Dungeness Crab Legs Recipe(From Ocean to Table)

dungeness crab legs
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Delectable Dungeness Crab Legs Recipe
Indulge in a seaside-inspired culinary adventure with seasoned crab clusters, steamed to perfection in aromatic spices. Each succulent bite promises to transport you to a coastal paradise of flavor.

Hi, I Anne Carter am going to give you guys a special recipe of Dungeness crab legs which I tried for the first time when one of my friends visited me after a very long and I wanted to surprise her with her favorite dish although it was my first time, who knew it will turn out this good that I would love it for the rest of my life. Picture your seaside, with the salty breeze teasing your senses and the sun painting the horizon with hues of gold.

This coastal haven awaits a culinary delight: Dungeness crab legs, plump and succulent, promising a symphony of flavors that dance on your palate. As you embark on this gastronomic journey, imagine the anticipation building, like waves crashing against the shore.

Each crack of the shell reveals a treasure trove of tender, sweet crab meat, bathed in a decadent blend of butter, garlic, and aromatic herbs. The air fills with a tantalizing aroma, inviting you to indulge in a feast fit for royalty. Whether enjoyed as a luxurious appetizer or the centerpiece of a lavish seafood spread, Dungeness crab legs embody the essence of coastal indulgence.

This culinary masterpiece transports you to a world where every bite celebrates the sea’s bounty. So, dive in, savor each moment, and let the magic of Dungeness crab legs whisk you to paradise.

Why Dungeness Crab Legs?

Dungeness crab legs are so delicately sweet that they require little embellishment. A simple shake of Old Bay seasoning and proper steaming is all it takes to yield tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat. Slightly sweeter and saltier than other crab varieties, the succulent flavor of Dungeness crab shines through.

One bite hooks you. If you’re lucky to have leftovers, the versatile meat lends itself to salads, mac and cheese, crab cakes, pasta, and dips.

Overview: How To Cook Dungeness Crab Legs?

Picture a seaside kitchen filled with the enticing aroma of spices and the promise of a delectable feast. Here, nestled on a sheet of parchment paper, lie clusters of succulent crab, waiting to be transformed into a culinary masterpiece. With a sprinkle of garlic salt and Old Bay seasoning, each crab cluster becomes a canvas for flavor, as the spices seep into every crevice and joint, tantalizing the taste buds.

As the steam pot comes to life, its gentle whispers hinting at the bubbling excitement within, the anticipation builds. With precision and care, the seasoned crab legs are nestled into the pot, ready to be bathed in a cloud of steam. Covered with a lid, they simmer and steam, their essence infused with the essence of the sea.

After 35 minutes of culinary alchemy, the lid is lifted to reveal a bounty fit for a king. Each crab leg, glistening with flavor and aroma, beckons to be savored, transporting you to a coastal paradise with every decadent bite. Serve it with my Campfire Sauce and you will thank me later for this advice.

Other Must-Try Crab Recipes for You!

dungeness crab legs

Delectable Dungeness Crab Legs Recipe

Indulge in a seaside-inspired culinary adventure with seasoned crab clusters, steamed to perfection in aromatic spices. Each succulent bite promises to transport you to a coastal paradise of flavor.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: seafood
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Calories: 120kcal
Author: Anne Carter


  • Steam pot
  • Water pot
  • Sheet of parchment paper


  • 1.5 pounds raw Dungeness crab legs
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt


  • Place crab clusters upside down on a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Season with half of the garlic salt and Old Bay, ensuring to get the seasoning into any cavities and joints.
  • Turn crab legs over and season with the remaining garlic salt and Old Bay, paying attention to the joints and cavities.
  • Add water to the bottom half of your steam pot, usually a couple of inches is enough.
  • Bring the water in the steam pot to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.
  • Place crab legs into the steam pot and place the steam pot on top of the water pot.
  • Cover with a lid and cook covered for 35 minutes.


  • To save money, buy whole Dungeness crabs and clean them yourself.
  • Using your bare hands with a sharp tool, lift off the top shell.
  • Remove the gills and wash out the guts under cold running water.
  • Pry off the bottom piece and split the crab in half to get two clean clusters of meat.


Serving: 3gCalories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 23gFat: 1.5gSaturated Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 2500mgPotassium: 400mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 0.5mg
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Exploring the Various Methods to Cook Dungeness Crab Legs!

Steaming: Steaming crab legs in a pot over boiling water is a gentle, flavorful cooking method that brings out their natural sweetness. Simply place the legs in a steamer pot, cover, and cook for 8-10 minutes until the meat is opaque and tender. The delicate steaming process perfectly cooks the crab while retaining its sweet flavor and tender texture.

Boiling: Crab legs can be flavorfully infused with just a few minutes of boiling. Just boil a pot of salted water, add your seasonings of choice, gently add the legs, and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until done. When the crab’s shells turn vibrant orange, it’s time to cook the meat until it absorbs all of the seasonings, creating crab that is both succulent and flavorful.

Scorching: Scorching Dungeness Crab Legs enhance delicate crab meat with a smoky and burnt flavor. Drizzle the crab legs with melted butter or olive oil and sprinkle with your preferred spices. Before you add the crab legs, make sure the grill is hot enough to cook them through. Grill the crab flesh for approximately four to five minutes on each side, or until grill marks appear and it is thoroughly heated. The sweetness of the crab meat is brought out even more by grilling it, and the smokiness is delicious.

Smoking: Smoking Dungeness crab legs over low heat with aromatic wood chips infuses the sweet meat with a rich, smoky flavor. First, prepare the smoker with hickory or applewood chips. Then, season the crab legs generously with a spice and herb blend. Place the seasoned legs on the smoker racks, maintaining a temperature of 200-225°F. After 30-40 minutes, the crab will be tender and imbued with a delicate smoky essence. Smoking lends complexity and depth to Dungeness crab, transforming an already special dish into an extraordinary experience.

From the various options available to us we opted for the boiling method and I must say that every single time when I tried this method it came out really well and my entire family loved cooking crab legs this way. Some of my friends even asked me about the recipe when I cook crab legs this way and invited them for a meal.

Time for Some Serving Suggestions!

 Dungeness Crab Legs recipe

Storing and Managing for Further Use!

Great news – your fully cooked Dungeness crab can stay fresh in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw the crab in the refrigerator when you’re ready to eat them. Thawed crab will be kept for 3 days in the fridge.

To thaw, simply pack the crab in ice and cover it with a damp towel. Check the ice occasionally, adding more if needed. Pour off any excess water to prevent sogginess.

Following these easy steps lets you enjoy fresh, amazing Dungeness crab whenever your craving for seafood strikes, even months after cooking.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can this recipe be used to make another type of crab?

A: If a different kind of crab is more readily accessible in your area, you may easily produce it using the same method.

Q: Do I need to cover the crab legs with water while steaming?

A: No, you only need to add water to the bottom half of the steam pot. The crab legs will be steamed by the steam generated from the boiling water.

Q: How do I know when the water in the steam pot is boiling enough?

A: The water should be at a rolling boil, meaning there are large bubbles continuously breaking the surface of the water.

Q: Do I need to flip the crab legs while they’re steaming?

A: No need to flip them. Just let them steam with the lid on for the specified time.

Q: Can I adjust the amount of seasoning used?

A: Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the amount of garlic salt and Old Bay seasoning to suit your taste preferences.

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