This easy recipe for Instant Pot Crab Legs shows you the best way to cook and steam crab legs with the most flavor. The instant pot is a great tool for steaming seafood because it keeps the moisture and flavor in the shell. With this method, you can steam crab legs 2-4 minutes using your pressure cooker. You can even cook them straight from frozen!
Steaming crab legs will no longer be intimidating when you can make them in your pressure cooker.
The result is perfectly cooked crab legs with minimal effort and clean up. Great for holidays like New Years and Christmas or for whenever you feel like having a decadent seafood meal.
🦀 Ingredients and Tools You’ll Need
Crab Legs: You could buy these fresh or frozen to make them more budget friendly. As long as you have 1 ½ to 2lbs they will fit in any standard pressure cooker or instant pot.
Lemon: This is sliced and placed on the bottom so the lemon flavor steams into the crab legs.
Minced Garlic: All seafood pairs well with garlic, minced garlic is added to the bottom of the instant pot to infuse it with light but fragrant garlic flavor.
Melted Butter or Ghee: For dipping!
Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker: You can use a standard pressure cooker for this recipe. I like using my Ninja Foodi multicooker.
🍲 How To Steam Crab Legs In The Instant Pot
1️⃣ Add one cup of water to the bottom of your instant pot.
2️⃣ Stir in 1 tbsp of your favorite seafood seasoning (Old Bay, Cajun Seasoning, Zatarains). Then stir in minced garlic.
3️⃣ Add trivet to the bottom of the instant pot and place lemon slices on top.
4️⃣ Add fresh or frozen crab legs. Be sure to arrange so that everything is under the MAX line.
5️⃣ Pressure cook on manual HIGH for 2 minutes if fresh or 4 minutes if frozen.
6️⃣ Once the crab legs are finished cooking, do a quick release. Remove and serve while they are hot.
🍲The Best Crab Legs For Steaming
The best crab legs to steam on the stovetop or in the instant pot are crab legs that are thick and meaty. Try out these different types of crab legs.
- King Crab
- Snow Crab
🧊Instant Pot Frozen Crab Legs
You can pressure cook frozen crab legs in your instant pot with no need to thaw or defrost! The instant pot will heat up according to the contents of the pot making sure that the food will be cooked.
It may take a few minutes longer to warm up but they will cook perfectly even straight from frozen!
🥘Using Crab Legs In A Seafood Boil
If you’re making a seafood boil or Low Country Boil, you can absolutely add crab legs along with the corn, sausage, potatoes and shrimp!
Make sure you have a good set of Crab and Lobster Crackers and Pickers to enjoy this recipe!
Instant Pot Crab Legs
- 2 pounds Crab Legs Fresh or Frozen
- 1 tablespoon Seafood Seasoning Old Bay, Tony's, Cajun
- 1 Lemon sliced into rounds
- 2 teaspoon Minced Garlic
- Add one cup of water to the bottom of your instant pot.
- Stir in 1 tbsp of your favorite seafood seasoning (Old Bay, Cajun Seasoning, Zatarains).
- Stir in minced garlic.
- Add trivet to the bottom of the instant pot and place lemon slices on top.
- Add fresh or frozen crab legs. Be sure to arrange so that everything is under the MAX line.
- Pressure cook on manual HIGH for 2 minutes if fresh or 4 minutes if frozen.
- Once the crab legs are finished cooking, do a quick release. Remove and serve while they are hot.
Yes! This is why it's important to make sure you cook for a short time and release the pressure quickly.
You can, but because of their size, you may need to steam half the leg at a time.
The shell will be a bright orange and red once its cooked all the way through.