Imagine unravelling the mystery of perfectly cooked crab legs, an endeavor that takes you from the chilly aisles of Costco straight to your cozy kitchen.

In this culinary quest, we’re about to dive into the succulent world of these sea-sprouted treasures, turning a simple meal into a gourmet gala.

Through the lens of 15 flavor-packed years, I’ll guide you step-by-step as we master how to cook Crab legs Costco has splendidly arrayed for us. Our mission: transform the frozen limbs of the deep into a sumptuous spread that even oceanic royalty would envy.

Drenched in clarified butter or swirled in a lemon garlic butter sauce, by the article’s end, you’ll not only bask in the art of steaming and boiling but also wield the knowledge of perfect seafood seasoning.

We’ll unfold everything from thawing tactics to culinary techniques that ensure your crab legs are nothing short of sublime.

Prepare to indulge in a journey where the frosted shells give way to a warm, flavorful embrace—your ticket to becoming the ultimate home-based seafood maestro awaits.

How To Cook Crab Legs Costco: The Quick Version

To cook Costco crab legs, follow these steps:

  1. Thawing: Before cooking, thaw the crab legs in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
  2. Cooking Methods: There are several ways to cook crab legs, including steaming, baking, grilling, and boiling. Here are the steps for each method:
    • Steaming: Fill a pot with 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of salt, and bring it to a boil. Place the crab legs in the pot on a rack or colander over the boiling water, cover with a lid, and cook for 6-10 minutes or until heated through.
    • Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the crab legs in a shallow baking pan in single layers, add hot water about 1/8 of an inch deep, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 8-10 minutes.
    • Grilling: Brush olive oil on all sides of the crab legs to prevent sticking, place them on a hot grill of 300°F for about 5 minutes, turn over, and cook for another 5 minutes until heated through.
    • Boiling: Fill a large saucepan half full of cold water, bring to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and seasoning, add the crab legs, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 6 minutes.
  3. Serving: Serve the crab legs with garlic butter, lemon wedges, or a lime sauce dip.
  4. Cracking: To crack the crab legs, use a cracker or a pair of scissors/shears to unzip them perfectly.
  5. Reheating: If you have leftovers, reheat them by steaming, baking, or grilling until heated through.

Preparing to Cook Crab Legs

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Selecting the Best Crab Legs

Walk into Costco, and you’re met with a sea of choices, a sight both thrilling and daunting.

I know the feeling. Here’s what to zero in on: look for plumpness, a sign they’re meaty. Bright color? A good sign. And if they let you, give them a whiff.

They should smell like the ocean, not like… Well, you know, something fishy.

Tips for selecting crab legs at Costco

It’s a hunt for the choicest limbs:

  • Peer for vibrant color, it speaks of the sea.
  • Heft is good, it whispers of dense meat tucked inside.
  • Packages, clear as day, no ice crystals, please, they hint at old age.

Necessary Tools and Ingredients

You’ll want a pot; not just any pot, but one to cradle those legs in comfort. Tongs too, they’re like extensions of your arms.

For sides, think simple—potatoes, corn, maybe a salad, something to let the crab shine.

The crab is the star, so let’s not overshadow:

  • Drawn butter, liquid gold for dipping.
  • A squeeze of lemon, just a touch, to cut through the richness.
  • Garlic, minced or powdered, for the bold hearted.

Cooking Methods Explained


It goes like this: water, a dash of salt, crab legs go in. No clutter, no rush. Once the water’s happy and bubbling again, set the timer.

Six minutes, maybe eight, don’t leave them swimming for too long.


Steam’s a subtle whisper that cooks gently. Water in the bottom, legs suspended above, lid on top.

Fifteen minutes and you’re there. It’s one delicate dance, ensuring everything comes out tender.


An oven, it’s a dry heat that envelops and warms. Lay the legs out, give them space. Preheat, then in they go.

Roughly 350°F, just until warmed through—about 10 minutes. They’ll come out singing if you’ve done it right.


Embrace the fire, but tame it first. Crack those legs so the smoke seeps in, filling every nook.

Mid-range heat, no searing flames. Flip at the halfway, let the grill do the talking, about five minutes each side should do it.

Advanced Cooking Techniques

Thawing Frozen Crab Legs

You want them thawed but not weepy. Fridge defrosting is slow, steady, and kind. About eight hours or overnight.

Don’t rush with hot water; patience brings rewards here.

Seasoning and Flavor Enhancements

Seasoning is your silent language of love to the crab. Old Bay’s classic, but explore—herbs, spices, maybe a little heat.

Marinades are more about a brief encounter, just a brush or a splash, then off to the heat.

Serving and Presentation

Proper Ways to Serve Crab Legs

Imagine a canvas and you’re the artist. Crab legs splayed in an inviting arc. A ramekin of butter, a slice of lemon on the side. Maybe a sprinkle of parsley for color if you’re feeling fancy.

Tools and Techniques for Eating Crab Legs

Crackers, those are your keys to the kingdom. Use them with resolve but not brute force. Picks and forks, they’ll be your trusted guides to the hidden treasures nestled within the shells.

Safety and Storage

Understanding Seafood Safety

Let’s keep things safe:

  • Fresh is fleeting, make sure what you buy hasn’t overstayed at the store.
  • Store leftovers with care, a cold fridge or a deep freeze, tucked away safely.

Allergy Considerations

Allergies are no joke with crab. Know your crowd, ensure it’s safe to serve. If in doubt, labels are your friends, read them well, and keep everyone in the loop.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Dealing with Undercooked or Overcooked Crab

Underdone? Back in the heat for a brief stint. Overdone? Salad bound or tucked into a pasta, they’ll find new life.

Flavor and Texture Adjustments

If it’s bland, a sprinkle of sea salt whispers of ocean depth. Too dry? A mist of butter brings back that silky texture we all hanker after when dreaming of How to cook Crab legs Costco style.

FAQ On How To Cook Crab Legs Costco

Do I need to thaw Crab legs from Costco before cooking?

Thawing is like flipping the switch from sea to table. Your crab legs will smile in the steam if you let them thaw overnight in the fridge. It’s simple, helps them cook evenly, and let’s not forget, it saves you from a rubbery seafood fiasco.

What’s the best way to cook Costco Crab legs?

The royal road to succulence is steaming. This gentle bath of vapor cooks them thoroughly without washing away that delicate ocean essence.

Grab your pot, fit it with a steamer, and let the cloud of warmth wrap around those crustacean limbs like a cozy blanket.

How long should I cook my Crab legs for?

Patience is your ally; 5 to 7 minutes is a golden span for a rendezvous with heat. Whether it’s in a steamy fog or a gentle boil, this brief sizzle is your ticket to tender meat that slips off the shell, ready to melt hearts.

What seasoning should I use for Crab legs from Costco?

Your seasonings wield the power to transform. A classic shake of Old Bay seasoning, your favorite blend of spices, or even a simple whisper of salt can elevate the natural symphony of flavors. The ocean’s bounty is your canvas; your spices, the brush.

Can I grill Crab legs from Costco?

Absolutely, unleash the flame! Grilling adds a smoky kiss that brings out a delightful twist in taste. Just brush them with oil, keep the flame companionable, and let them sizzle just long enough to singe in that charred flavor without overstaying their welcome.

Do I need special equipment to cook Costco Crab legs?

Special? Not quite. What you need is something you likely already own—a pot grand enough for those leggy treasures, perhaps some tongs for a no-fumble flip. And for the grand reveal? Grab that handy cracking tool; it’s time to set the stage for a feast!

How do I know when the Crab legs are done cooking?

A clue—look for a hue, a shade that whispers ‘I am ready’: bright orange or red armor. Give them a gentle poke; you’re seeking a firm hello back. No more, no less, this tactile handshake between you and the shell is the secret.

What are some good side dishes to serve with Crab legs?

Companions of the feast, take note: buttery corn on the cob hugs crab like an old friend. Crisp salad greens with a dash of citrus playfully freshen your palate. And let’s not skip those faithful potatoes, roasted to golden perfection, a true ode to the earth’s bounty.

Is it okay to reheat Crab legs from Costco?

Indeed, reheating is not a crime, provided it’s done with a gentle touch. A quick steam, a brief dance in the oven, or even a micro-moment in the microwave (covered in damp paper towels, mind you).

Just enough to whisper warmth, not shout, or the tenderness is compromised.

What’s the trick to getting the meat out of the Crab legs easily?

This is when the alchemy happens—slices and cracks at strategic points can lead to a treasure-trove reveal. Bend at the joints, snap with purpose, and wield a crab fork or pick with the finesse of a locksmith. The meat awaits, tender and primed for escape.


We’ve navigated the waters, from the thrill of the Costco seafood section to the sanctuary of our own kitchens. Learning how to cook Crab legs Costco offers is quite the culinary adventure. We’ve steamed, we’ve seasoned, and we’ve savored every succulent bite. A journey that began with frozen tendrils has transported us to a place where flavors reign supreme and every forkful is a celebration of the sea.

Remember, whether you opt for the subtle art of steaming or embrace the bold flame of grilling, the path to perfection is marked by patience and passion. It’s been a delight weaving through the tapestry of herbs and spices, elevating simple crab legs to a dish worth remembering.

Take these nuggets of wisdom on your next seafood cooking endeavor; let them be your guide to unlocking the full potential of those briny limbs. Until our next gustatory expedition, may your pots be ever steaming and your plates forever bountiful.

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