There are many treasures of the sea, from shrimp to lobster to crab and everything in between. There really are so many options. Some of these are an acquired taste while others are just purely delicious every time.
Dungeness crab is one of our favorites. This large crab is centralized to North America, where it’s often found near eelgrass and bottom water surfaces. They can be found in shallow, sandy bays and they make an incredible meal.
How do you reheat Dungeness crab? The best way to reheat Dungeness crab is to boil or broil the meat, but there are other options. Dungeness crab is also good cold and often served with a little mayonnaise or aioli.
In this guide, we will share with you all of the tips, tricks, and directions that you need to know in order to effectively reheat Dungeness crab.
The process is not overly challenging but there are certainly some things you should be aware of for the process. Stick with us to learn how to reheat Dungeness crab the best way and more!
What Is Dungeness Crab?
The Dungeness crab is a very popular seafood option, particularly around the coast of North America.
You are most likely familiar with things like the snow crab and some other species. You may have even consumed this type of crab and not realized it.
Initially, these crabs are cooked using an intense boiling process. It is common to have live crabs for this process.
It is from the soft center shell that the most tender and flavorful meat comes from. This is also where crab butter comes from. Then, of course, you are familiar with eating crab legs.
A Dungeness crab typically will yield up to 8 ounces of meat overall. This does depend on the size and weight of the crab, of course.
Dungeness crab is often used for crab salad, crab cakes, or even cioppino stew. There are plenty of uses for the meat.
So what do you do when you have leftovers? Well, you store them, of course!
How To Reheat Dungeness Crab
If you are going to use your leftover crab meat in another dish, there is no need to reheat the crab. You can simply add the cold meat to whatever dish you are making and it will heat adequately in the dish.
But you won’t want to add it the entire cooking time. It’s best to cook the crab with the rest of the dish for only the last few minutes, particularly when it comes to a stew. Otherwise, you could overcook it.
What you want to keep in mind here is that your purpose is to reheat the meat and not re-cook the meat. You simply want to warm it up.
If you cook the meat all over again, it is going to give it a rubbery texture that isn’t very appetizing. You might also lose all of the flavor.
With that in mind, there is more than one way to reheat Dungeness crab. All of the methods we have found are short and sweet. There are options like boiling, broiling, steaming, or even cooking it in the oven.
All of these methods only take a few minutes to complete and some of them are designed specifically for meat still in the shell or legs while others are designed for just crab meat not in a shell.
We’re going to take you through each of these methods step by step, starting with the best way.
Reheat Dungeness Crab on the Stovetop – The Best Way
This first recommendation is our favorite recommendation. It seems to be the most effective and can be used for any type of crab meat. Whether your meat is in the shells and legs still or it’s just the meat, you can try this method out.
The key here is you will need to boil water and then add the crab meat or legs.
You also won’t want to walk away because you’re only going to boil for 3-5 minutes max. Yes, you read that right. This takes under 5 minutes when you add the meat!
Here are our steps for reheating Dungeness crab using the stovetop.:
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. A steady or rolling boil is fine for this method.
- Add the crab meat to the water.
- Allow meat to boil for 3-5 minutes or until it is heated. Remember you are not cooking the meat. You just want to heat it up. If you leave it too long, you will risk turning the meat into a rubbery and tasteless dish and it will be quite disappointing.
- Drain the meat.
- Prepare and serve as desired.
It really is that simple! There is nothing overly challenging to this process aside from making sure you don’t cook the meat again or leave it in the boiling water for too long.
We recommend checking it at 3 minutes because 5 minutes is typically the maximum amount of time it should boil.
Reheat Dungeness Crab Using a Broiler
Our go-to options on many reheating dishes are so often the oven, stove, or microwave. It’s a bit different with Dungeness crab, or really crab of any kind.
It’s a different type of meat and therefore requires a different approach.
The broiler is another great option for reheating Dungeness crab and it’s super quick as well. This method just requires heating time and a very short amount of broiling time to have your crab ready to go!
This can be used for crab with meat still in the shell or legs but it can also be used for just the meat as well. It’s more highly recommended for meat out of a shell.
Here are our recommended steps for reheating Dungeness crab meat using a broiler:
- Place your crab meat into a broiler-safe pan, probably with raised edges is best.
- You can add a small amount of water to the pan or even butter to keep the crab meat moist.
- Place under the broiler and allow to heat for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from broiler, serve, and enjoy!
We want to remind you that you are reheating your crab meat and not cooking it. This is why it takes only a few minutes. Crab meat is very light and usually only a few ounces per crab.
It’s also fairly fragile and easy to turn rubbery, so mind your timing here and be cautious not to overheat your crab meat!
Reheat Dungeness Crab by Steaming
This method is most recommended for crab meat still in a shell.
Even though you already cooked the meat once, you can use this method to reheat it and it will work very well. Remember you don’t want to use open meat for this option.
Here are our recommendations for reheating shelled Dungeness crab using a steaming method:
- Grab a large pot and place 1-2 inches of water in the base of the bot.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Place your crab meat (still in the shell) into a steaming rack or even a colander that can handle high heat. Don’t use a plastic colander.
- Lower the steaming piece into the can. You will want to ensure that the rack you are using does not cause the meat to go into the water. If this happens, you need to remove some water from your pan.
- Cover the pot with a lid. If necessary, break crab legs to make them fit so you can add a lid.
- For Dungeness crab, you would leave the lid on and allow them to steam like this for just about 10 minutes.
Once the crab is reheated, you can serve it. We recommend grabbing your favorite butter sauce to enjoy your reheated crab with!
Just a side note, you can use this same method with various other shellfish, including King crab, Snow crab, or even Maine lobster.
Reheat Dungeness Crab in the Oven
Before we get started, you should understand that this method should only be used for crab meat that is no longer in a shell.
This is a good reheating method if you just have open and un-shelled crab meat to prepare.
Try these steps:
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use a pie pan or casserole dish and place crab inside.
- Add a small amount of water or even a splash of white wine to the bottom of the dish.
- Cover the pan with foil or an oven-safe covering.
- Bake for 2-3 minutes in this manner.
This is quick and effective.
We hope that you find this guide to reheating Dungeness crab to be a valuable resource with plenty of options.
Check out our question and answer section for some additional information.
Can You Microwave Crab Meat?
You could potentially reheat crab meat in the microwave, but it will take about 10 minutes to do so and the texture of the meat will be affected as well.
We don’t recommend it if you have any other way to reheat your crab. It may feel like a waste when you go to eat your delicious crab, only to find it’s kind of subpar!
Can You Use Cold Crab Meat?
Yes! Crab meat can be used cold for salads or even eaten a la carte with some mayonnaise or dip. You can also toss it in cold at the end of another dish you are preparing.
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