Can You Refreeze Cooked Crab Legs? (Be Careful)

Cooked crab legs are an expensive delicacy that demands proper handling and storing. You might think to consider the option of refreezing to increase their shelf life.

To clear all doubts, you may want a concrete answer to can you refreeze cooked crab legs?

You can refreeze cooked crab legs only if you defrost them in the refrigerator in the first place. Their average stay inside the fridge is twenty-four hours. Utilize your crab legs between this time or transfer them to the freezer as quickly as possible. If you defrost them by other methods, they cannot refreeze well enough.

Due to the protein-based nature of seafood, they tend to perish very rapidly. The same is the case with crab leg meat. However, some tested and approved safety measures will help to make it long-lasting.

Refreezing Cooked Crab Legs After Thawing

Crab is considered one of the most widely celebrated seafood. Its distinct sweet flavor makes it on the favorite list of many food lovers.

Typically, crab legs are available precooked and frozen in the market. There is often a high chance that they may thaw while on the way back home. If you encounter such a situation or if you defrost them yourself, the meat needs instant storage.

If you do not plan to eat them, you can refreeze them but with some limitations. It is mandatory to thaw your crab legs in a refrigerator for freezing them again.

Crab legs defrosted by other methods like leaving them at room temperature or in a water bath cannot withstand refreezing.

The safest way to thaw them for facing another round of freezing is in the fridge. As inside the refrigerator, they will be unable to reach an unsafe temperature that can spoil them.

The average shelf life of crab meat is three days or even less, so it is better to avoid thawing them until and unless you want to add them to a dish.

If you bought the crab already thawed from the store, make sure to check the package date. It should be the same day or else refrain from buying, as they won’t refreeze well.

How Can You Safely Refreeze Cooked Crab Legs?

How to refreeze cooked crab legs

Refreezing cooked crab legs is not a complicated process and can be done without much effort. If done correctly, it can prove helpful in keeping the meat stored for a long duration.

The steps required to refreeze cooked crab legs are listed below:

  1. Firstly, let them cool down and reach room temperature before placing them in the freezer.
  2. Next, put the crab legs in a freezer-safe bag or a vacuum container.
  3. Remove all the excess air out through a vacuum sealer so the bag can shrink around them.
  4. The safety packaging will help to prevent the crab legs from getting freezer burns.
  5. Keep them deep inside the freezer so that they get exposed to a consistent temperature.
  6. Label the bag or container with the date as a reminder and let them refreeze up till the desired time.

How Long Can You Leave Cooked Crab Legs To Refreeze?

The refreezing span of the cooked crab legs depends upon how you handle them while thawing initially. If you defrost correctly, you can leave them in the freezer for two to three months.

When you leave the crab legs in the open air for too long, they can spoil too fast. As you have already defrosted them, there is a high chance of contamination. So, it is better to transfer your thawed crab meat to the freezer as soon as possible.

Crab legs that thaw in the refrigerator can refreeze for a long time. If you apply other defrosting alternatives that are less time-taking like microwaving, refrain from freezing them again.

Refreezing them after placing them in a microwave is not a good option. The reason is that inside the microwave, the crab meat reaches a high internal temperature. Such a warm environment is ideal for bacteria to develop.

Besides, freezing your crab legs, again and again, might make them stale and unpleasant to eat. Thus, it is ideal to use them on time to enjoy the rich flavors.


Crab legs are delicious as many people enjoy the distinct taste they offer. But they are pricey, so you should be extra careful while handling them.

They can undergo refreezing safely but under certain circumstances. The way you defrost them will determine if you can freeze them again or not.

Crab legs should be left to thaw in the refrigerator. If you defrost them by other methods, they will not respond well to refreezing.

Prolonged exposure to open-air can deteriorate their quality and taste. Crabmeat should be placed immediately in the freezer for storage. It also applies to store-bought frozen cooked crab.

Refreezing crab legs are safe and prove helpful in avoiding food wastage. However, with time the texture and flavor might suffer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell if frozen crab legs are bad?

A simple way to know the state of your crab leg meat is by looking at it its color. It should be snow-white if it is still fresh and edible. In case the color seems dull, you should avoid consuming the meat as it can be inedible.

Is it better to steam or boil crab legs?

Steaming crab legs is a better option as compared to boiling them. It allows all the flavors to stay inside the shell rather than escaping into the cooking water. It is an effective method of keeping all the richness of the crab intact.

Can you get sick from eating spoiled crab legs?

Spoiled crab legs contain many harmful bacteria that can make you seriously sick. In extreme cases, it can even lead you to get hospitalized. Some of the adverse effects it can produce include severe diarrhea, high fever, and excessive vomiting.

Recommended Readings:

How To Refreeze Shrimp

How To Refreeze Salmon


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

Recent Posts