How Long Can Crab Legs Last in the Fridge? – Complete Guide

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Crab legs are delicious, and for many people, they are a seafood treat to enjoy! Whether you have made crab legs at home, bought some to cook at a later stage, or have ordered some as takeout, you wouldn’t want any to go to waste.

How long can crab legs last in the fridge?

Crab legs can be kept in the fridge for a few days, but exactly how long depends on whether they are cooked or not. Uncooked crab legs can be kept in the fridge for up to two days, whereas cooked crab legs can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.

Knowing how long you can store crab legs, and how best to store them, gives you the opportunity to enjoy every last bite. Read on to find out all you need to know about storing crab legs.

How Long Do Uncooked Crab Legs Last in the Fridge?

Uncooked crab legs cannot stay in the fridge for very long, so you should only bring them home from the store, or defrost them if you are going to be using them within a day or two.

Stored properly in the fridge, crab legs should be used within two days. Leaving them for longer than this could lead to them going bad, and you can get really ill from eating spoiled crab legs.

It is best to store the crab legs in their original packaging if it is unopened, but if the packaging is opened, then you should keep them stored safely in wrapping or an airtight container, to stop them from drying out.

When purchasing uncooked crab legs to bring home, make sure to check the expiry date, so you know whether or not you will be able to use the crab legs before they go bad.

If you are not going to use the uncooked crab legs within two days, then it would be best to freeze them, which will keep them fresher for longer.

How Long Do Cooked Crab Legs Last in the Fridge?

Cooked crab legs last for longer in the fridge compared to uncooked crab legs. Stored properly, cooked crab legs can last for up to four days in the fridge, but you need to make sure to package them properly to keep their best texture and flavor.

It is best to enjoy them within the four days in the fridge, the less time spent in the fridge the better, as they will start to dry out and not be as good as they were fresh. There is also a higher chance that the crab legs will spoil if they are kept in the fridge for too long.

crab legs last in the fridge

If you are not going to be eating the crab legs within four days of placing them in the fridge, then it might be best to freeze them.

Frozen cooked crab legs do not fare as well as frozen uncooked crab legs, and they will dry out slightly in the freezer, but it is definitely better than having the crab legs go to waste and not having any to enjoy at all.

What Is the Best Way to Store Leftover Crab Legs?

How you store any leftover crab legs in the freezer will determine how much of their taste and texture they retain once you get around to eating them.

You should place the cooked crab legs into the refrigerator as soon as possible, preferably once they have cooled to room temperature, but ensure that they have not been left out at room temperature for more than an hour or two.

You can either place the leftover crab legs into an airtight container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. It is best to seal these in an airtight container, or wrap them tightly, to prevent the odor from spreading to other food items in the fridge.

It also helps prevent the crab legs from drying out and losing too much moisture, and it helps keep the flavor intact.

How to Tell if Crab Legs Are Bad

It really helps to know how to tell whether crab legs have gone bad, especially if they have been sitting in the fridge for a few days.

It is quite obvious when crab legs have started to spoil, you just have to know the signs to look for. These are the different signs that show that crab legs are no longer safe to eat:


One of the first signs you will notice that crab legs have gone bad is an off odor. It will smell sour, or like bad seafood, and if you notice any of this, then it is safer to throw the crab legs away.

Crab legs do have a naturally fishy smell, but it shouldn’t be too strong or noticeable, so it is fairly easy to pick up on this off odor if there is one.

Take a sniff of the crab legs as you open the container, and if anything smells suspicious, throw the crab legs out.


The crab legs will change in color slightly once they begin to go off. If you see the color of the crab legs turning a gray or brown color, they are likely no longer safe to eat.

If the crab legs have been left for a particularly long time, you might even notice spots of mold growing on the surface, and this is a clear-as-day sign that the crab legs are overdue for the garbage bin.


Crab legs will dry out slightly when kept in the fridge, but if the crab legs seem particularly dry, or if they become slimy or mushy, then they are no longer edible and should be thrown away.

Usually, by the time the texture of the crab legs changes, the odor would be quite telling too, so any of these signs should give you a good indication that the crab legs have spoiled and should not be eaten.

Can You Freeze Crab Legs?

If you are not going to use the uncooked crab legs within two days, or leftover cooked crab legs within four days, then you can freeze them to prevent them from spoiling.

Crab legs can be frozen successfully, but you do have to ensure that they are protected properly to prevent freezer burn. If any of the crab legs are exposed to moisture or air in the freezer, freezer burn will occur, and this will ruin the texture and taste of the crab legs.

crab legs

You can place the crab legs into an airtight freezer-safe container, place them into a sealable plastic freezer bag, or wrap them up tightly in several layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

If the crab legs are protected properly, they can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. It is best to keep cooked crab legs in the freezer for less time, as they are more likely to dry out.

The crab legs will still be fine to eat after this, but they might be drier and less tasty. Label the freezer packaging with the date of freezing, so you know when to use them.

How to Thaw Frozen Crab Legs

When it is time to enjoy the frozen crab legs you have sitting in the freezer, you will need to defrost them safely.

The best way to defrost frozen crab legs, whether cooked or uncooked, is to place them into the fridge, and allow them to thaw slowly overnight.

This method means that the crab legs won’t be exposed to any dangerous temperature fluctuations, and the texture and flavor of the crab legs aren’t ruined by being defrosted too quickly.

Once thawed, you can then cook or reheat your crab legs thoroughly, to ensure they are safe to eat.

How Long Do Crab Legs Last in the Fridge?

Crab legs can be kept in the fridge for a few days, but how long depends on whether they are cooked or not.

Cooked crab legs can be stored in the fridge for up to four days, but they should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, or placed in an airtight container.

Uncooked crab legs can be kept in the fridge for up to two days, and these also need to be wrapped up tightly or placed in an airtight container if their original packaging is not suitable.

Keep a check on how long your crab legs have been in the fridge for, so you can either enjoy them within the right timeframe or freeze them to keep them fresh for longer.

Related Questions

Can You Eat Crab Legs After 5 Days?

Crab legs should not be kept in the fridge for longer than four days, and if you have crab legs that have been in the fridge for five days, it is probably best to throw them out.

Can You Eat Leftover Crab Legs?

Leftover crab legs can be just as delicious as they were fresh, you just need to make sure to store them properly in the fridge

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