Steamed crabs
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How To Keep Crabs Warm After Cooking

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Crabs are a delightful delicacy, especially when served hot. So when you cook some, it’s natural to want to keep them warm for as long as possible. If you’re wondering how to keep crabs warm after cooking, then this article is for you!

While there are many ways to enjoy warm crabs after cooking them, you should know that the warmth after cooking doesn’t last very long. Reheating crab after it has been cooked is the most effective way to enjoy it warm. It’s also a good way to eat it without ruining the flavor.

If you continue reading, you’ll find a variety of ways to enjoy warm crabs. There are both natural and artificial methods to keep crabs warm. So, let’s get into it!

Why Should You Always Eat Warm Crabs? 

Crab are crustaceans. And a rule of thumb about eating crustaceans is that you should never let them go cold before eating. Crabs, prawns, lobsters – these can go bad super-fast when cold and can cause serious food poisoning. That is why it is advised that you always eat them while they are hot. 

When eating crabs make sure they have an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Never let them cool down to room temperature as that is considered the danger zone. If you are planning to prepare them beforehand for an event, make sure you keep them warm inside a cooler. I will talk about how you can do that in the following section of this article. 

Keeping Crabs Warm Immediately After Cooking In A Cooler

Using newspapers, you can keep the crabs warm for a good amount of time. Yes, you read it right! If you put your steamed or cooked crabs in newspapers and then inside a cooler, they should remain warm for a while. 

This is the best process to follow when you intend to eat the crabs within the next few days. In that case, here’s how to go about it:

Step 1: Cooking and Letting it Sit

No matter how you cook your crab, you need to let it sit before you put it in a cooler or container for a while. Not for long, though. About 15–25 minutes of resting the crabs will bring the temperature down enough to not overcook them inside the cooler.

The reason why you shouldn’t put your hot, just-cooked crabs in the cooler is that their warmth will cause them to get mushy and overcooked inside the cooler. So, just let it sit while it evaporates, and maybe add some seasoning while you wait. 

Step 2: Insulating Your Cooler

Insulating does most of the work in keeping your food warm. Most people suggest using newspapers to keep the crabs warm because they work as great insulators. They can preserve the heat of the crabs when you line the cooler with newspapers. 

You can eyeball how much newspaper to put in the cooler. Depending on how many crabs you are putting in there, you can adjust the newspaper amount. 

Step 3: Put Your Crabs in The Cooler 

Now, just put the crabs in the cooler in such a way that the newspaper does not get wet. Make sure the crabs are as dry as possible, and put them in the cooler in stacks or packed tightly. This way, the crabs will keep the heat between themselves. And voila, you have your warm crabs hours after you’ve cooked them, fresh as new!

Guide On Reheating Crabs 

If you do end up with cold crabs you can try reheating. There are several ways you can reheat your already cooked crabs and preserve the taste. From steaming to microwaving, some methods sound like they might make it taste bad, but they do not at all.

Depending on which process you used to cook your crabs, you may need to change the way you reheat them. Furthermore, you will find expert cooks’ recommendations on how to cook your crabs.

Reheating The Whole Crab

You can reheat the whole crab that you have cooked by using any of the three methods. An air fryer, a steamer, or even a microwave is good enough to bring the flavor back to your warm crabs. 

Air Fryer

To cook the crab in an air fryer, you need to use foil paper as the only other ingredient. Crab legs are best reheated using an air fryer, but you can do the whole crab if its size allows. 

First, take the crab and wrap it tightly in tin foil. After that, put them inside the air fryer basket or container, and fry them at 380 degrees F for 3-5 minutes at a time. You can immediately serve them afterward. 


Steaming is the best way to reheat your crabs. You can enjoy it much better this way as steam can rehydrate your crabs after a while. All you need is your steamer, water, and a timer. 

To start, put enough water in the steamer’s pot but not so much that it touches the steaming basket. After that, put the basket of the steamer over the pot so it can heat up while the water comes to a boil. After it’s boiling, place your crabs inside the basket and cover them with the steamer’s lid. 

Steaming should be done within 10 minutes, depending on the size of the crabs. After that, you can take them out and serve them immediately with your favorite dressing. 


The microwave may make you think it’s a bad way to reheat, but I’m here to assure you it’s not. It’s a simple and quick way to reheat them. In particular, you can add a hydrating element in the microwave to preserve the moisture of the crabs. 

Take your crab and cut it into pieces properly. In the case of legs, you can put three of them in the microwave at a time. Then, wrap the pieces of the crab with paper towels that are a bit wet. And wrap the whole thing with saran wrap or cling film to preserve the hydration. 

Then, you can microwave the entire tray for about two minutes for each batch. Just remove the wrapping once they’re warm enough, and they’re ready to eat. 

For Crab Legs

You can use the last two methods for crab legs and other parts of crabs too. But we all know crab legs deserve some special attention when it comes to cooking and reheating. So for this part, you can use either of these two methods.

The Oven

While the oven will bake your crab legs, it’s still a good way to reheat them quickly and get the soft meat inside. The way to do this is to use your oven, seasoning, aluminum foil, and some form of hydration. 

Firstly, preheat your oven to 400-450 degrees F and place your crab legs on the tray with the seasonings you want. You can use lime juice to add moisture as well as aroma. Next, use the foil to wrap the whole tray so it can warm up and stay warm for longer. Finally, bake the whole thing for 5–15 minutes, till warm enough. 

The Grill

When you have a grill, you can not only use it to make delicious crab dishes, but you can also use it to reheat the crab legs super-fast. All you need to do is get some aluminum foil.

Use the aluminum foil to wrap the crab legs in a couple of layers. Then, take the pieces and put them over the grill for about 10 minutes or till they feel warm enough to your taste. Once warm, you can unwrap them and enjoy them!

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