Crab meat is tender and rich in flavor. When you’re in the mood for seafood, delicious crab meat might trick you into buying more than you can afford to consume. In this situation, you might ask if you can freeze fresh crab meat.
It’s undeniable that crab is one of the most favored ingredients which can be used for many yummy recipes such as Maryland crab cakes, crab soups, spaghetti with crab and tomatoes, crab dips – to name a few. Therefore, it’s worth trying to store this type of seafood so that you can keep it handy whenever you need it.
Today I’m going to discuss how to freeze crab meat. However, I would caution you from trying to do this. Before you get started, I will discuss a couple of reasons which you should pay attention to.
Can You Freeze Fresh Crab Meat?
Where To Begin?
The good news is that you can freeze crab meat because it’s the only way to preserve this type of seafood for the next cooking. If you plan to use it up in about a day, you00 can put it in the fridge. Otherwise, this crab meat needs to be stored in the freezer.
Before discovering how to freeze fresh crab meat, let me make it clear: it’s unable to freeze live crabs. Low oxygen and low-temperature environment in the freezer will kill the crabs, and as soon as they die, their meats start to deteriorate rapidly.
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And as a rule, no one will cook dead crabs unless you’re ready to take the risk of food poisoning.
How To Freeze Fresh Crab Meat
As stated earlier, it’s possible to freeze crab meat, but it might not be as simple as you imagine. Below is a step-by-step guide that makes sure you can freeze your crab meat and maintain its quality if you follow it carefully.
The following section presents two methods to freeze whole crab and crab meat without a shell. Let’s start!
Freezing Whole Crabs
If you prefer a straightforward yet satisfying way to enjoy your crabs, I suggest boiling them whole. This also makes it easier for you to freeze your leftover crabs.
The shell of the crab acts as a natural armor to protect the flesh part inside. Once being cooked and frozen, the shell keeps the meat from losing the flavor.
Step 1: Cook the crab first because you can store dead crabs in the freezer and hope they last long. For this reason, place all the crab in the pot and boil at least 10-20 minutes, then take them out
Step 2: Fill the kitchen sink with ice water. This way, you can end the cooking process completely
Step 3: Cover the whole crab with a lot of paper towels. Pay attention to the pointy ends which are visible to your eyes, and carefully wrap all of them so that they can’t puncture the plastic bag
Step 4: Note down the date on the plastic bag. This reminds you that you should use up what you freeze in about six months from the day you put them into the freezer
Step 5: Put crabs in each bag and use a vacuum sealer to close the bag. This convenient appliance makes sure there is no excess air in your bags. As such, you can prevent the growth of mold and bacteria when storing
Freezing Crab Meat Without The Shell
Typically, this section is about dishes using cooked crab meat as an ingredient, which have been left after a party or a family dinner. Supposed you have overestimated the actual consumption of guests, and you now stuck with a tremendous amount of seafood, including crab meat.
It’s highly recommended that you shouldn’t freeze crab meat kept in the fridge for a day.
As soon as the meat has been taken out of the crab shell, you might need to freeze them so that you can avoid spoiling the whole batch and extend the storage time.
Find out how to remove meat from crab as professional as a chef in the following video:
The below guide is practical yet straightforward, which you can rely on to protect your crab meat’s freshness and original flavor.
Step 1: Prepare freezer-safe, food-grade, and resealable plastic bags
Step 2: Put the crab meat inside about half the bag and pour milk until the entire meat is submerged
Step 3: Place them into the freezer, and you can plan to use them in 6 months
Step 1: Repeat step 1 above
Step 2: Wrap your crab thoroughly in aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn
Step 3: Place them into the plastic bag, use a vacuum sealer to squeeze the air out
Step 4: Before storing them in the freezer, make sure you write down the date so that you can estimate the last day you can consume the meat. For those who wonder, they can stay safe for about 6 months from today.
How To Thaw Crab Meat
Do you know how to thaw crab meat properly? If not yet, I’ll provide you with detailed instructions below to not have to worry about doing this thing.
Because you’ve learned how to freeze crab meat in the right way, it’s essential now that you continue to discover how to thaw it so that you don’t let your prior efforts go down the drain.
Step 1: Move crab meat from the freezer to the fridge and let it sit overnight
Step 2: Take it out and cook the crab recipe you plan to
Step 1: Drop the bag of crab meat into a bucket of cold water for at least 2 hours
Step 2: Change the water every 30 minutes to get the best result
Can You Freeze Crab Soup?
Yes, you surely can freeze crab soup without ruining its taste, even after a couple of months. This is good news for people who love seafood, especially crab meat.
However, many homemakers prefer to add cream to enhance the texture and flavor of the dish. It’s highly recommended that if you want to extend the shelf life of crab soup, the cream should be removed completely. Why? Because cream doesn’t freeze well, it will split when thawing, which might significantly affect the overall texture.
When you’re ready, thaw the soup and add as much cream as you want when reheating it.
Can You Freeze Crab Cakes?
Freezing crab cakes is easy as a pie. It’s an ideal choice to keep the crab cakes stay fresh for quite a long time.
Best of all, you can take it out at any time from the freezer; just heat it and have a nice, quick meal in front of you.
You should place crab cakes into a large airtight container. The size of the container depends on how many cakes you have. It would be helpful to put layer after layer until the box is full. To avoid cakes sticking together when taking out, remember to separate the layers with grease-proof papers.
Do you know how to prepare crab cakes for the freezer? Let’s watch:
Can You Freeze Crab Salad?
Maybe, yes, you can freeze crab salad, but I might not strongly support this idea. The quality of crab salad after thawing depends on ingredients that are included in your dish.
If it contains eggs, mayonnaise, yogurt, sour cream, lettuce, cucumber, celery, or other fruits known as not suitable for freezing, the texture and flavor of your dish will not be guaranteed once frozen.
It’s more likely that you couldn’t enjoy your salad anymore because of strange and unpalatable taste.
How Long Does Crab Meat Last In The Freezer?
Supposed that you follow the above instruction correctly, you might rest assured about the quality of your frozen crab meat in about 3-6 months.
However, some other factors could affect storage time, such as the quality of the crabs, the length of time before you cook them, the operation of your freezer, and more.
If everything is fine, you can expect to keep your crab meat up to 6 months so that you can have plenty of time to experiment with various cooking recipes.
How Long Does Crab Meat Stay Fresh In Refrigerator?
As I said before, storing crab meat in the refrigerator is a convenient way to preserve the meat’s freshness if you are going to cook it in the next few days.
Because crab meat tends to perish quickly, you should plan to use it up as soon as possible, even in the low temperature.
Some people might keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days and find it edible. However, it would be advisable that you should consume your crab meat before that, just for the sake of your health.
Useful Tips For Freezing Crab
Here are some useful tips which you can refer to when freezing crabs. Check it out
- Many people like to freeze crab meat as a part of a dish. Crab meat is a perfect ingredient for a number of recipes, for example, crab brisques, crab dips, crab cakes, and more. Integrating crab meat into a recipe is a surefire way to maintain crab meat’s quality when being frozen.
- If you plan to consume crab meat alone, it would be best to keep the shell and freeze the whole crab. This way, you can prevent your crab from being tough to eat.
- When thawing frozen crabs, the most important thing is that you need to do it slowly and increase the temperature gradually. A hasty approach will lead to meat’s spoilage.
Useful Tips On Cooking Frozen Crab
You don’t need to be a chef to cook frozen crabs. I’ve enlisted some tips so that you can have more confidence when dealing with this seafood.
- Butter is always a good companion of crab meat
- To reheat thawed crabs, filling the pot with water, add vinegar and salt before turning on the cook. It might take about 10 minutes to get the job done. Remember, put crabs on the steaming rack, not submerge them in boiling water.
- Wrap the crab in a damp paper towel before placing it in the microwave. As such, your crabs don’t lose their juiciness.
- To avoid overcooking the crab, notice the presence of smell from cooked crabs. It tells you the time you should take it out and serve
Need answers about freezing crab meat? I’ve got you covered on some popular questions here
Can You Freeze Fresh Crab Meat – The Truth
Although there is nothing comparable to fresh crab meat, it’s still possible for you to preserve the original flavor of your favorite seafood in a period.
I don’t advise you to try to freeze the crab meat if unnecessary because learning how to freeze and thaw crab meat properly requires some skills and patience. Not paying enough attention can lead to food poisoning or ruin the whole batch.
If you’re new to crab meat, freezing it with meals is always a good idea. What do you think? Follow my instructions and let me know the results in the comment section below.