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How to Cook Crab on the Grill

author image Patrick Hutchison
Patrick Hutchison has been doing freelance work since 2008. He has worked as a physical therapy aide and as a writer for various websites including Destination Guides and several travel-related companies. Hutchison has a Bachelor of Arts in history and anthropology from the University of Washington.
How to Cook Crab on the Grill
Crabs cooking on a grill. Photo Credit: Mitja Derenda/iStock/Getty Images

The tender, slightly sweet meat of a crab is usually prepared by immersing the meat-filled shells into boiling water for several minutes. While boiling will probably remain the most common way to prepare this delicate seafood, you can also grill crab, imbuing the meat with a subtle smoky flavor. Grilling also preserves the health benefits of the crab as a low-fat, rich source of protein. If you are grilling larger crabs, like Dungeness, Alaskan king crab or snow crab, only grill the legs. Grill smaller soft-shell crab, like blue crab, whole.

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Step 1

Thaw your crab by placing it in a large container of cool water and letting it rest for several hours. Some crabs, like Alaskan king crab and snow crab, are rarely available fresh and come in precooked, flash frozen packages.

Step 2

Set your grill for direct heat and a medium-high temperature, or hot enough to allow you to keep your hand just above the grill grate for approximately 3 seconds.

Step 3

Arrange your crab on the grill evenly, using tongs. If you are grilling legs, place the thicker portions near the center or hottest portion of the grill.

Step 4

Grill your crab for approximately three to five minutes per side. Precooked crab requires less time. Fresh, raw crab takes an additional minute per side to ensure that the meat is cooked.

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