If “how to freeze crab?” is something that’s been bothering you, you’ve landed on the right page. But before I get into that, allow me to paint the whole picture.
Freezing fresh crabs is possible. But only if you manage to keep the crabs alive till you get home. They tend to deteriorate at a quick pace if you fail to clean them in less than two hours. This is the primary reason why the market offers frozen crabs. Fishermen boil the crabs either on the dock or trawler. Based on the shape and size of the load!
When you wrap the crabs with wet newspaper, you’re keeping them pinching and alive. On the other hand, placing them in hot boiling water makes room for gut and shell removal.
So let’s get to the part where I discuss how to freeze crab. Along with how to clean crabs for freezing! But before that here’s a common concern.
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Is Freezing Crab Meat Possible?
The answer to that is YES. The method is safe as well. Frozen crab meat is something you can devour for a very long time. But only if you freeze it properly!
To preserve the taste and freshness of the meat, it’s important to get the job done right. All the more reason to read the next two sections of the article. I have discussed cleaning and freezing both hard and soft shell crabs. So it doesn’t matter what you got, the solution to your problem lies below.
The thing about fresh crabs is that they offer exquisite meat. So don’t get too squeamish about cleaning and dispatching them.
How to Clean Crabs for Freezing & How to Freeze Crab?
Cleaning hard-shell crabs is not the same as doing the same for soft-shell crabs. So here’s how to deal with the former.
- 1. Prepare the pot
Use a large-sized stockpot with two gallons of water for a single crab. Bring the water to a boil.
Fill another large-sized container with water and ice.
- 2. Cook the hard-shell crabs
Now is the time to unwrap the crabs from the paper and place them inside the boiling water pot. Let them cook in there for eight minutes. You can use a timer at this point to prevent the possibility of overcooking.
If your stockpot and container can accommodate only one crab at a time, that’s okay too. Cooking it and then cooling it down should be a convenient task. So avoid using more than a single crab at once.
- 3. Cool the hard-shell crabs
You can transfer those crabs to the container with ice water. Allow the cooling process to take place for another eight minutes. Following which place them on any tray.
If you have more crabs, then repeat the process.
- 4. Clean the hard-shell crabs
Lay the crab down on your working surface. The triangular part of the shell is known as the apron. Pull this particular segment to get rid of it. Then grab the body of the crab and insert a finger inside the hole located between the top shell and body. Now you can pull the hard top shell away. Do the same for the gills found at the top. They have a feather-like appearance.
The next step is to break the J-shape mandibles. These are mouthparts present at the front. Then pull the yellow colored organ to either reserve or discard it. This yellow organ is called hepatopancreas. What it does is filter impurities. When consumed with the rest of the crab meat, it doesn’t taste unpleasant. (Is crab meat healthy?)
Now you can rinse the body and its insides. Clean out the maroon and purple matter known as the guts.
- 5. Freeze the hard-shell crabs
Break off the legs with a single twist. Or cut the whole body using your chef’s knife. Pat the different parts of the crab dry using paper towels. Before you place them inside storage bags for the freezer!
Mark the storage date. And the meat is good to go for at least three months. That answers the question, how long can you freeze crab meat?
Here’s how to work with soft-shell crabs. Follow the first three steps discussed above for cooking and cooling the crabs. It’s only the cleaning part that differs.
- 1. Clean the soft-shell crabs
Use any paring knife for the task. Insert its tip between the two eyes of the crab. Go as deep as at least one-fourth of an inch.
Lift the left shell at the top to insert your forefinger and thumb inside. Then get rid of the gills. Repeat the same for the right shell.
Now you can place the crab on your working surface to eliminate the apron. Cut it off using your kitchen sears. Then remove the mouth and eyes in a single snip.
- 2. Freeze the soft-shell crabs
It’s time to pack the stuff into freezer bags and mark the storage date.
And once again, how long can you freeze crab meat? For as long as three whole months in your freezer!
What about when you want to use it? So here’s how to thaw frozen crab meat.
How to Defrost a Whole Crab?
Thawing frozen crab at normal temperature tends to mess with the taste. Along with jeopardizing the freshness of the meat! So in order to avoid that, you should first place the crab in your refrigerator. Allow it to thaw in there for at least 24 hours. Before creating something delicious!
Also, keep in mind that frozen legs of the crab require no thawing. You can add these to boiling water even when frozen. As it doesn’t compromise the taste or the freshness!
Here’s a video by Jamie Oliver that might help:
How To Prep Crab?
So now you know how to freeze crab. Along with how to clean crabs for freezing! I have even discussed the defrosting method. So every single aspect of the process is right here at your disposal.
My only advice to you would be to freeze the meat properly. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing the original flavor and freshness of the crabs. Placing the meat inside proper storage bags is the most important thing.
And when it’s time to use it, all you have to do is place the crab in your fridge for an entire day. Or overnight.
The steps involved might sound difficult to perform. But that’s not the case. You do it once, and you’ll never have to read such an article ever again.
So are you ready?
I hope you found the post and my instructions helpful. If you have any useful tips to offer, you can get to the comments section below.
Have a great day, crab meat lovers!
Last update on 2021-10-22 at 03:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API