Easy Steamed Snow Crab Legs

Why pay restaurant prices for a ‘crab pot’ when these easy steamed snow crab legs are so simple to make and ready in about 30 minutes.  I like to serve them with melted butter.

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Easy Steamed Snow Crab Legs steamed with parsley, lemon, shallots, and Old Bay Seasoning.

As far as easy recipes go, this is right about at the top of that list.  Pretty much if you can boil water, you can make Easy Steamed Snow Crab Legs.  The best part is that if you want a ‘one-pot meal’, toss some corn on the cob and baby potatoes into the pot to steam with the crab.


Snow crab legs are sold already cooked and usually frozen or ‘thawed from frozen’.  They come in clusters with 3 or 4 legs and a claw on one leg- depending on how they cut the cluster from the crab body.  Sometimes, the leg with the claw is separate or attached to the cluster with two of the spidery legs.  The cluster itself is also full of meat.  Once you buy the crab and refrigerate it, it’s best to consume it within 1 or 2 days for the best flavor.


  1. Remove each individual leg from the cluster by snapping it off at the cluster.
  2. Each leg will have 3 sections, each getting progressively smaller.  Break each leg into two parts by snapping it at the largest joint.
  3. For each leg part, gently bend the leg in the middle to break the shell.  The meat should easily slide from the shell.  You can also use a fork or a seafood pick to split the shell down the middle.
  4. For the claws, use a crab cracker to gently crack the shell.  Open up the claw (as if to pinch something) and pull out the smaller part.  It should pull out easily with an oval piece of opaque cartilage.  Peel back the rest of the shell until you can use a seafood pick to retrieve the meat.
  5. The cluster has very thin cartilage that creates “pockets”.  Each pocket has a little pearl of meat that you can dig out with a seafood pick.

Easy Steamed Snow Crab Legs steamed with parsley, lemon, shallots, and Old Bay Seasoning.


If you want to ‘hang with the big boys” and use the right tools to get every last bit of sweet and tender meat, then here is my list of the essential tools to help you get it all out!

  • Crab cracker – this is used to crack open the hard shell.  It looks and operates much like a nutcracker.
  • Seafood pick – this is a thin tool that has a sharp, 2 prong fork on one end and a flat edge paddle on the other.  It is used to slide the meat out of the legs or pick out the meat from the body.
  • Seafood scissors – these look like scissors with narrow, curved blades used to cut through the tough shells on seafood.
  • Ceramic butter warmers to keep the luscious butter melted while you pick apart the crab.
  • Self-draining Seafood Serving Bowl – pretty and functional.

Here are a few more seafood recipes I hope you’ll enjoy.

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Easy Steamed Snow Crab Legs steamed with parsley, lemon, shallots, and Old Bay Seasoning.



Why pay restaurant prices when these Easy Steamed Snow Crab Legs are ridiculously simple and ready in about 30 minutes.



34 cups plain water

2 lemons, cut into quarters

Bunch of fresh parsley

1 large shallot or garlic bulb, ¼-inch of the top cut off

1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning

2 pounds (about 4 clusters) snow crab legs


In a large stockpot, pour in the water.  Place the lemons, parsley, shallot, and Old Bay Seasoning. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.  Allow to boil for about 5 minutes.  

Uncover the pot and carefully place a wire rack or basket over the aromatics in the pot.

Place the crab legs into the steamer basket.

Cover and bring the pot back up to a boil.  Steam the crab for about 5 – 10 minutes until the crab legs are very hot.

Use tongs to remove the legs to a platter.

Serve with melted butter.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Steam
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: easy steamed snow crab legs, crab recipes, seafood recipes, seafood boil, easy dinner ideas, weeknight meal ideas

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