Home » How To Reheat Dungeness Crab? - The Best Way

How To Reheat Dungeness Crab? - The Best Way

How To Reheat Dungeness Crab? - The Best Way

There are plenty of treasures from the sea, from prawns to lobsters to crabs and everything in between. There really are many options. Some are an acquired taste, while others are simply delicious every time.

Dungeness crab is one of our favorites. This large crab is centralized in North America, where it is commonly found near seagrass and bottom water surfaces. It can be found in shallow, sandy bays and makes an incredible meal.

How do you reheat Dungeness crab?

The best way to reheat Dungeness crab is to boil or grill the meat, but there are other options. Dungeness crab is also good cold and is often served with a little mayonnaise or aioli. 

In this guide, we’ll share with you all the tips, tricks, and directions you need to know to effectively reheat Dungeness crab.

The process is not excessively difficult, but there are some things that you must take into account for the process. Stay with us to learn how to reheat Dungeness crab in the best way and much more.

What is Dungeness crab?

Dungeness crab is a very popular seafood option, especially on the North American coast.

You are most likely familiar with things like the snow crab and a few other species. You may have even eaten this type of crab and not even realized it.

Initially, these crabs are cooked through an intense cooking process. It is common to have live crabs for this process.

It is from the soft central shell that the most tender and flavorful meat comes out. This is also where crab butter comes from. Then of course you are familiar with eating crab legs.

A Dungeness crab typically yields up to 8 ounces of meat in total. This depends 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 many uses for meat.

And what do you do when you have plenty? Well save them, of course.

How to reheat Dungeness crab

If you are going to use your leftover crab meat in another dish, you do not need to reheat the crab. You can simply add the cold meat to whatever dish you are preparing and it will heat up properly on the plate.

But you don’t want to add it throughout the cooking time. It is best to cook the crab with the rest of the dish for only the last few minutes, especially when it is a stew. Otherwise, you could overcook it.

The thing to keep in mind here is that your purpose is to reheat the meat and not to cook it again. You just want to heat it up.

Recooking the meat will give it a rubbery texture that isn’t very appetizing. You may also lose all flavor.

With this in mind, there is more than one way to reheat Dungeness crab. All the methods we have found are short and sweet. There are options like boiling it, roasting it, steaming it, or even cooking it in the oven.

All of these methods only take a few minutes and some of them are specifically designed for meat still in shell or legs, while others are designed for shell-less crab meat only.

We are going to explain each of these methods step by step, starting with the best.

Reheat Dungeness Crab on the Stove - The Best Way

This first recommendation is our favorite. It seems the most effective and can be used for any type of crab meat. Whether your meat still has the shells and legs on it or is just the meat, you can try this method.

The key is that you will have to boil water and then add the crab meat or legs.

You also don’t want to walk away because you’re only going to boil for 3-5 minutes max. Yes, you read it right. It takes less than 5 minutes when the meat is added!

Here are our steps for reheating Dungeness crab in the kitchen:

  1. Put a pot with water to boil. A constant or continuous boil is fine for this method.
  2. Add the crab meat to the water.
  3. Let the meat boil for 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Remember that you are not cooking the meat. You just want to warm it up. If you leave it too long, you risk the meat turning into a rubbery, tasteless dish and it will be quite disappointing.
  4. Drain the meat.
  5. Prepare and serve as desired.

It’s that simple! There’s nothing too difficult about this process, other than making sure you don’t recook the meat or leave it too long in the boiling water.

We recommend that you check it at 3 minutes, since 5 minutes is the maximum time it should boil.

Reheating Dungeness crab with a grill

Our options for reheating many dishes are usually the oven, stove or microwave. It’s a little different with Dungeness crab, or really any type of crab.

It is a different type of meat and therefore requires a different approach.

Grilling is another great option for reheating Dungeness crab, and it’s super fast too. This method only requires a heating time and a very short grilling time to get the crab ready to go.

It can be used for crab with the meat still in the shell or legs, but it can also be used for the meat alone. It is more recommended for meat without shell.

Here are the steps we recommend for reheating Dungeness crab meat with the help of a grill:

  1. Arrange the crab meat in a grill-safe pan, probably with raised edges is best.
  2. You can add a small amount of water to the pan or even butter to keep the crab meat moist.
  3. Place it under the grill and let it heat up for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the grill, serve and enjoy.

We want to remind you that you are reheating the crab meat and not cooking it. That’s why it only takes a few minutes. Crab meat is very light, usually only a few grams per crab.

It’s also quite brittle and easy to get rubbery, so keep time in mind and be careful not to overheat the crab meat.

Reheating Steamed Dungeness Crab

This method is best for crab meat that is still in the shell.

Even if you’ve already cooked the meat once, you can use this method to reheat it and it will work great. Remember that you should not use open meat for this option.

Here are our recommendations for reheating shell-off Dungeness crab using a steaming method:

  1. Take a large pot and put 1-2 inches of water in the bottom of it.
  2. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Place the crab meat (still in the shell) on a steaming rack or even in a colander that can handle high heat. Do not use a plastic strainer.
  4. Place the steamed piece in the tin. You need to make sure that the rack you use does not cause the meat to go into the water. If this happens, you will need to remove some of the water from the pot.
  5. Cover the pot with a lid. If necessary, break the legs of the crab to fit so you can add a lid.
  6. For Dungeness crab, leave the lid on and cook like this for about 10 minutes.

Once the crab is reheated, you can serve it. We recommend that you take your favorite butter sauce to enjoy the reheated crab.

Just a side note, you can use this same method with other shellfish, like king crab, snow crab, or even Maine lobster.

Reheating Dungeness crab in the oven

Before you begin, you should understand that this method should only be used for crab meat that is no longer in a shell.

This is a good method of reheating if you only have open, shell-less crab meat to prepare.

Try these steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Use a tart pan or casserole dish and place the crab inside.
  3. Add a small amount of water or even a splash of white wine to the bottom of the fountain.
  4. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil or an oven-safe cover.
  5. Bake for 2-3 minutes in this way.

This is fast and effective.

We hope you find this guide to reheating Dungeness crab a valuable resource with many options.

Please see our Q&A section for additional information.

Can crab meat be heated in the microwave?

You can reheat the crab meat in the microwave, but it will take about 10 minutes to do so and the texture of the meat will also be affected.

We don’t recommend it if you have another way to reheat crab. It will seem like a waste when you go to eat your delicious crab, only to find out that it is somewhat inferior!

Can cold crab meat be used?

Yes. Crab meat can be used cold for salads or even eaten à la carte with a little mayonnaise or sauce. You can also add it cold at the end of another dish that you are preparing.