Before the pandemic, I remember paying $30+ at a restaurant for a steam pot meal that included a cluster of snow crab legs and lots of other things that weren’t snow crab legs.

Just the other week, I was craving a big all-you-can-eat crab leg meal. All I wanted was for someone to watch my kids so we could go pig-out on crab.

However, post-pandemic, you’ll hardly find any AYCE crab leg specials at Twin Cities restaurants. I searched high and low. All I could find was one diner in St. Paul that serves them on Tuesday nights but limits diners to ninety minutes and you can only place an order for a cluster after you finish one. So many rules!

Treasure Island may offer them at a Seafood Buffet they are bringing back for $55 per person (encourages reservations).

And Mallard’s recently advertised crab leg meals Wed and Thurs -starting at $30 for a one-pound dinner !!!

Once we figured out how easy it is to make them, we enjoy them at home for far less.

Cub Foods charges $$ for snow crab legs. Costco carries them from time to time. The BEST place we’ve found this year is the grocery store chain Fresh Thyme. This summer alone, I’ve found snow crab legs on sale for $6.99/lb, twice. Not only were they affordable, but extremely fresh tasting and plump with meat.

The two easiest ways to cook the crab are baking or boiling.

You are most likely purchasing frozen, already-steamed, crab legs that you simply need to heat.

Boiling: In a big pot of boiling water seasoned with beer, lemons, crab boil, Old Bay (or whatever you like), heat the crab legs until warmed through. If the crab is frozen, you may need to boil for about 10 minutes. If they are thawed, cook for around five.

Baking: In my humble opinion, the EASIEST way to heat crab legs is to bake them in the oven. Layer the crab in a single layer on sheet pans and bake at 375-400 F. until warmed through.

I drizzle with some olive oil (or you could dab on some butter), sprinkle with Old Bay, and toss lemon slices around, cover with foil, and heat until warm. For frozen crab legs, this could take around 15 minutes.

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After they’re done, you could sprinkle on more Old Bay or serve with the shaker.

I like to mix Old Bay with melted butter for dipping.

That’s it. It’s that easy.

You can often find affordable crab cracker and crab pick sets at Asian markets.

We love inviting our families over for Red Lobster night with crab legs, big green salads and boxed Cheddar Bay Biscuits. For a filler, you can even throw in some Costco panko shrimp.


  1. S

    I do them in the microwave ala Alton Brown. Since crab legs are already cooked no need to do anything fancy. http://www.altonbrownrecipies.net

    • Jeni

      Thanks for the tip!

  2. Donna Hup

    Sounds like you all had a feast! Happy bday, Jake!

  3. Jeni

    A couple more places:

    Tavern on Green

    West Wind Supper Club – River Falls, WI advertises some buffets that include crab legs on their Facebook page (current price is $44.99 for adults).

    Tavern at Green in Anoka, offers some AYCE crab dinners, announced on Facebook. No price listed.

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