crab meat and body parts, tentacles, knee cubes, blue marine background on ice, slices of lemon and lime are sliced round, around, with greens light, top side view, around
Sergey Kurganskiy/iStock/GettyImages

Well-cooked crab meat is moist and succulent with a mild sweetness. Crab is available for purchase from most grocers in raw and precooked form. If you choose to purchase precooked crab, you can eat it cold or heat it before serving. However, microwaving, baking or pan-frying crab will suck the moisture right out of the meat. To prevent the crab from drying out, you must boil or steam the meat. Before you heat precooked crab, thaw the meat in the refrigerator for 24 hours if it is frozen.

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil over a stovetop.

Place the crab directly into the boiling water, if its shell is intact, and cover the pot with a lid. Boil for five minutes per pound of crab you are heating. If you are heating unshelled crab meat, skip to Step 3.

Pour 3/4 of the boiling water out of the pot, leaving only 2 or 3 inches in the bottom, if you are cooking unshelled crab meat. Place a large metal strainer into the pot; the bottom of the strainer should not touch the water. If it does, pour more water out. Place the meat into the strainer, cover with a lid as best you can and heat for five minutes per half-pound of crab. If you are heating in-shell crab, skip this step.

Remove the crab meat from the pot or strainer and serve while hot.


Make a simple dip for crab meat by melting 1 tbsp. butter with 1 tsp. lemon juice in the microwave.