Is Canned Crab Meat Cooked Or Raw?

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Canned crab can make for a more economical alternative to frozen and fresh varieties since crab can be pretty expensive stuff. Before you just open a can and chow down you may wonder if it's cooked. In short, yes it is. This is beneficial for more than one reason. The meat needs to be heated to firm up. This makes it easier to extract from the shell.

Not only does cooking crab meat help give it a more solid texture, but it also makes it safer to eat. While crab sashimi is a thing, the crab can only be eaten raw if it's extremely fresh, and even then there may be some risk involved. Crabs, which are notorious bottom feeders in the most literal sense of the phrase, often carry parasites or bacteria that can lead to dire health consequences or at the very least digestive unpleasantness too icky to explore. Crab meat that has been canned and preserved in brine, however, can be eaten just as it is.

What to do with canned crab

Even though you could open up a can of crab and just slam it down without the intervention of any utensils, that could be kind of a waste. Even canned crab meat doesn't come cheap and for optimum enjoyment, you might want to mix in some extra ingredients. One idea is to drain it (rinsing's optional but could help get rid of excess saltiness from the brine), then mix it with mayonnaise and lemon juice to make a creamy crab salad. For a fancier presentation, a different salad called crab Louie can be made by arranging canned crab on iceberg lettuce with chopped boiled eggs and tomatoes and covering it with Thousand Island dressing.

If you'd like to use canned crab meat in a cooked dish, one of the simplest ways to do so is to mix it with melted butter, heating it only until it's warmed through, and then stirring in some fresh lemon juice. Toss the buttery crab with angel hair pasta, sprinkle it with parmesan, and enjoy an elegant entree that took just minutes to make. Canned crab meat can also be used to make crab cakes or pretty much any other crab dish where you don't need large chunks of meat and won't require the shells for a fancy presentation. In fact, for the latter instance, an easier and more hygienic option might be to go with disposable aluminum crab-shaped "shells" that are available onvAmazon or from culinary supply stores.