How to Cook King Crab Legs in Air Fryer?

King crab legs are delicious, but they can be expensive. Luckily there is a way that you can cook them at home for much less money and with minimal effort.

How to cook king crab legs in an air fryer? All you need is an air fryer and some spices, and then it’s as simple as following the instructions below.

how to cook king crab legs in air fryer

What Are King Crab Legs?

What is a King Crab?

There are two different types you can purchase. They are Snow Crab and King Crab.

The thick ones are called King Crab, and the smaller ones are called snow crabs. The King Crabs’ legs are shorter than the Snow Crabs.

King crabs are a type of crab-like decapod crustacean that is mostly found in cold seas. Because of their massive size and the flavor of their meat, many species are widely harvested and marketed as food, with the red king crab being the most popular.

While they have a similar appearance, King Crab is generally larger and more expensive.

Why do we eat crab legs?

They are delicious meals high in good fats, nutrients, and minerals, making them a wonderful choice for a low-carb diet.

They’re keto-friendly and can be baked, cooked, or air-fried in only a few minutes. They’re ideal for making a fast, easy yet delicious supper.

What do they taste like?

King crab is sweet, moist, and rich. The taste and tender texture are not so different from lobster meat. It’s a bit firmer and coarser than Dungeness crab meat.

The king’s body meat is slightly flakier than the leg meat. King crab meat can be served hot or cold and cut into chunks, flakes, or shreds.

Where to buy

If you’re looking for fresh ones, seek them out at your local fish market. Large shops like Costco and Savemart have fresh legs when it’s in season.

Precooked and frequently frozen are the norm. If it’s sold thawed, it was defrosted at some point. It’s because once the crabs have been taken, they’re cooked on board and instantly frozen on the spot.

If the product you bought are orange or red, they have already been cooked. They’re being reheated.

Make certain you pick crabs that will fit in your air fryer. Frozen Alaskan crab may not be suitable.

Why is king crab so expensive?

In addition to other factors, the cost is based on the size allowed to be harvested. Quotas are frequently implemented and kept low to prevent overfishing.

King crab hatching success rates have improved significantly due to these conservation efforts. However, the price is generally more costly than other seafood because of this.

How much are king crab legs at Costco?

Costco sells Kirkland Signature King Crab Legs for $28.99 per Lb when frozen in 10 lb boxes that include both legs and claws. A box will set you back about $290.

Costco’s King Crab Legs is quite pricey. When purchasing smaller amounts in the meat area, for example, a pound costs around $33.99 per pound at Costco.

What is the best time of year to buy king crab legs?

The best ones are found in the winter, depending on your location. The season for crabs runs from October to January in Canada and the United States.

The aforementioned time is when the crabs are at their greatest size and most numerous.

Air Fryer Crab Legs

Crab legs cooked in an air fryer are quick and simple to prepare. They are typically cooked, so they are extremely fast to warm up in your air fryer. So you have to season them and let the air fryer work its magic after you’ve cleaned them.

Why use an Air Fryer to cook crab legs?

The most apparent benefit is the time saved. In comparison to baking, air frying always reduces cooking time. They may be prepared using an air fryer in less than 10 minutes.

It’s also a great way to quickly “cook” them. You don’t have to wait for the boiling water when doing it on the stovetop.

Another benefit is taste and flavor. Because these are cooked so near the fan in the air fryer, they retain a lot more garlic butter flavor than baked versions. When air frying, the taste penetrates deep into the shell.

The main disadvantage is that you can’t cook huge amounts of food in an air fryer. Aside from that, these are ideal for making a few crab leg clusters at a time.

How to make crab legs air fryer

  • Remove any soil or debris from the legs. A potato brush might be used to clean them thoroughly. Using a paper towel, dry them as needed
  • For a basic recipe, combine olive oil, old bay, and garlic powder in a large mixing bowl. Rub oil and seasonings all over with your hands.
  • Place the legs in aluminum foil wrap and seal tightly.
  • Place in an air fryer basket.
  • Air fry them at 380°F for 5-7 minutes.

What do you serve them with?

You may eat these cooked ones as an appetizer with some melted butter or garlic butter sauce for dipping sauces or with a shake or two of Old Bay Seasoning and lemon wedges.

You can also combine them into a seafood boil with other seafood and sides.

What are the best crab legs to use?

Because we’re cooking these in the air fryer, you must ensure they all fit.

Because of that reason, it’s best to avoid Alaskan king crab and choose snow crab instead. Smaller crabs, such as Dungeness, can also be used.

The shell of a king crab leg is very rough. They are rather big and must be purchased individually (by the leg) in pounds. The flesh is somewhat more delicate and sweeter. King crab legs are a lot more costly than snow crab.

Compared to king crab legs, snow crab legs are far easier to crack and handle since they have a smooth shell. Each cluster typically contains at least four legs. Their flavor is mild and sweet, and their texture delicate and flaky.

They won’t fit in the air fryer unless you have a big air fryer oven. You may try cutting them down to size.

How to thaw

The simple method to thaw is to leave them in the fridge for at least 8 hours. You may also use a bowl of cold water to speed up the thawing process.

The crab that has been defrosted can be kept in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Air fryer temperature

The most common to air fry perfect crab legs is 350 – 380°F.

Cook Time/How Long to Cook

Cook time for air frying crab legs is about 5-8 minutes.

How to Cook Crab Legs in Air Fryer?

Air Fryer Cajun Crab Legs

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 10
  • Yield: 2 Servings 1x


  • 1 cluster snow crab legs or king crab legs fresh
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • Optional: serve with melted butter, Old Bay seasonings, or lemon wedges


  1. Combine with olive oil, and cajun seasoning in a mixing dish.
  2. Transfer to the air fryer and air fry for 3-5 minutes at 350°F.
  3. Plate, serve, and enjoy!

Keto Air Fryer Crab Legs Recipe


  • 4 clusters of crab legs
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • ½ tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper 


  1. In a large bowl, drizzle 2 tablespoons of butter over. Place them into the air fryer basket.
  2. Adjust the temperature to 400°F and set the timer for half of the cooking time. Shake the air fryer basket halfway through the cooking process to toss.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the remaining butter and add the minced garlic cloves, salt, and black pepper. Stir until fragrant before removing from the heat. Squeeze in the juice of one lemon just before serving.
  4. To serve, open it with crab crackers, and remove the meat. Dip in lemon butter sauce.

Kitchen Tips

  • I prefer to use fresh or defrosted ones because I like the seasoning flavor to stick to the crab shells. If you have frozen, add a few extra minutes of additional cook time.
  • When they are cooked, they should be bright orange or pink.
  • Do not overcook the leg meat too long, or it can become tough and chewy.


Can you air fry crab legs?

You can cook them in an air fryer and a conventional or convection oven.

What is the best method for cooking crab legs?

The best method is pan-frying, broiling, steaming, or baking.

They must be completely thawed before baking them in an oven. If the crabs are frozen, place them on a rimmed sheet tray and let them sit at room temperature until they are thawed.

How long to cook crab legs?

You can cook them for 15 to 20 minutes.

Should King Crab legs be cooked frozen?

You can cook them, but it will take longer to heat up, and you may have a smaller time window for cooking them.

How do I know if King Crab Legs are cooked?

They should be pink in color with very little white meat remaining inside the shell. They are overcooked if they look gray or lose their bright red color.

See also: How to Cook Balmain Bugs

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