We wanted to try something new and thought we’d make some Grilled King Crab Legs. While it isn’t the cheapest recipe I could possibly make (and I hope my wife doesn’t look at the credit card statement too closely!), it was one of the best things I made on the grill and it took less than 15 minutes to make!
I love wandering around Whole Foods, especially the Seafood and Butcher counters. I loaded up on fresh mussels, clams, and of course these insanely delicious King Crab Legs. Hey, I am an Amazon Prime member and saved a couple of bucks per pound – so that kinda counts as frugal, right? We’ll see if that argument works with the wife.
🍽️ Why This Works
Super Easy – These are precooked, so there are no complicated instructions.
Delicious – Holy moly, are these delicious! We made three different types of butter-based dips for the crab legs, but I think they taste perfect without anything too!
Celebratory – These are perfect for a special occasion or holiday!
Crab Legs – I chose King Crab for this meal, but Snow Crab legs work just as good. King crabs have larger and thicker legs and claws, which means there is a lot more meat in there. Snow Crabs have thinner legs, but their shells are much easier to break.
Butter Dips – There are three options here: 1) Plain melted butter, 2) Garlic Butter, and 3) Charred Lemon Butter. All of them are delish! If you want to get real swanky, you can Roast Garlic on the Grill before adding it to your butter.
🔥 Grilling Instructions
Step One: Heat the grill to 375 degrees over direct heat.
Step Two: Clean the legs and spray them with a little bit of spray oil. You don’t need much!
Step Three: Place the legs on the grill and let them cook for 5-7 minutes.
Note: If you are making the Charred Lemon Butter Dip, cut the lemons in half and place them face-down on the grill grate now. They will develop nice sear marks and will be perfect for mixing with the butter at the end of the grill.
Step Four: Turn the legs over and grill the other side for another 5-7 minutes.
Step Five: Remove them from the grill and serve immediately.
🧈 Butter Dip Instructions
Plain Butter: Melt a stick of salted butter in a cast iron pan on the grill or simply microwave it. It’s as easy as that!
Note: To make the butter “clarified” skim off the solids that float to the top of the dish as it melts. That leaves a nice ghee that is more attractive for dipping. I’ll be honest, I rarely use clarified butter for this – I just can’t taste the difference on the legs!
Garlic Butter: Chop a garlic clove and add it to the melted butter. Keep the garlic butter on low heat to keep the butter melted and give the garlic time to infuse its fantastic flavor.
Charred Lemon Butter: As noted above, char the lemon halves of the grill. After they have nice sear marks, squeeze them into the butter for a nice, refreshing flavor.
📝 Expert Tips
- Don’t over cook the crab legs. These are precooked, so you don’t need to worry about much other than reheating them. If you do heat them too long, they will dry out. Fortunately, these are pretty forgiving!
- Pre-Crack or Post-Crack. That is the question. If you are concerned that your guests will have a tough time cracking the shell, you should crack or cut it before placing it on the grill. The benefit of this is that you can take your time and you don’t have to worry about everyone sharing a crab cracker. For me, I figured my family could do it themselves after they were off the grill! 😀
- If you grilled too many (which RARELY happens!) pick out the meat and store it in a Ziploc bag. I try to eat it all the next day as a salad topping, but you can freeze it for a short amount of time.
Yes, you do. You want to make sure they cook evenly.
Put them in the sink full of water for about a half hour and then proceed with the recipe. Ideally, you can take them out of the freezer the night before.
If you don’t have access to crab shell shears or crab cracker, pull out your kitchen shears and start working them open with those. The shell isn’t that hard and it won’t break your kitchen shears.
Instead of placing the crab legs straight on the grill grate, wrap them in a foil pack and cook for 15-20 minutes and they will come out fabulous! Remember, you are trying to heat them up as they are already cooked.
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Grilled King Crab Legs
- 2 lbs King Crab Legs
- Spray Olive Oil
- 1 clove Garlic finely chopped
- ⅓ cup Butter melted
Charred Lemon Butter
- 1 Lemon cut in half
- ⅓ cup Butter melted
Grilling the Crab Legs
- Heat your grill to 375 degrees over direct heat. You definitely want the temperature to be on the hot side.
- Spray the crab legs with olive oil. You don't need much!
- Place the legs on the grill for 5-7 minutes and turn them over.
- These are precooked from the store, so you just need to reheat them without over cooking.
- Serve immediately!
Charred Lemon Butter
- Slice lemons in half and place them cut-side down on the grill.
- Remove them when you remove the crab legs. They should have nice sear marks on them.
- Squeeze some of the juice into the melted butter and dip your crab legs in it! Yum!!!