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Can You Freeze Crab?

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By Ross Young

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Crab isn’t particularly cheap, nor is it easy to come by. So perhaps you’ve managed to get ahold of some but don’t need to use it all right away. Then perhaps you’re left asking can you freeze crab meat, will it taste good and does it freeze well?

Can You Freeze Crab?

Yes, you can freeze crab for up to 3 months. Crab actually freezes best in its shell or as part of another dish. If you try to freeze crab meat on its own then it can become quite stringy.

Does Crab Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Crab? No

How to Freeze Crab

If you’ve got crab in a shell then this is how you should go about freezing it (it’s super easy):

  1. Wrap: Take your crab in its shell and wrap it in a layer of cling film.
  2. Wrap Again: Follow this with a layer of foil. This will prevent any air from getting into your crab and affecting its flavour and texture.
  3. Freeze: Place it in the freezer.

That really is all there is to it!

Can You Freeze Crab Sticks?

Crab sticks can be frozen for around 3 months. Wrap crab sticks in blocks of 4 using cling film. Once you have wrapped all the crab sticks, place them into a freezer bag and then place this in the freezer.

How to Freeze Crab Dishes

Crab freezes much better when part of a complete dish. That’s why we’ve covered a couple of popular crab dishes below:

How to Freeze Crab Bisque

Crab bisque is an incredibly luxurious soup. It’s not like most soups. It’s enriched with plenty of cream and butter (check out this recipe, for example).

However, it’s for that reason, it doesn’t freeze exceptionally well. The cream will split when frozen, so you’ll end up with a grainy soup.

Instead, we would recommend freezing your crab soup before adding the fat.

You can then thaw the soup when you’re ready to eat it and stir the double cream through it once it is returned to the heat.

How to Freeze Crab Bisque

How to Freeze Crab Cakes

Freezing crab cakes (or any fish cakes for that matter) is very easy. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Line an Airtight Container: If you have made plenty of fish cakes, then take an airtight container and line the base in a layer of greaseproof paper.
  2. Add Fish Cakes: Place as many fish cakes as you can into the bottom of the container in a single layer.
  3. Repeat: Now take another sheet of greaseproof paper and cover your first layer of fish cakes with it. Repeat until you have filled your container with fish cakes.
  4. Freeze: You can now place the container in the freezer. When you fancy a crab cake or two, you should be able to grab them from the box without them sticking to one another.

3 Tips for Freezing Crab

Now you know how to freeze crab in a few ways, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing them to have the best results:

Freeze in Meals
Crab freezes at its best when part of a dish whether it’s fish cakes or soup. If you can, try to freeze your crab as part of a complete dish as this is how you will have the best results.

If Not Meals, Keep the Shell
If you don’t plan to freeze it in a dish, try to keep the shell. The shell acts as a significant protection layer in the freezer and will prevent your crab from becoming too stringy.

Defrost Slowly
You don’t want all your effort to go to waste so when thawing your crab, go with the slow and steady approach.

How Long Can You Freeze Crab?

We wouldn’t recommend keeping your crab in the freezer beyond 3 months. It will be perfectly safe to eat after this date but can become stringy in texture and lose its delicate sweet flavour.

As always, make sure you label your crab with the date it needs to be used by so you can manage the contents of your freezer far easier.

How Long Does Crab Last in the Fridge?

Unfortunately, crab does not last for a long time in the fridge. It will only keep for around 3 days in the fridge before it very quickly loses its flavour.

How Do You Defrost Crab?

When it comes to defrosting crab, we would advise going slowly to avoid breaking the texture down any further. Place the crab in a bowl in the fridge and allow it to thaw overnight.

Depending on the size of your crab, this can take up to 36hrs.

Do not defrost crab at room temperature. This can be dangerous.

Can You Refreeze Crab?

We would strongly advise against refreezing crab.

You will already have issues with the texture. Refreezing crab will lead to further issues with the texture, which can make it very unenjoyable to eat.

Does Crab Freeze Well?

Provided that you either turn your crab meat into a dish such as crab cakes or bisque or you leave the meat in the shell then it will freeze pretty well.

If you have meat out of the shell with no protection, it can dry out and become quite stringy, which is when you will notice it was frozen.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing crab or crab in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Crab Salad?

yes, you could freeze crab salad. However, we’d advise against it. You’ll find the texture will change when it is frozen and then thawed. Instead, we would recommend freezing the individual elements of the crab salad.

Can You Freeze Dressed Crab?

Yes, dressed crab can be frozen for around 6 months. Submerging it in milk can help to make it moist and prevent it from being ruined in the freezer.

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