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nrm 09-23-2013 11:56 PM

Smoked King Crab Legs???
The wife’s bday is next month and she loves crab legs, so I would like to smoke some. I searched the forum and found others have done this and liked it and others said it makes them tough. I know that all crab is pre-cooked and you just have to warm it up.

My plan would be to get some king crab legs, wash the ice off (if any) the day before and store in the refrigerator to defrost. The day of I plan on cutting the shell length wise to make pulling the meat easier and letting the smoke in. Get the UDS to about 225, add some guava wood and smoke the crab legs till warm. Also I will add a small cup of butter and garlic in the UDS to capture some of the smoke flavor.

My questions are:
1. Is it even a good idea to smoke crab legs?
2. What is the general consensus about smoking crab legs?
3. Should I add butter and seasoning (old bay) to the crab legs through the cut?
4. What temp should I smoke to (150-155)?
5. Any other suggestions?

martyleach 09-24-2013 12:23 AM

I would try one piece of crab to see if you like it. Once you decide that crab is awesome without smoke, proceed without the smoker. JMO :)

bananablack 09-24-2013 02:42 AM

When I lived in San Diego I frequented a restaurant that served crab. It was awesome. They kept the smoke very mild

Untraceable 09-24-2013 07:52 AM

I wouldn't do anything besides maybe heat up the legs over lump. Smoke is not always good. Anything more than "grilled" might be pretty nasty

mikeleonard81 09-24-2013 08:28 AM

Let me start off by saying I have no idea! But if it's the greatest thing ever smoked or it's horrific PLEASE let us know. Being a poor plow boy in land locked Ohio I don't get that many chances to eat the "king" very often. So before I throw 50 bucks down the drain I for 1 would be very appreciative of your experience.

daninnewjersey 09-24-2013 08:39 AM

How about just trying smoked butter on them? To me, that would seem like a safer bet...

aawa 09-24-2013 10:53 AM

I like grilled crab legs. You could always grill the crab legs (in shell with the shell cracked) over a fire with the wood burned down to coals. The wood coals add a slight smokey flavor that is very subtle and not aggressive.

93vpmod 09-24-2013 11:07 AM

I tried to smoke shrimp and lobster tails earlier in the summer. As previously stated, they turned out somewhat gray and rubbery.

While the flavor of the smoke was good, the trade-off with the color and texture was simply not worth the smoke flavor.

Like others, I recommend that you grill them at a higher temperature with a little brushed on butter.

BecknCO 09-24-2013 12:31 PM

I only do King Crab on the grill like aawa and usually over a few mesquite chips. They turn out great this way and make it much easier to break the shells because the shells get drier. They will still cut the living fark out of your hands, so use shell crackers or paper towels to break them. Here's the process I use (and works best with the super thick Golden King Crab, although I've done it with thinner types with good results):

- defrost all the legs and claws in the refrigerator overnight and rinse under cold water (rinsing is important because if you don't wash off the salt, the old bay sauce you apply will make everything way too salty)
- make a quick wet sauce of old bay (a couple tblspns) and butter (my damn health conscious fiancee makes me use fat free pump butter, and surprisingly it works well, but I imagine that real butter would work better - go for clarified if you are going to use real)
- brush on the old bay butter combo
- place on medium hot charcoal or gas (:tape:) grill with some mesquite chips
- turn every couple of minutes, and baste with the sauce if you like
- try to get a nice even char on all sides, and they should be done in about 10 mins or so

I'm telling you, we've tried all ways, and this is by far the best - Hope that helps bro!

nrm 09-25-2013 12:18 AM

Thanks for the input everyone. Beck/aawa thanks for the tips, I'm leaning towards grilling now and maybe trying to add smoke flavor to the butter. Whatever I decide to do I will post the results.

jeffturnerjr 09-25-2013 12:21 AM


Originally Posted by daninnewjersey (Post 2635529)
How about just trying smoked butter on them? To me, that would seem like a safer bet...

This sounds pretty legit....

KingRanch450 09-25-2013 08:02 AM

If you try this please post up your results....My wife also loves crab legs and we do king crab all the time but it's always been the traditional boil. I'm always game to put something else on the smoker if it turns out good

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