The best way to cook crab

cooked crab on a white platter

Fresh crab is available during several different seasons. You could be cooking fresh blue Maryland crab or Dungeness crab in California. We all have to agree that for the best result, a fresh crab is almost a must.

Buying pre-cooked crabs that come cooked and cleaned is okay, but fresh crab that you cook yourself is, in my opinion, the way to go.

In my opinion, ordering fresh Maryland crab from the crab place is one of the best ways to get your fresh crabs.

Many people think that cooking your fresh crab is hard to do. I will show you 4 easy ways to prepare tasty fresh crab at home.


This is the most used method and many times also recommended as the fastest and easiest way to cook crab. Here are the steps to take for the best result.

You have to bring a large pot of water to a boil. Don’t forget to add enough salt to copy the saltiness of the ocean. You can add your homemade seasoning to the water to personalize it more if you like.

Add the crab to the boiling water. If you are cooking multiple crabs add them as fast as you can one after the other to make sure they cook for the same amount of time. Cooking crab usually takes about 10 – 15 minutes as soon as the water is back to a boil.

As soon as the crab starts to float they basically are done.

Remove the crab from the boiling water with a pair of tongs or anything else you prefer to use. Now let them cool until you can handle them.


Steaming crabs prevents them from becoming waterlogged as sometimes happens with boiling them.

Others mention that they taste better and stay juicier this way. Here are the three steps to steam crab.

Use a large pot and bring about 1 inch of salted water to a boil.

Place the fresh crab in the steamer basket. If you don’t have a steamer basket all you do is place the crab or crabs in the pan. The bottom crab will act as a kind of platform for the rest of them.

Place a lid on the pan and let them cook for 15 – 20 minutes. The timing depends on the size of the crabs. Now remove them with a pair of tongs and just like when you boil them let them sit and cool.


Grilling crabs need a little more preparation. The best way to start is to boil or steam them for about 5 minutes first. After this let them cool and clean them.

Now prepare your grill for a high temperature. Toss the whole crabs or the parts on the grill. I found that adding some olive oil and some seasoning before grilling makes them taste even better.

Grill them for about 4 – 5 minutes on each side and until they look brown.


Roasting crabs is not much different than grilling them. The only difference is that you place them in a hot oven that is about 450 – 500 degrees instead of on a hot grill.

The advantage of roasting crab over grilling is that you can add some melted butter to the roasting pan.

All these methods can also be used to cook the Blue crab I have been writing about.

Best Way To Cook Crab – My opinion

I strongly believe that it is fairly easy to cook fresh crab at home if you use one of the 4 methods I wrote about here. The only problem might be finding a big enough pot.

Now you know more about ways to cook crab you should determine how many crab legs to serve your guest and not cook too many or not enough.

More about seafood

Finding a good place to buy seafood is not easy unless you live close to the ocean. There are however many great online seafood delivery services that I wrote about in this article that will ship fresh seafood straight to your home.

If you have a look at all the ones I reviewed I am sure there is one that will deliver the type of crab that you are looking for.

Photo of author

Peter Jameson

Peter Jameson is passionate about eating healthy food. While he is doing his search for this, he will share that with the Couch Potato Delivery's readers. As an experienced home cook, he knows what to look for in the food delivery services he reviews. You can find more about him here.