Can You Freeze Canned Crab Meat? (Opened – Unopened)

Can You Freeze Canned Crab Meat

Crabmeat is full of nutritional value that adds variety to your meal preps. To have handy crab meat get ready, you will need a proper storage method to preserve its soft, sweet, and succulent texture.
That is why you might want to know whether can you freeze canned crab meat?

You can freeze canned crab meat for about three months in a freezer. For unopened canned crab meat, freeze them in its original packaging. For opened canned crab meat, ensure to keep it in a heavy-duty freezer bag or airtight container. You can fill the bag with milk to preserve its flavor and texture for longer.

So, to keep canned crab meat fresh and tender in the freezer for its longer shelf life, you need to follow proper handling safety tips as follows:

Can You Freeze Unopened Canned Crab Meat?

The canned crab meat comes in sturdy packaging that allows it to remain shelf-lasting. The packaging is mostly an aluminum can that is already vacuum sealed. The crabmeat is first pasteurized and then vacuum sealed to remain intact for a longer time.

You can freeze your unopened canned crab meat before it reaches its expiration date. Freezing will help to prevent it from spoiling early and losing its texture. It can remain edible beyond its expiration date if you store it in the right way.

Before freezing your can of crab meat, check the packaging to detect any damage to the can. If you notice any leakage or rusting, then discard the can. There is no benefit of freezing it as it may have already spoiled.

Can You Freeze Opened Canned Crab Meat?

You can freeze opened cans of crab meat to make it suitable for future use. Once opened, it is best to freeze it within two to three days. It is not good to leave it in an open environment further.

If you keep it at room temperature for a longer time, it will eventually go bad. Exposure to air will increase the possibility of contamination. Thus, freezing it, later on, will serve no purpose.

Similarly, freezing also depends upon the quality of crab meat. If it is not fresh enough or has undergone some changes in color or smell, storing them in the freezer is useless.

The opened canned crab meat can last for just three to four days in a refrigerator. Thus, freezing the leftover crab meat is a better alternative.

How Can You Freeze Canned Crab Meat?

Canned crab meat has preservatives that give it extended shelf life. However, freezing them on time helps in conserving the softness of the crabmeat. You can then add it to your favorite dish and enjoy all the flavors.

The freezing technique for both opened and unopened canned crab meat is almost similar with slight variation.

You can freeze unopened canned crab meat by the following steps:

  • First, wrap the canned meat in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Ensure to cover it nicely from all sides.
  • Next, shift it to a freezer-safe bag or Ziploc bag. Remove all the excess air out before sealing it. You can use a hand vacuum for this purpose if available.
  • Vacuum sealing will decrease the chance of bacterial growth. It will also protect the crab meat from dehydration and freezer burns.
  • You can keep it in a safe corner inside the freezer to prevent pressure on the can. If too much pressure is applied, the can might explode.
  • Lastly, label the storage bag with the best use by date to store it for up to three months.

In case of freezing opened canned crab, all you need to do is:

  • Transfer the crab meat from the can to a clean freezer-safe bag or airtight container.
  • Freezing the meat in the opened can will give it a metallic taste. The can may also contaminate the food.
  • Secondly, pour some milk into the bag until it fully covers the crab meat.
  • The built-in nutrients in the milk will help the meat from any damage while freezing. It will act as a protective layer.
  • Now, store the bag in the freezer until you want to defrost it for future usage.

How Long Can You Leave Canned Crab Meat Frozen?

According to the US food and Drug Administration (USFDA), you can keep canned crab meat frozen for two to three months in a freezer. It can stay frosted without its texture and freshness getting affected.

However, it is better to use the meat within three months. Beyond this time, the taste and quality may change. Still, it is perfectly safe to consume.

You can also store canned crab meat in the freezer for an indefinite amount of time. The temperature has to be kept constantly at 0°F. Maintaining this temperature at home is not practically possible. So, the most it can survive is for a few months.


You can leave canned crab meat in the freezer for many months safely and without damaging it. Freezing proves to help guard its flavor and freshness.

Factory sealed cans of crab meat remain in a pantry for many years, but the quality can deteriorate. It is convenient to keep it in a fridge or freezer. It can easily last there for six to twelve months.

The already opened canned crab meat is prone to oxidation. It might lead to many food-borne illnesses like stomach pain, food poisoning, etc.

Storing and handling your crab meat rightly will stop unnecessary wastage. It will also save your money’s worth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to tell if the canned crab meat is spoiled?

The signs that indicate the canned crab meat has spoiled include a foul smell, an unpleasant flavor, or the appearance of mold. Discard such crab meat on the spot.

How long can you keep canned crab meat in the fridge?

You can keep canned crab meat only for two to three days in a fridge. It has a very delicate composition and spoils quickly. Even if you vacuum seal it, it will still stay only for a week.

Is canned crab meat healthy?

Yes, canned crab is healthy as it contains a lot of protein. It also consists of anti-inflammatory properties and protects from many diseases like heart attacks.

Recommended Readings:

How To Freeze Live Crabs?

How To Freeze Fried Fish?


Tauseeq is the principal creator of He loves cooking and wants to help others overcome kitchen challenges through practical advice and solutions.

Recent Posts