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How to Freeze Crab

When it comes to enjoying fresh seafood, crabs are a mouthwatering treat that’s simply hard to resist.

However, their short shelf-life can sometimes limit our options. Luckily, freezing crab is a great way to extend its usability, making this delicacy available whenever your cravings hit.

Let’s explore the different ways how you can freeze both raw and cooked crabs, so you can relish their deliciousness any time you wish.

Cooked crab meat in a bowl with crab legs on the side.

To freeze crabs, first clean (for raw) or cool down (for cooked) them. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking tray without overlapping, and flash freeze. Then, package in freezer-safe bags, expel air, seal, and label with the freezing date. Consume within 2-4 months for optimal taste and texture.

How to Prepare Crabs for Freezing

Freezing is an excellent method to extend the shelf-life of crabs without compromising their quality. By freezing crabs, you can enjoy this culinary delight at your convenience.

As per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), freezing is the most effective method for long-term storage of seafood.

Before freezing, crabs require some preparation to ensure optimal quality and taste during later use.

Here’s a simple method to cook your crabs before freezing:

  1. Boiling: Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the crabs. Add some salt and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  2. Adding Crabs: Once the water is boiling, carefully add the crabs into the pot. Cover the pot and let the crabs cook.
  3. Cooking Time: Crabs usually take about 20-30 minutes to cook, depending on their size. You’ll know they’re done when they turn a bright orange color.
  4. Cooling: After cooking, remove the crabs from the pot using tongs and allow them to cool completely.

Remember, overcooking can make the crab meat tough and rubbery, so be careful not to exceed the recommended cooking time.

Freezing Crabs

After you’ve cooked and cooled your crabs, you can then proceed with the freezing process:

  1. Flash Freezing: Arrange the cleaned or cooled crabs on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, making sure they don’t touch each other. Flash-freeze the crabs for a few hours until they are fully frozen. This step prevents the crabs from sticking together in the freezer.
  2. Packaging: After flash freezing, shift the crabs into freezer-safe bags or containers. It’s crucial to expel as much air as possible before sealing to reduce the risk of freezer burn.
  3. Storage: Label the bags or containers with the freezing date. This practice helps you monitor the storage duration and ensure you use the crabs within the recommended timeframe.

Tips for Freezing Crabs

Keep these tips in mind when freezing crabs:

  • Only freeze crabs that are fresh and healthy.
  • Aim to consume frozen crabs within 2-4 months for optimal taste and texture.
  • Thaw your frozen crabs in the refrigerator overnight before use.
  • Avoid refreezing thawed crabs as it can adversely affect their quality and safety.

Check out our guide on “How to Freeze Fish” if you’re interested in preserving other types of seafood.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Freeze Crab

Frozen crabs can maintain their quality for about 2-4 months. After this period, they are still safe to eat but may lose some of their taste and texture.

The best way to freeze crabs involves flash-freezing them first on a lined baking sheet, then transferring them to airtight, freezer-safe bags or containers, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn.

It’s generally not recommended to refreeze thawed crabs, as this can affect their taste and texture. It’s best to only thaw what you plan to use.


With the guidelines in this article, you can now savor the deliciousness of crabs anytime by freezing and storing them appropriately.

Remember to follow the recommended preparation, freezing, and thawing processes to enjoy the freshest and tastiest crabs even out of season.

Cooked crab meat in a bowl with crab legs on the side.

How to freeze crab

Freezing crabs can ensure that you have this delicious seafood treat on hand at any time. This simple and efficient process helps preserve the taste and texture of crabs for dishes. Remember, the key to a successful freezing process is proper preparation and packaging!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Freezing time 4 hours
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American


  • Large pot (for boiling)
  • Tongs
  • Clean cloth or brush (for cleaning raw crabs)
  • baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Freezer-safe bags or airtight containers


  • Fresh crabs
  • Salt


  • Clean the raw crabs thoroughly to get rid of any dirt or debris. If you're using cooked crabs, ensure they are cooled completely after cooking.
  • Boil the crabs in a large pot of salted water until they turn bright orange. This could take about 20-30 minutes, depending on their size. Allow the crabs to cool.
  • Arrange the cleaned or cooked crabs on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure they aren't touching each other. Flash freeze them for a few hours until they are fully frozen.
  • After flash freezing, transfer the crabs into freezer-safe bags or containers. Try to remove as much air as possible before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
  • Place the meat in the freezer for 2-4 months.
Keyword How to freeze crab
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