Can You Freeze Crab?

Crab is a bit of a luxury and not an everyday food. It is a lovely starter for a dinner party. You could make crab cakes, crab mousse, or crab bisque.

However, what do you do if you don’t need all of the crab or you have found some on sale and decide to stock up? It only keeps for up to five days in the fridge. Can you freeze it so that you can use it at a later date?

Yes, you can but it freezes best if it is frozen in its shell or in a dish such as fish cakes or soup. If you freeze it uncooked out of its shell, it has a tendency to dry out and become stringy. In this article, we will tell you how to freeze crab and how to defrost it.

How To Freeze Uncooked Crab in The Shell

1. Wrap the crab.

Wrap the crab in a layer of cling film and then with aluminum foil. Make sure that you wrap it tightly so that air doesn’t get in. If it does, freezer burn can occur, and the crab will lose taste and texture. Stick a label on the foil with the date frozen.

2. Freeze.

How To Freeze Crab Dishes

Crab dishes freeze particularly well so why not make a big batch of soup or fish cakes and freeze what you don’t need at the present time.

How To Freeze Crab Cakes

1. Make the crab cakes according to your favorite recipe.

2. Cook the crab cakes

3. Cool down the crab cakes. 

Remove the crab cakes from the hot pan and put them on a cold tray to speed up the cooling process. You don’t want to leave the crab cakes out for longer than two hours otherwise bacteria could start to develop, and you could become sick when you come to eat the crab cakes. Also, don’t put the crab cakes in the freezer while they are still warm as they will bring up the temperature in the fridge. If other food starts to defrost and then refreezes, it can spoil.

4. Put the crab cakes in an airtight container.

Put a sheet of greaseproof paper on the bottom of the container and lay out the crab cakes in a single layer. Make sure that they are not touching each other, so that you are able to remove only the number of crab cakes you need. If you want to freeze more crab cakes, put another sheet of greaseproof paper on top of the first layer and lay the crab cakes out on top. Repeat if you have more crab cakes.  Don’t fill the container right up to the top as the crab cakes can expand when frozen. Put a label on the container with the date frozen and the contents.

5. Freeze.

How To Freeze Crab Bisque

Crab bisque is an extravagant soup made with plenty of cream and butter but you are better off adding the cream after you have defrosted it. Cream doesn’t freeze well and will make the bisque split and become grainy.

1. Make the bisque according to your favorite recipe.

You may want to add other seafood like lobster for an even more luxurious bisque.

2. Cool down the bisque.

You will need to transfer the hot bisque to a cold bowl to speed up the cooling process.

3. Put the bisque in airtight containers.

Divide the bisque into meal-size portions so that you only defrost what you need and don’t waste any. Crab isn’t cheap after all. Don’t fill the containers right up to the top as the bisque will expand in the freezer. Put a label on the container with the contents and date frozen.

4. Freeze.

Can You Freeze Crab Sticks?

Crab sticks are usually not crab at all but pulverized white fish called surimi. They are shaped to look like meat from a crab leg. It is possible to freeze crab sticks.

1. Wrap the crab sticks in cling film.

Pack them in blocks of four and wrap them tightly in cling film to prevent freezer burn. 

2. Put the crab sticks in a freezer bag.

Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bag and put a label on the bag with the date frozen and the contents. 

3. Freeze.

Tips For Freezing Crab

  1. Freeze the crab either uncooked in its shell or cooked in a dish. The shell acts as a protective layer that stops the crab from becoming stringy.
  2. Make sure you squeeze out all the air from the freezer bags to prevent freezer burn from occurring.

For How Long Can You Freeze Crab For?

You can keep crab in the freezer for around three months and this goes for uncooked crab and crab cooked in dishes. However, if you have other items of food in your crab dish, check how long they freeze. If it’s less time than the crab, then you have to go with that. 

Your crab will still be safe to eat after the three months are up but it will start to lose taste and texture. Crab sticks can also be kept in the freezer for up to three months.

How Do You Defrost Crab?

The best way to defrost crab is to defrost it slowly in the fridge overnight. This helps it retain its sweet and delicate flavor and its texture. Defrost in the fridge whether you are thawing out uncooked crab or a dish. 

Can You Refreeze Crab?

No, definitely not. The texture will completely change, and you will end up with dry and stringy crab. In addition, freezing, defrosting, and refreezing can cause bacteria to form and you could become sick when you come to eat the crab. 

Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Crab?

As long as you freeze the crab uncooked in the shell or cooked in a dish, it will freeze well.  It is also very easy to freeze crab. However, it will become stringy if you take it out of its shell, put it in freezer bags, and freeze it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing crab but in case you are still curious about freezing crab or shellfish in general, we have answered a couple of questions here.

Can you freeze crab salad?

We don’t recommend freezing crab salad. Crab salad usually has mayonnaise in it and mayo doesn’t freeze well. It has a tendency to split and being part of the salad, you can’t give it a whisk. 

Can you freeze lobster?

Yes, you can freeze lobster, but you have to cook it first to stop it from spoiling. Cook the lobster in salt water for 8 minutes. Drain, cool, and put the lobster in a freezer bag with some brine.

Leave a Comment