If you got a great deal on fresh crab meat at the store and want to save some for later, you may be wondering if you can freeze it.
Crab is a common ingredient in many Cajun-style dishes, but it’s a pain when you can’t find any fresh crab meat. Even though they go bad faster than most foods, you can still freeze them.
Given how expensive and fragile that seafood is, I can imagine that you have already frozen quite a few plates, but you may be worried that the freezer will ruin them all. If you read this post, you’ll find out that freezing crab meat doesn’t change how tasty it is.
I’ll also explain in detail how to take the crab out of the freezer later. So, whether you want to make crab cakes or a great fish soup, I’ll tell you how to do it right.
Benefits Of Freezing Crab Meat
The fact that crab meat goes bad quickly is a big reason to freeze it. Crabs, in particular, don’t keep well at room temperature, so people often plan ahead to get them before they run out.
Since the freezer isn’t as well insulated to keep food fresh, the meat can stay in there for longer than it can in the refrigerator.
Please keep in mind, though, that you should never re-freeze meat that has already been thawed for reasons of hygiene and health.
Will Freezing Crab Meat Damage Its Quality?
Since freezing usually makes meat taste less good, I have to say that nothing tastes better than eating fresh crabs right away. During the freezing process, crab meat’s taste and texture might change a lot because of how cold it is. This could make it less tasty.
This is why some people choose to use high-quality crab meat from a can instead of frozen crab meat. By following the steps below and only using fresh meat or fresh crabs, you can lessen some of the bad effects of freezing.
If you don’t store the crab in a container that keeps out air, for example, its texture may change.
Once the crab is frozen, you shouldn’t put anything else near it. This is because anything nearby that hasn’t frozen yet could melt the crab, causing it to defrost and freeze again while making even more water. This is why it’s so important to carefully follow the directions.
What Is The Best Way To Defrost Crab Meat?
Only half the challenge was getting the crabs to freeze. It is just as hard to get the crab out of the freezer and let it thaw properly so that it can be cooked.
But there are a few rules you should follow when reheating them so you don’t mess up the meaty texture. This is especially true for crab legs, which don’t have a lot of meat.
In general, crab meat doesn’t do well when the temperature changes quickly. Now it should be clear that you can’t thaw food in a microwave and that you have to start the process a long time before you want to start cooking.
The night before you want to use the crab, take it out of the fridge and put it in a bowl of water. Your crab will be completely defrosted and ready to use the next day.
If time is of the essence, you can also let the crab defrost in a bucket of cold water for at least two hours, changing the water every 30 minutes to make sure the meat thaws properly.
You can make a wide range of tasty and filling dishes with crab, especially crab legs. Soup, vegetables, bread, and other foods are some examples.
Should I Freeze Live Crabs?
Famous chefs often talk about how hard it is to cook and freeze live seafood, which shows how important it is to talk about how hard it is. The answer is simple and short: you should never freeze crabs that are still alive.
There are two main reasons for this: it’s wrong and it’s important to keep food supplies safe. Since a freezer doesn’t have any oxygen, even crabs that are used to cold temperatures will die within a few hours.
This will let harmful germs grow, which will make the crabs unsafe to eat. To make matters worse, the animal’s slow death from lack of oxygen is a very painful thing to go through.
Freezing Cooked Crab
For the reasons listed above, it’s best to always cook the crab before you freeze it. If you don’t, you might ruin the great taste and put your health at risk.
Either the whole crab is frozen, including the shell, or the meat is taken out and frozen separately. How you do it will depend on things like the size of your freezer and what you plan to make for dinner.
Method 1: Freezing Entire Crabs
This is a great way to get sweeter water from the shell for making soup later. Most importantly, this is the best way to keep the meat fresher for longer in the freezer.
- A pot to bring to a boil and freezer bags that have been vacuum sealed.
- Putting labels on right away
- Throw-away towels
Step 1: Boiling
The most important step is the first one, which is cooking the crab. Boil the crabs for about 20 minutes to kill any germs that might be hiding in the meat or on the shells.
Step 2: Submerge
When the time is up, the crabs should be taken out of the boiling water and put into cool water right away.
This will keep the crabs’ body temperature from dropping to a level where they are in danger and where germs can grow and spread again.
Step 3: Wrapping
If you put crabs in a freezer, the sharp edge of their shells could poke a hole in the bag, so make sure to dry and squash each one before putting it away.
Step 4: Sealing
Let’s say you’re ready to put the crabs in the vacuum-sealed bag and have finished wrapping them. If I may make a suggestion, I’d say to separate the crabs in a way that will help you later.
If you only ever need two crabs, for example, you don’t have to worry about them sticking together if you put them in a single bag.
If you don’t have a vacuum-sealable bag, you can just tie off the top of a regular freezer bag and press the air out of the bag. If you plan to freeze crabs often, a bag that can be sealed can keep your freezer from smelling like a fish market.
Step 5: Labelling
I can see how you might forget what’s in each bag and when you put it there, given how much you seem to store in the freezer.
So, get some labels that stick on their own and write down the date, the type of crabs, and the number of crabs in the bag. When it’s time for you to use them, they will figure it out.
Method 2: Freezing Crab Meat Only Without The Shell
If you don’t have much room in your freezer or just bought crab meat without the shell, you can freeze just the meat.
You will need:
- Use vacuum sealers to seal freezer bags
- When aluminum or plastic wrap is used
- Label that sticks to itself for good
- Start right away is the first step.
Step 1: Get Started Immediately
In their natural state, the shells keep the meat from going bad, so when they are gone, the meat goes bad faster. So, as soon as possible after buying the meat, you should start freezing it.
Step 2: Sealing And Protecting
To keep the meat from drying out in the freezer, wrap it in more plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then, put the food in freezer bags that can be sealed with a vacuum.
If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can try to get as much air out of regular frozen bags as you can before you seal them.
Step 3: Labelling
You should write something on each bag so that you can find the crab meat quickly whenever you need it. Label the container with the current date and how much crab meat is inside.
Fresh crab meat without the shells goes bad faster than crab meat with the shells on, so it’s best to eat it within three to six months.
Tips For Freezing Crab Meat
If you follow the three tips below, you may get the best results when you freeze crab meat.
When the crab is already part of the main dish, the quality doesn’t change much. If you freeze it as fish cake or soup, for example, its flavor and texture will stay pretty much the same when you thaw it.
If you can, save the shell so you can use it to protect the meat inside. Even if you don’t plan to cook the crab as a whole at a later time, you should still save the shell so you can freeze it.