It can be quite frustrating when you just have a few of your favorite crabs, and you don’t know what to do with them.
How about trying to cook them?
But if you don’t have time now, and you want to save them for later, can you freeze uncooked crab?
Yes, you can freeze uncooked crab (legs and knuckles) provided that you clean the crab while it is alive. But I do not recommend freezing the whole crab in a shell.
If you have a whole uncooked crab, cook it first before freezing.
How to freeze uncooked crab properly?
There are a few things that you need to do before freezing uncooked crab.
First, you have to remove the gills on each side of the underside of the crab.
Second, remove the mouthparts of the body from both sides, as well as all other viscera inside it, and clean the body if there are any remaining gills or viscera inside.
Third, crush the large claws and pull out the meat with a fork or your hands.
This way, you can easily remove the meat from the brittle legs and the hairy claws.
Fourth, split the large claws from the small ones. You don’t have to do this if you are going to cook them later.
Fifth, clean each of these pieces thoroughly as much as possible to avoid leaving any impurities inside it.
When you are done, pack the cleaned crab pieces into a safe container, and freeze them immediately for maximum freshness.
How long can you keep frozen uncooked crab?
If you are interested in knowing how long you can keep frozen crab, it depends on the way that you have stored it.
For example, if you left the crab to freeze slowly in its shell, you can keep it for 3 months in a freezer.
On the other hand, if it is a type of crab that you did not cook after cleaning it or if there were any remaining pieces of shell on the cleaned crab before freezing, you can freeze them for only 2 to 4 weeks.
I recommend that you clean and store them in their shells.
When you freeze the crab in this manner, you can maintain its freshness for one year or even longer.
However, if you plan to use your frozen uncooked crab within a month of the freezing process, I recommend that you thaw it slowly by placing it on the countertop before using it.
Can you freeze raw crab meat?
Yes, it is possible to freeze raw crab meat.
However, you have to know that you can freeze it only if the meat is still on the shell (not removed) and if you remove the large claws from it before freezing it.
You should also note that it might be a problem to cook the crab meat again after freezing it.
If you have frozen uncooked crab meat, you should use it before three months.
Do not freeze it for more than three months if you want the crab to be fresh.
You can also freeze cooked crab meat; you will have to store it in an airtight container.
The container should be placed inside a freezer that is set at -18 degrees Celsius or lower for up to three months.
However, if you want the cooked crab meat to be fresh-tasting for a longer time, it is best if you freeze it for no more than two to four weeks.
Can you store uncooked crab in the fridge?
There is no issue with storing some of the cleaned pieces on a refrigerator for a short period of time if they are still frozen inside their shell.
But it is important to note that you can’t store them for a long time in the fridge.
I would only advise that you do so if you need to thaw the crab later before cooking it.
But I wouldn’t recommend keeping them there for more than one or two days at most.
It is best to keep frozen crab in the freezer because you will be able to prevent it from getting damaged and maintaining its freshness.
You should also avoid bringing the crab into a room that has a warm temperature after taking it out of the freezer to thaw it.
In addition, if the crab meat is still raw when you take it out of the freezer to cook it, you should ensure that you do not thaw or warm them in an area that is exposed to the sun.
How to thaw frozen uncooked crab?
If you have frozen uncooked crab, you should thaw it slowly by placing it in the refrigerator until you use it.
It is also possible to thaw them gradually on the countertop or at room temperature if your crab has been frozen inside its shell and without any pieces of the shell still attached to it.
The last thing you should take note of, as I have discussed earlier in the article, is that the crab meat might cook faster if you thaw them in an area that has a warm temperature because they will begin to get warmer when they are thawed.
Therefore, if you want your crab meat to be more fresh-tasting, you should thaw them gradually under cool temperature.
Can you refreeze frozen uncooked crab meat?
Uncooked crab meat can be re-frozen but I advise you to do so only if the meat is still frozen when you thaw it.
The same thing also applies to cooked crab meat; they can be re-frozen but only if they have been cooked and are still frozen when you thaw them.
But if they have started to defrost, you must know that thawing and re-freezing them will destroy their flavor.
Moreover, if they have been thawed and cooked, you should only store them in the freezer for up to one month.
It is not safe to refreeze any of the frozen crab meat after one month.
Freezing uncooked crab meat is possible. If you are looking to freeze it for later use, I would advise that you properly thaw the frozen crab meat before cooking it.
It is best to gradually thaw them in a refrigerator than at room temperature.
In addition, you shouldn’t thaw or warm the crab in an area that is exposed to the sun when you are cooking it.
It is best to do so under a cool temperature instead.
You can also refreeze cooked crab meat as long as they have been cooked and is still frozen when you thaw them.
You should only do so one or two times, but if they have been thawed and cooked before, it is best to freeze them in an airtight container with a freezer that is set at -18 degrees for up to one month.
After a month, you should throw them out in the trash can.
It is not safe to refreeze crab meat that has been thawed and cooked at all after one month.