Let me show you how ridiculously easy it is to make an amazing crab leg dinner at home.
We take you through every step so you’ll know how to choose quality crab legs, how much to buy, and the absolute best way to cook them.
Make amazing crab legs at home for half the cost of dining out.
Menu prices vary, but you can expect to pay somewhere between $35-$55 for a crab legs dinner at a restaurant, depending on the type of crab and weight offered.
If you have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership, it’s worth checking there for a reasonably sized package. Often on the weekends, Costco has crab legs available individually at their seafood kiosk rather than in larger quantities.
Kroger and Whole Foods are also accommodating in this way which makes it easy to buy just what you need and is far better on a budget.
The prices at any of these stores range between $16-24 per pound, depending on the type of crab and seasonal sales.
How much crab meat do you get from crab legs?
The yield for how many pounds of crab legs per person is about 50% meat, so if you purchase 16-24 ounces for two people, you will end up with between 8-12 ounces of crab meat.
For us, that is always enough because the meat is so rich and we prepare two side dishes or save room for dessert.
How much does it cost to make a crab leg dinner at home?
You can enjoy a crab leg dinner for two at home for about $60, including wine.
• 1 to 1 1/2 pounds (16-24 ounces) of crab legs (about $25), including garlic butter
• Two side dishes ($6-8) (recommendations below)
• Dessert, homemade or purchased ($5)
Do you know how easy it is to cook crab legs?
It’s ridiculously easy. In the oven for less than 15 minutes, easy. Barely enough time to sip a little wine, easy.
No kidding. I wouldn’t even call it cooking since they’re already cooked, and you’re simply reheating (recipe below).
Yes, they’re all pre-cooked unless you’re buying live crab.
As long as your side dish is quick too, dinner is on the table in under 20 minutes because garlic butter doesn’t take long to melt and release its heavenly bouquet.
Steps to Prepare a Crab Leg Dinner
Buying Crab Legs
The yield for crab legs is about 50% meat, so if you purchase 16-24 ounces for two people you will end up with between 8-12 ounces of crab meat, roughly 4-6 ounces serving size per person.
We’re talking about frozen or previously frozen crab here—it’s already cooked—and the most readily available.
If you are lucky enough to live in a location where live crabs are coming off the boat and your fishmonger is cooking them fresh for you, kudos!
For the rest of us, they ALL arrive frozen at the store, and the ones you see in the case at the seafood counter have simply been defrosted.
Unless I am preparing the crab legs the same day, I buy them frozen. You want them to taste as fresh as possible, so it’s best that they aren’t lounging in the fridge long after being defrosted.
Look for crab legs bright in color and relatively free of clumps of ice crystals or freezer burn. In the photo below you can see the ice looks more like a glaze, which is ideal.
Crabmeat is delicate and won’t taste fresh if the crab has been in the freezer too long or allowed to defrost and refreeze (which means you don’t want to refreeze yours either).
Snow Crab (shown in the second photo) has a smooth shell that is relatively easy to handle or even cut with scissors before serving.
It is harvested during the winter from January through March. The meat is sweet and silky, delicately hidden but easy to capture.