How To Eat Crab Legs

Would you like to enjoy the flavors and healthy benefits of fresh crab meat by learning how to eat crab legs? Crab meat is a flavorful, low fat, high protein food that works well in a healthy diet plan for meat eaters. Fresh, steamed crab legs served with dipping sauce are frequent favorites of seafood lovers—but they can be a lot of work to eat! How can you easily eat crab legs? With just a few tools and tips, you can learn how to quickly and simply break apart the crab shells and enjoy the meat inside. 

Tools needed to eat crab legs:


  • Crab legs, cooked and ready to eat
  • A cracking tool, such as a basic nut cracker or a specialty lobster/crab cracker
  • A small fork
  • Kitchen shears or a commercial seafood shell remover
  • Favorite dipping sauce
  1. Select your crab leg eating tools. Whether you opt for commercially marketed seafood tools or use tools already found in your kitchen, you will need some help to break the crab legs open and to pull the hidden meat from the shells. If you do not own specialty seafood tools, a manual nutcracker and nut pick or small olive fork along with kitchen shears make great substitutes.
  2. Break the crab legs at the joints. Break the crab leg at each leg joint. You will find most of the crab meat located in the larger “thigh” area of the leg. Many opt to discard the “tip” of the leg, as there is not generally enough meat to warrant the effort of opening those tiny segments.  Break the joints with a slight twist and pull motion to help free the tough tendon like connective tissue from the meat.
  3. Crack and open the crab shells to reach the meat. You may opt to crack with a cracking tool to expose the meat or simply cut down the length of the crab leg with kitchen shears or a seafood shell removing tool.  Simple kitchen shears offer more shell cutting control than some commercial tools and work well for inexperienced crab leg eaters.
  4. Remove the exposed crab meat from the legs. Using either a small fork or your fingers, remove the crab meat from the shells. If the meat breaks apart or is difficult to free, you may need to cut away more of the crab leg shells. With a little practice, you will be able to pull large chunks of meat from the crab legs in little time.
  5. Eat and enjoy your crab legs. You may opt to dip and eat each yummy piece of crab meat as soon as it is removed, or you may wish to place all of the meat into a large bowl of dipping sauce to enjoy at once. Either way, once the meat is removed, it is time to enjoy your newly discovered skill—and the results of your hard work.
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