The easiest smoked crab legs with clarified butter that you can make in under 30 minutes on your grill (or in the oven).
I have had the pleasure of living in some great places over the last five years. I was lucky enough to spend three years in South Florida, and I definitely worked hard and played hard (and by that I mean I ate some seriously great food).
There was never a shortage of fresh seafood, especially crab! While I often enjoyed making Smoked Crab Dip, sometimes you need to splurge on a seafood feast instead.
I typically am not a huge fan of buying seafood outside of living near the coast, but I have found that many grocery stores provide some really great quality, fresh, and wild caught snow crab legs. So, I obviously had to indulge.
Preparing crab legs can be done in a few ways. I think a standard method of preparation is boiling until cooked and then cracking away and dipping into some clarified butter.
I am definitely about this method, however, it tends to make the house smell a little funkier and doesn’t impart as much flavor onto the crab itself.
So, I opted for a fairly quick method to enhance the crab with a little light, smoky flavor using my Lynx All Trident Grill with the smoker box for this recipe. If you do not have a smoker you can still utilize a gas or charcoal grill to get some great flavor and avoid that funky fish smell in the house.
Find the full recipe for this Easy 30 Minute Smoked Crab below and read on for a few great tips and tricks that go with preparing this dish!
- Baking Pan
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- Basting Brush
How To Smoke Crab Legs On The Grill-
Start by prepping your crab legs for the grill. I like to baste mine in butter before, during, and after they smoke. I melt and clarify some butter by microwaving it and then using a spoon to skim off the foam on top. This is SO MUCH FASTER than trying to do this over the stove!
Mix the butter and whatever seasonings you like best together for basting. I used some Seadog Rub from Code 3 Spices. They are a great company and have a great mission, and I often use them in several recipes (not sponsored, just sharing good products and great people with you). Baste the crab legs thoroughly in butter, set them aside and prep the grill for smoking.
There really isn’t too much to making these smoked crab legs, hence the word “easy” in the title. The biggest thing is just knowing your grill and dialing it into a lower temperature. I smoked these at around 250-275 F on indirect heat.
For my Lynx grill specifically, I only used the far left all trident burner and placed the smoked box over the back on direct heat. Each crab leg was placed in the middle of the grill, near but not over the direct heat source. I let them smoke for about 15 minutes before basting again.
After about 25-30 minutes of total cook time, remove the crab legs. While the crab legs smoked, I used the upper rack of the grill and smoked some lemons for the crab and for my Smokin’ Skinny “B” cocktail that I made to go with them!
Serve the crab legs with more clarified butter, family-style on a big pan or platter, and dig in!
Easy Smoked Crab Legs
- 4 lbs. Crab Legs I prefer in season / wild caught
- 2 sticks Butter melted and clarified
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 2 tsp. Spicy Cajun Dry Rub or seafood rub you prefer like Old Bay
- 1/2 tsp. dashes of Tabasco
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
- Lemon Halves & Extra Butter for Serving
- Preheat the grill or smoker to 225 F. Set it for indirect cooking.
- Remove the crab legs from the packaging. Defrost under running water if frozen. Pat them dry with paper towels and place them into a large foil pan.
- Melt the 2 cups of butter in the microwave over low heat and allow the fat solids to rise to the top. Use a spoon to skim off the fat and discard. You can also clarify it over the stove if you prefer.
- Combine the butter, garlic, Cajun Dry Rub, Tabasco, worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice together in a liwuid measuring cup.
- Baste the crab legs to start in about a 1/2 cup of the butter mixture. Coat them evenly while the smoker is preheating.
- When the grill has come up to temperature, place the crab legs onto the smoker grates and let them smoke for 10-15 minutes. Brush the butter mixture over the crab legs generously.
- Continue smoking until the crab meat reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Place in a pan and baste with the remaining butter mixture.
- Serve with extra grilled lemon wedges, melted butter, and cocktail sauce if you prefer and enjoy!