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How To Cook Crab Legs On The Grill

In the summer, grilling crab legs is one of the numerous fun ways to get dinner on the table. Grilled crab flesh goes well with almost any side dish. Crab legs are pricey to buy, but preparing them at home is far less expensive than eating them out, so why not make them yourself?

If what is stopping you from enjoying homemade grilled crab recipes is a simple fact that you have no idea how to make them, then not to worry. You’ll need to pay close attention to all the instructions we’ve outlined; the tips and recommendations will also guarantee you amazing results.

How To Cook Crab Legs On The Grill

Tips for Cooking Crab Legs

The tips outlined below will help you get the best results with grilled crab leg recipes:

Use the right kind of crab legs – Any variety of crab legs can be grilled. Red king crab legs, Golden King crab legs, Dungeness crab legs, and snow crab legs are excellent choices. Because king crabs are the largest and have the most flesh, they are perhaps the most popular type of crab. The legs of snow crabs are slimmer than those of king crabs. The smallest of the three crabs, Dungeness, are famed for their extremely delicious meat.

Because most Alaskan king crab legs are frozen and pre-cooked, all you have to do is thaw and reheat them. It’s essential to defrost your legs before grilling to ensure even heat distribution.

Choose the right size – Crabs exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, and their legs are also diverse sizes. It is easier to extract and eat the crab meat from larger crab legs than smaller ones. Larger crab legs are easier to handle with tongs and turns than smaller legs.

Preparatory steps – Preheat the grill to 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit on direct fire if you’re grilling crab legs on a gas grill. If using frozen crab legs, remove the bag from the freezer and defrost in cold water or on the counter while the grill heats up. Frozen crab legs don’t need to be thawed entirely before grilling; they heat up quickly and are already cooked.

Thawing the crab legs – Fill your sink halfway with cold water and allow the crab legs to rest in the water for 20 to 30 minutes to defrost. Rinse the legs thoroughly when they have thawed. You may even thaw them in the refrigerator overnight; just make sure they don’t leak.

Some seasoning inspiration – Crab leg flesh coated in melted butter is simple and tasty, but there’s also more to seasoning crab legs on the grill that you can explore if you prefer. When you cut the crab legs lengthwise, you can season them directly and make removing the meat much easier. Season the crabmeat with any seafood seasoning of your choosing or prepare your own marinade and baste it while it cooks.

Cooking Crab Legs on the Grill

Although grilling crab legs isn’t the conventional preparation technique, it is a quick and simple way to prepare this wonderful meal. Crab legs cook rapidly; you can buy them already cooked or prepare them yourself from a fresh state. Grilling can be done on a charcoal or gas grill; a gas grill allows for more precise temperature control, while charcoal adds a delicious smokey flavor.

Take note of these instructions when cooking crab legs on the grill:

  • Place the crab legs meat-side up on the heated grill to cut the shells.
  • You can use a vegetable oil spray on the grill grates or brush a little oil on the crab legs to keep them from sticking to the grill.
  • For good-sized crab legs, cook for only four to five minutes per side.
  • Make sure to open the grill’s lid during the grilling process.
  • Overcooking the meat will cause it to become rubbery and lose part of its flavor, so try to avoid this.
  • The meat at the crab’s ends should be firm and white rather than rubbery. The delicious aroma of perfectly cooked crab meat should also be detectable.

Garlic butter sauce is a great option to use with grilled crab legs. Below are the steps are involved in the grilling process, and they should be followed correctly for the best results:

  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
  • Split the crab legs in half and set them split-side up on a baking pan.
  • Using a spoon, combine the ingredients for the garlic butter sauce in a bowl. To make a sauce, use melted butter.
  • Spoon the garlic butter over the crab legs’ meat gently. After grilling the crab legs, keep some butter aside for dishing.
  • Place the split crab legs, shell-side down, on the grill. Close the lid and heat for about 10 minutes or until the crab is fully cooked. Cook crab leg flesh until it is reddish-orange and opaque.
  • Remove the crab legs from the grill and serve them with fresh lemon wedges and the lovely garlic butter sauce.

Afterward, enjoy your delicious grilled crab legs!

Cooking Time for Crab Legs on the Grill

Follow the timing guidelines in this table below to get the best out of your grilled crab leg recipes:

Cooking procedure Cooking time
Grilling crab legs 10 minutes at medium-high heat


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How To Cook Crab Legs On The Grill

Grilled Snow Crab Legs with Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce (4 Servings)

  • Author: Bobby



For the Snow Crab Legs

  • 3 pounds snow crab legs, thawed if frozen

For the Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce


  1. Preheat your grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Then add in the garlic, lemon juice, Old Bay Seasoning, parsley, tarragon, thyme, lemon zest, and cayenne spicy sauce, whisking constantly. Half of the garlic butter should be divided among four dipping cups. Half of the mixture should be left in the pan.
  3. Cut a slit down the inside of each crab leg with meat shears to allow the butter to enter through the shell and into the flesh. Brush the garlic butter mixture on the crab legs in the saucepan.
  4. Place the crab legs on the grill grates that are still hot. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the flesh is firm and looks pearly or opaque.
  5. Remove the crab legs from the grill when they are thoroughly cooked.
  6. Serve and enjoy with a garlic butter dipping sauce.

This recipe yields delicious grilled crab legs, one that you’ll definitely want to try again. If you’d like to see more ideas for grilled crab leg recipes, then this is a video recipe you should watch.