Freezing Crab Meat? The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Respond to Questions

Freezing Crab Meat

by Justin L.
(Charlotte, NC.)

I bought King crab legs at the Carolina Meat & Fish Co and we had it on Mother’s Day. I have enough leftover to make some crab cakes. Can I freeze this meat for a few days? I want to make the cakes on Friday which is 5-6 days after I purchased the crab.
How long will it last in the freezer and will there be quality lost?

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Yes! You absolutely can freeze that crab meat! 5-6 days? No problem! If you should ever want to freeze future leftover crab for a longer period of time I would recommend vacuum sealing the meat/legs/whole crab first. We have had great success vacuum sealing crab and crab meat for periods of over a year. Also, vacuum sealing will help to maintain its freshness quality better because, yes, some quality will be lost but most likely not so much that you’ll notice. Additionally, I would suggest you go on the The Carolina Meat & Fish Co site for some different and palate-exciting new takes on crab cakes! Enjoy!

Check out more information about How To Freeze Crab.

Check out more delicious information about crab at The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Homepage

Freezing Crab for 3 to 6 days

by Shrank

Can you freeze crab for 3 to 6 days without losing quality?

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies– The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Yes, you can freeze crab for 3 to 6 days without losing the quality or freshness of the crab. Actually, we recommend it. If you purchase crabs on a Saturday and don’t want to cook them up till the next Friday, they will be the better for you if you freeze those crabs and not store them in the refrigerator. 9 out of 10, the crabs that you bought were frozen, so to keep them at their freshest state till consuming them would be to keep them frozen.
Hope this helps. Enjoy those crabs!

Steamed Blue Crabs » Tide & Thyme


Can you freeze crab soup?

by Kathrine S.
(Indian Land, SC)

Can you freeze crab soup?

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-ABSOLUTELY! In fact not only do I recommend it, I do the same thing myself! Nothing is better than getting out a bowl of good crab soup months after the crabbing season is over and savoring the fruits of my labors without all the labors. When you are thinking of making crab soup again, why not take a look at our recipe pages and find and try something new? Few things are quite as versatile as crab and we enjoy finding new ways and flavors to take it all in!

Frozen Can of Crab

by Larry
(Ryan P from Charlotte, NC)

I froze a can of crab, how long will is stay good?

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-You froze a can of crab meat? That is sure interesting. Without knowing if it was a store bought can of crab or fresh crab meat that you canned yourself, we really can’t say for sure how long it will keep.
We’re wondering “why” you “froze” the can of crab.

If it were canned properly, freezing shouldn’t be necessary and should keep for a year or longer, perhaps even up to 18 months canned.

If your can of crab meat was store bought, again, why would you store it in the freezer and not in your pantry? Store bought canned crab has expiration dates and will keep fresh when just storing in your pantry.

With all this said, I suppose canned crab meat could very well keep even longer if put in the freezer, but why wait that long before enjoying?

Large # 1 Blue Crab at the Carolina Meat & Fish Co

Large # 1 Blue Crab at the Carolina Meat & Fish Co

Can I refreeze par-boiled crab meat after making stuffing?

by Roxieann
(Zachary, La USA)

I put a lot of crab meat in the freezer, about 2 months ago. I “par-boiled” the crabs before cleaning and then I froze them in vacuum sealed bags.

My plan was to thaw it later and make stuffed crabs (25-30) and freeze them for later use.

Normally when I make stuffed crabs I do it before freezing the crab. (Just did not have the time this year.) I cook the vegs. down, add my bread and egg and sauté’. After it cools I fold in my crab, stuff the shells and freeze. I do not cook them before freezing.

I’m concerned about doing it this way with the thawed crab. Is this safe? Do I need to put the crab in while I’m sautéing the stuffing and bring it to a certain temperature?

I use them as Christmas gifts. I would rather have disappointed friends, instead of giving something that could be unsafe. I would REALLY appreciate your help.


The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Hi, Roxianne! What a wonderful labor of love and creative Christmas gift idea! I’m impressed and you are now my favorite visitor! I, honestly, don’t think what you are doing is wrong nor unsafe. Sounds like you have a good handle on proper care and safe storing your crab meat.

The crab meat that you are using has already been boiled up, correct? If so, if you are thawing it out to fold in to your mixture for stuffing the shells, you really can do that either way, thawed or unthawed. Thawed will be easier to work with and unthawed, or, slightly thawed will be even better as it won’t get effected much because of the temperature change, as it isn’t if you are refreezing the meal for later use.
Do note that if you use unthawed or slightly unthawed crab meat that when you do take the portions out, they will have extra liquid in the meal due to them being frozen.
So with this, perhaps it would be best to fold in thawed crab meat in your saute mixture so you don’t have to contend with flavor being “watered down” from thawed out frozen crab??? Does this make sense?

How long can I leave crab in the fridge to thaw?

by Dale
(BC Canada)

After catching, then, cleaning crab, and freezing before boiling, how long can I leave crab in the fridge to thaw?

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Ok, let me see if I got this right…You cleaned the crab, then, frozen it, and now you are wondering how long you can keep it thawing in the fridge? If so, then, it should only take a day to thaw out in the refrigerator. After that it should keep 3-4 days refrigerated, but, the sooner the better for freshness!

After freezing crab legs you really don’t “have” to thaw them out before boiling them or steaming the crab legs. You can put the frozen legs in the steamer, or, if they need boiled, in boiling water in their frozen state. Hope this helps! Enjoy!

Can you freeze cooked crab meat?

by Leah

I have a bunch of Dungeness crab meat from a crab feast two days ago and I’m not going to be able to eat it right away. Can I freeze the meat? It’s already been removed from it’s shell.

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Yes! We freeze cooked crab meat all the time. If packaged properly for the freezer (vacuum-pack), it will keep for 6-8 months. Just don’t wait too long, a day or two at the most, before freezing.

Freezing Dungeness Crab Meat

by Tom T.
(Monroe, NC)

Every experience I have had at freezing Dungeness crab meat has failed. Even if just for a short time, the crab meat loses its entire flavor and I mean all of it. I am wondering if pressure canning will preserve the flavor?

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Freezing Dungeness Crab Meat and losing all its flavor? Not good to hear! Without explaining how you are going about processing that crab in details and freezing it, we really can’t help you out.

We haven’t tried pressure canning crab meat, so we can’t give you any clues or tips to go along with that. It would be nice to know, though, how pressure canning Dungeness Crab would fair!? If you try that, Tom, please come back and let us know how you did it and how it turned out. We’ll be more than interested and would like to put that into practice.

To Freeze Picked Crab Meat

by Kelly
(Richmond, VA)

I live in Virginia and we have Chesapeake Blue Crabs all summer. My grandma taught me how to freeze picked meat so that it stays “fresh” through the winter– you cover it in milk.

Just put the meat in a freezer bag, pour regular milk on top of it until it’s all covered with the milk, then freeze it. It keeps it from losing its taste and texture, and protects against freezer burn. When you thaw the picked crab meat, just put it in a colander and rinse the milk off. It really does taste fresh.

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Oh wow! Thank you for the tip! We would have never thought of that, nor have we heard of that to freeze picked crab meat, keeping it fresh in the freezer with milk…Hmmm! Thank you for sharing!

Freezing Cooking Blue Crab Claws

I was wondering, if I clean blue claw crabs live, throwing out lungs, top shell, and guts just leaving bottom shell with meat and legs attached, can I freeze these blue crab claws and cook them 8 hours later?

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Granted that you took the steps to properly care for these blue crab claws I can’t imagine why you couldn’t. However, why not just put them in the refrigerator for those few hours?

If you’re sure you’ll get to them in 8 hours or so, that’s what I would do. Just wrap them properly and set them in the refrigerator, preferably not in direct draft of opening the frig., like, in the meat department of your frig.

If you want to freeze them as you might not be sure if you will get to them, then, yes, you should be able to freeze them before cooking the blue crab claws. Just make sure the portions are clean. You may want to run them under clear cold water to wash, then, let them drain off excess water before packaging them.

Hope this helps! Enjoy your blue crab claws! “Catch ’em! Clean ’em! Cook ’em! Eat ’em!”

Freezing Crab and Keeping Crab Alive Question

I read an article about this, but the article said you could keep live crabs in your refrigerator on ice for up to 4 days. I covered them in ice for 2 days, took them out, and only one crab was still alive. I knew it was alive because it moved its legs and blew a bubble . I cooked it, but am a little afraid of eating it. Is it ok?

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Well, obviously, the “live crab” is alive and well, fortunately for your enjoyment! If it were me, I would be slithering over it with warm butter and savoring every decadent morsel of crab meat it offered! Enjoy it to its utmost!
As for the other crabs that aren’t moving or “bubbly” I would totally discard them…

Can Lump Crab Meat Be Frozen?

by Marjorie
(San Antonio, TX)

I have some canned lump crab meat. I thought I would make some crab cakes and freeze some of them for future use. Is that okay to do?

The Carolina Meat & Fish Co Replies-Yes, of course! It don’t matter if you use canned lump crab meat, crab meat from a container, or fresh crab meat. We make crab cakes all the time and freeze them for future use. No reason you can’t!
What we do…

We make the crab cakes, then, let them cool to room temperature. This is important for freezing. You won’t have them sticking together from the heat and they will hold together better, too, it seems. Then, we layer them with wax paper in between the layers.

This works well in those very large zip lock freezer bags or even in a large cake-size freezer container.

We’ve kept already cooked and uncooked, but prepared and ready to cook crab cakes in the freezer, but not for very long. They will go fast as they are already prepared. But you can keep them up to around 3 months cooked. Not quite so long if we have them prepared and not cooked, yet.

Don’t know why, we just don’t feel comfortable having them in the freezer for much longer that a couple months before we decide to get them cooked.

This is just what we do and the canned lump crab meat is great to use this way as well! Enjoy!


The Carolina Meat & Fish Co is Charlotte’s premier Fish Market, the largest supplier of blue crab in the city and experts in crabbing, preparing blue crab and eating blue crab in the United States. 


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