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How to Cook Crab Legs

 Is there a way that I can steam Alaskan king crab legs in my oven instead of boiling them in water on the stove top?

 Yes, but why are you doing either? In this country, crab legs are precooked and then frozen, and the best preparation methods are baking, broiling, or — surprise — microwaving.

James Peterson, author of Fish & Shellfish (Canada, UK) cautions against buying thawed crab legs, because they begin to lose their freshness once thawed. For this reason, he likes thawing them and heating them in one step in the microwave oven (wrapped in a damp paper towel for four minutes or so, although the timing will vary depending on the number of legs you have). Otherwise, thaw the legs in the refrigerator for 8 hours or more.

If they have been split, they are best broiled for about three minutes, after being brushed with butter or olive oil. If the legs are whole, they are best baked in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for eight or nine minutes.

One of our readers, who has definite opinions on the subject, says salting is unnecessary because the crab is cooked and cooled to subfreezing in brine before being glazed with fresh water. He suggests thawing and rinsing the crab in quantities of fresh water before cooking, lest you find the meat too salty.

 

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