If you want to freeze your delicious crab legs to keep them available to eat for a longer time, know that they can be best kept frozen for up to 3 months. At this point, the crab legs will begin to lose their flavor and freshness. They should never be kept in the freezer for more than 6 months to preserve freshness.
How Long Does Crab Last In the Freezer?
You can easily freeze crab legs to keep them good for much longer than they would in the fridge. In general, most kinds of crab legs last for 6 months in the freezer before their freshness decreases. After 6 months, it may not be safe to eat those crab legs anymore due to bacteria.
Not every crab leg lasts this long in the freezer. The Dungeness crab can only be in the freezer for a month before it is no longer safe to eat.
If you want to preserve flavor as much as possible, we recommend that you only keep your crab legs in the freezer for up to 3 months. After this point, the crab legs will begin to lose their flavor which may give to a less fanciful dinner.
How Do You Store Crab Legs In the Freezer?
Storing crab legs in the freezer is incredibly easy! It doesn’t require much prep work to make sure that your crab legs will stay fresh for 6 months.
When storing any kind of food, especially meat products, the main thing you want to make sure you do is to put the food in an airtight container. Oxygen is what allows a lot of bacteria in food to grow and also allows for the flavor to dissipate.
You can freeze both cooked and raw crab in the freezer. Since you are buying crab legs, they will have already been boiled and cleaned. That takes a step out of your process. Keep the crab legs in their shell rather than remove the meat from the legs. This would be an unnecessary step that actually removes a layer of protection from the meat.
Wrap the legs in plastic wrap and then place the legs in a heavy-duty freezer bag or another airtight container. From there, write the date on the container and place it into the freezer.
It is incredibly important to write the date of when you are freezing the crab legs in the freezer, so you know how long it has been in there. This will allow you to know exactly when it has been 6 months since the crab legs were first frozen. Labeling the dates of what you put in the freezer keeps you organized and prevents you from getting sick.
Tips When Storing Crab Legs In the Freezer
- Leave the crab meat in the shell of the legs. The shell acts as a natural layer of freshness protection to expose less of the meat to the elements.
- For extra protection on keeping your crab legs fresh, wrap the air-tight container or bag in a layer of aluminum foil. In case the bag opens or a crack forms in the container, the aluminum foil layer will continue to preserve the freshness of the crab legs until you grab them from the freezer.
- To make the freezer bag extra air-tight, use the vacuum sealing method for plastic bags. Take a straw and poke it into the top of the bag. Suck out all the air that you can before sealing the bag again.
- Freeze your crab legs as soon as possible. If you aren’t planning on eating your crab legs right away, store them in the freezer the first chance you get. The sooner you freeze the crab, the longer lifespan it will have. If you wait too long, bacteria will form and make the crab legs not as safe to eat.
- Make sure your crab legs are 100% dry before putting them in the freezer by patting away moisture with a paper towel. Less moisture means less chance of bacteria growth and freezer burn.
Can Crab Legs Go Bad In the Freezer?
Any meat that stays in the freezer for too long can go bad, including crab legs. When in the freezer, the crab legs will first start to decrease in quality after the first 3 months. Then, after 6 months, there is a very high chance that they will go bad.
A sign that your frozen crab legs have gone bad is freezer burn. This is when the meat is covered in a lot of ice and happens when moisture in the meat gets released and freezes. Your crab legs would have a weird texture if you ate them after freezer burn.
If you pull the crab legs out of the freezer and they have a sour or bitter smell, that’s a strong sign that they’ve gone bad. Also, look for discoloration such as dark spots on the meat. Any of these signs means that you should throw out your grab legs, otherwise they can make you sick.
Related post: Can You Freeze Cooked Blue Crabs
Can you freeze crab legs? Yes, you can! Crab legs can be frozen for up to 6 months, though, they start to deteriorate in flavor after 3 months. If you want the best-tasting crab legs but don’t want to cook them directly after buying them, make sure to eat your frozen crab legs within the first 3 months.
You can make your frozen crab legs last for as long as possible by taking care to properly store them. The less air and moisture the crab legs experience in the freezer will keep the flavor the freshest for the longest. Double or triple-wrap your crab legs and press out as much air as possible before placing them in the freezer. Always write down the date of freezing on the packaging in a place you can easily see. From there, you have 6 months to enjoy your delicious crab legs.
Tiffany McCauley is a celebrated food and travel journalist and cookbook author known for her engaging stories on culinary adventures and cultural insights. With a background featuring collaborations with notable brands and publications, Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Fanatically Food, where she champions taste, sustainability, and the art of cooking. Read More Here