Fried Crab Legs Recipe: a Dish to Savor

Fried Crab Legs Recipe

When it comes to seafood, crab legs are our favorite. But, being expensive and boujee, it’s hard to enjoy crab legs often. Even fried crab legs are pretty luxurious. So, what can we do?

We did what we do best; we made our own recipe for crab legs! We tried out some recipes and settled on one that keeps the crab legs tender, succulent, and tastes airy. Our fried crab legs recipe will be your go-to recipe forever because you won’t be able to forget its taste.

So, follow our instructions, make your batter using our recipe, and get delicious crab legs at home.

How to Fry Crab Legs Perfectly?

The common mistake many people make while frying crab legs is over-frying them at the wrong temperature and not adding enough seasoning. It leaves the meat bland and chewy. And we believe no one wants to eat tough crab legs.

While making this recipe, we had some ups and downs, but after many experiments, we found the perfect recipe to fry the crab legs that won’t make them chewy or over-fried. In this part, you will find two ways to fry crab legs: one using an air fryer and another deep frying.

Just follow our instructions and get yourself homemade but luxurious-tasting crab legs.

1. Air Fryer Crab Legs

Many ask, “Can you cook crab legs in an air fryer?” We say, why not! Air fryers have proven excellent at frying and cooking food, so we believe an air fryer will definitely cook crab legs.

Moreover, to answer this question, we actually tried cooking crab legs in the air fryer in two ways. We are going to explain both methods. So let’s jump into it!

(a) Cooking Crab Legs with Shell On


  • 1 Pound King Crab Legs
  • Olive Oil
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt to taste

How to Cook Crab Legs in an Air Fryer:

Step 1: Clean the crab legs properly to remove any dirt or debris. You can also use a potato brush to scrub the legs. It will help clean properly.

Step 2: Preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 3: Coat the king crab legs with olive oil and add spices and seasoning. Coat them well, and don’t worry about the shell being on. The air fryer will help circulate the flavor throughout.

Step 4: Now wrap the legs with aluminum foil and place them in the air fryer for 7 to 8 minutes.

Step 5: If the crab shells are hot to the touch, then your seafood is ready to eat.

Step 6: Take them out, add some melted butter and enjoy it!

(b) Cooking Crab Legs with Shell Off


  • King Crab Legs
  • Flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Salt and Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Hot Sauce
  • Buttermilk
  • Butter
  • Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil

How to Fry Crab Legs in the Air Fryer:

Step 1: Take a large pot and boil some water up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a food thermometer to check the exact temperature.

Step 2: Put the crab legs in the boiling water and cover the pot with a lid to steam for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3: While the crab legs are steaming, make your batter by adding buttermilk, melted butter, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Stir them well and add cornstarch, flour, and spices. Mix everything until well combined.

Step 4: Now, using meat scissors, cut open the shells from the middle and add the crab meat to the batter. You can use a fork to mix them together.

Step 5: Let them sit in the batter for 5 minutes and while that marinates, preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 6: Place an aluminum foil shaped like a bowl in the air fryer basket. Now, add the crab legs. Keep gaps between each leg.

Step 7: Fry the legs for 5 to 6 minutes, and make sure to flip them after half of the cooking time.

Step 8: As your crab legs start browning, you will know it’s ready to eat. Now, take the fried king crab legs out and serve them with sauce.

2. Deep Fried Crab Sticks

Crab sticks or crab legs, whatever you call them, are all really delicious. But frying is a challenging department to ace when it comes to King crab legs. We are here to help you through the process of frying crab legs that will give you a crunchy yet airy and light crab leg.


  • Alaskan King Crab Legs
  • 2 Eggs
  • ¾ Cup of Flour
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 and ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons of Water
  • Panko Breadcrumbs, as needed

How to Make Deep Fried Alaskan King Crab Sticks on Stovetop:

Step 1: Take a large pot, boil some water and bring it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the crab legs in the pot and steam for 12 to 15 minutes.

Step 2: Then, take your meat scissors and cut open the shells. Carefully pull the crab meat out of the shells.

Step 3: Now, in a bowl, beat water and eggs together.

Step 4: In another bowl, mix your flour, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, a teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, and cayenne pepper.

Step 5: You need a shallow dish to mix panko breadcrumbs, Old Bay seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Now, all your coating is ready.

Step 6: Now take your crab legs and mix them in the flour mixture first, then in the egg mixture, and lastly in the panko crumbs mixture. You want to keep a wet and dry hand for this step.

Step 7: Take a skillet, add oil to it, and heat it up to 360 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop breadcrumbs in the oil to test if the oil is adequately heated. If it starts frying immediately, the oil is ready. For an easier way, you can use a digital food thermometer.

Step 8: Add the crab legs one by one and fry them for about 4 minutes while flipping them occasionally. You will notice them golden brown and crispy.

Step 9: Place them on a paper towel and serve them hot.

You may also like: McDonald’s Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe

How to Fry Snow Crab Legs?

snow crab legs on a wooden board
Image credit: Foodio, Shutterstock

Frying Snow Crab legs are almost the same as King Crab legs, but the difference is in their size. Snow Crabs are usually smaller than King Crabs, so you might need more than expected. But they are also cheaper than King Crabs and taste just as good. So, it’s up to you if you want to save a little on your budget.

Snow Crabs are also known as Queen Crabs or Spider Crabs in many regions like Canada. They also have thinner shells than King Crabs, and people sell them in clusters instead of pieces. So, mainly they are easier to break!

Here is our take on deep-frying Snow Crab legs.


  • 2 pounds of Snow Crab legs
  • Flour, 1 ¼ Cup
  • Cornstarch, 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and Black Pepper, as needed
  • Garlic Powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Onion Powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Hot Sauce, 3 tablespoons
  • Buttermilk, 1 cup
  • Melted Butter, 2 tablespoons
  • Panko Breadcrumbs, as needed
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil

How to Fry Snow Crab Legs on Stovetop

Step 1: Like the previous recipes, steam your snow crab legs and take the meat out afterward.

Step 2: Now, in a large bowl, mix melted butter, buttermilk, and hot sauce with salt and black pepper.

Step 3: In another bowl, mix together flour, cornstarch, and spices.

Step 4: Mix panko breadcrumbs with black pepper in a shallow dish.

Step 5: Now, let your crab legs marinate in the wet batter for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 6: Take them out, add them to the flour mixture, and then again to the wet mixture. Lastly, cover them with breadcrumbs.

Step 7: Heat a pan with oil at a temperature of 370 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, gently put the crab legs in the oil and fry each side until they become golden brown.

Step 8: Take them off and place them on paper towels to enjoy with mayonnaise or other favorite dipping sauce.

Tip : Sprinkle some seasonings, parsley, or oregano on the crab legs while they are hot. It will bring out more flavor.

Related Article: Hot Cheeto Mozzarella Sticks Recipe


1. Are deep-fried King Crab legs too dry to eat?

No, they aren’t dry or chewy. If you know how to deep fry the King Crab legs, you are all set. Our instructions can help you get a juicy and tender meal.

2. Can I broil crab legs?

You can very quickly broil crab legs to make a delicious meal. Preheat the oven setting it on the broiler settings. Line an oven-safe dish with a baking sheet and place the crab legs on it. Brush on some melted butter with some salt and black pepper. Then, place the baking tray underneath the broiler for 4 to 5 minutes while turning them occasionally. Now, you can take them out and serve them with some lemon juice, seasonings on top, and dipping sauce.

A Crabtastic Ending

Our recipes are sure to tingle your taste buds and make you crave crab legs every day. Now, you have the recipe to follow to make amazing crab legs for parties, gatherings, or dinners.

If you have tried any of our recipes, leave a comment. We hope you enjoyed them. Eat well and savor deliciousness!

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