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Crab Legs in Air Fryer (Let’s Have Some Taste)

The best crab legs can be prepared in an air fryer in such a short time. They have old bay seasoning and are prepared in just 15 minutes for a fantastic boil at home.

This is a different method of preparing crab legs at home if you’re seeking one. 

Since snow crab legs are typically cooked, they heat up in your air fryer very quickly after you’ve cleaned them. All you need to do then is season them and let the air fryer do its thing!

Why Should You Use Air Fryer to Make Crabs?

Time savings is the most obvious justification. Comparing air frying to baking, less cooking time is always required. 

It takes 25 minutes to bake my crab leg recipe. However, it takes less than ten minutes to complete in the air fryer. 

The flavor is another excellent factor. These seal in a lot more of the garlic butter flavor than you would if you baked them since they are cooked so close to the heating element in the air fryer. 

When air frying, the flavor gets nicely into the shell. The inability to cook large portions without perhaps using an air fryer oven is a major drawback. Other than that, these are ideal for producing a small number of clusters at once.

A black air fryer
Making crab legs in the air fryer is healthier than deep frying.

Types of Crab Legs You Can Use

Snow Crab Legs

Snow crab legs are normally sold by the pound and are sold in groups. They have a smoother shell than king crab legs, which makes them considerably easier to handle and crack. 

Each cluster often has four legs or more. Their flavor is delicate and sweet.

King Crab Legs

The shell of king crab legs is extremely sharp. They are normally sold singly (by the leg) in pounds and are quite huge. 

Slightly softer and sweeter meat is present. They cost a great deal more than snow crabs. If you don’t use a large air fryer oven, king crab legs most certainly won’t fit in the air fryer. Try cutting them to fit if you want to.

How to Shop for Crabs?

Crab legs
Crab legs

The majority of crab is pre-cooked and frequently frozen. When something is sold thawed, it has occasionally been defrosted from frozen. 

The crabs are cooked on the boat once they are caught, then they are immediately flash-frozen. When you purchased the crab legs, if they were orange or red, they had already been cooked. It is warming them at this point. 

The best approach to defrost them is to keep them in the fridge all night (at least 8 hours). They can also be swiftly defrosted by placing them in a basin and filling it with cool water. In the refrigerator, the thawed crab can keep for a day or two.

Ingredients Used in Air Fryer Crab Legs

  • Crab Legs- 3
  • Eggs- 2
  • Flour- 3/4 cup
  • Garlic Powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Onion Powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Pepper- 1/4 teaspoon
  • Old bay seasoning (divided)- 1½teaspoon
  • Cayenne pepper (divided)- 1 teaspoon of 
  • Panko breadcrumbs- 3/4 cups

How to Make Crab Legs In Air Fryer?

  • Of course, you will rinse them first. After that, liberally drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning
  • Place the legs in the air fryer basket and cook them for 5-7 minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on how thick they are. 
  • I use snow crab clusters, thus five minutes is just great for me. 
  • It’s common for store-bought crab legs to be cooked. You can identify cooked legs because they already have an orange or scarlet color. 
  • If the crab is green or brown, it might be required to cook it differently.
  • If you’re using thick King Crab legs, you might need to lengthen the cooking time by one or two minutes. 

In either scenario, sit back and watch your family enter the house as the scent of Old Bay fills the air.

Step 1The shellfish should be washed with water and lightly scrubbed to get rid of any dirt or debris. Dry thoroughly before tossing with olive oil and your preferred spice until thoroughly coated. 
Step 2Crab legs are then transferred to the air fryer and cooked there for 3 to 5 minutes at 350 degrees F. (air fryer setting).
How to make air fryer crab legs.
Air Fryer Crab Legs- Easy to Crack!

How to Store and Reheat Air Fryer Crabs?

Crab legs from an air fryer that are left over can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 5 days if they are sealed. 

Simply air fried the crab legs for a few minutes to reheat them and cook the meat through. Alternately, crack the shells first, then reheat the meat over the stove or in the microwave.

What Can You Serve With Crab Legs?

I typically serve melted butter on the side with my fried snow crab legs. I prefer a few shakes of Old Bay Seasoning and lemon wedges.

Additionally, this is a wonderful Christmas appetizer! The meal is entertaining to consume, and guests will enjoy mingling at the table. 

Do you want to add some sides? Consider savory starches, veg, or a straightforward coleslaw. My favorite ways to make air-fried crab legs into a complete supper include the following:

  • Garlic Bread
  • Rosemary Garlic Smashed Potatoes
  • Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables
  • Macaroni and Cheese Muffins
  • Air Fryer French Fries
Crab legs served with butter
Crab legs can be served with butter as well.

Can You Overcook Your Crab Legs?

Regrettably, absolutely. They have already been cooked and only require heating if they are orange or red, like the majority of items you may get from a store.

Avoid overcooking to prevent tough, rubbery meat.

Can You Air Fry Frozen Crab Legs?

Yes! Add a few more minutes to the cooking time and then proceed with the fried crab leg dish as instructed. For fried snow crab legs, 5-7 minutes ought to be adequate. 

Crab legs can also be defrosted before cooking by placing them in the refrigerator or running cold water over them. All that matters is how much time and work you have to put in.

Notes and Tips

  • The seasoning adheres better to the crab shells when I use fresh or defrosted crab legs. If you have frozen it, you can cook it by spending a few more minutes in the oven. 
  • The cooked crab legs should have a vivid orange or pink color. 
  • Don’t overcook the legs or the flesh will become tough.

Can Crab Legs Be Overcooked?

You can overcook crab legs but it’s something you shouldn’t do.

Crab legs should not be overcooked. Because they are already cooked when you buy them, simply heat them until they are warm to the touch. If you cook them in the air fryer for too long, the meat may dry out or become chewy.

Should I Wash Crab Legs Before Eating Them?

Of course, you should wash crab legs before eating them.

I prefer to clean the shells of any residual sand, and store goods, or plastics. I simply rinse them and give them a little brush under running water.

Cleaning the crab helps seasoning ingredients to penetrate the body meat while it cooks.


  • Crab legs can be used to make these either fresh or frozen. If they are frozen, you can defrost them first or cook them in the air fryer for a few extra minutes. 
  • When the crab legs are done cooking, they should be a beautiful orange or pink color.
  • The legs should not be overcooked otherwise the flesh may become tough. 
  • They taste delicious both plain and with melted butter.
  • To suit your preferences, change the spices and seasoning. You can choose to omit the Cajun seasoning. 
  • If your crab legs lack flavor, either you didn’t get high-quality crab or it has expired or gone rotten. The crab legs should taste delicious (assuming they haven’t gone rotten) even without any spice. 
  • Some believe that applying the seasoning and garlic butter sauce to the crab legs will make the meal messier. The answer is yes. You are welcome to omit this action and use the ingredients as a dipping sauce instead.

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