Instant Pot crab legs can be steamed in pressure cooker perfectly. Add potatoes and corn for InstaPot crab boil or in Ninja Foodi for dinner. If you loved our Instant Pot shrimp boil this will be a hit too.
OMG you have got to cook Instant Pot crab legs for dinner this week. You can steam as is or even better you can add your vegetables and diced potatoes right in the same pot. With Old Bay seasoning it is an easy Instant Pot recipe my kids go nuts over. (affiliate links present)
Ninja Foodi Crab Legs
I will say it again. It doesn’t matter what pressure cooker brand you have at home, as long as it has a high pressure function this can be made. Crockpot Express is fine and makes an easy Ninja Foodi recipe too. Whether you have fresh, defrosted or frozen crab legs we will share all the cook times you need.
If you live on the coast you might be able to go to the local fish market and get fresh babies. We aren’t that lucky in Idaho and have to grab them at the store when they are in stock, or in the freezer section year round. Luckily it tastes great either way.
Let’s start with a few basic tips:
- Make sure to Bookmark our InstaPot recipes page. We add new ones each week!
- Then PRINT this —–> Instant Pot cooking times cheat sheet that will help you understand how long meat, vegetables and beans take to cook in your pressure cooker.
For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
Instant Pot Crab Boil
It doesn’t matter whether you want to just steam crab in pressure cooker or if you want to add other items to make a crab boil. The cook time is the same either way for just the meat. You would just skip the first 5 minutes for the Instant Pot corn and taters.
You’ll want a trivet at the bottom or vegetable basket. Liquid needs to be in the pot to create very hot steam to cook crab legs in pressure cooker. You don’t want them sitting on the bottom with your water, broth or beer.
When it comes to boiling potatoes in Instant Pot, with or without meat, you need some sort of liquid. For plain and boring just go with water. Broth will add more flavor of course, and you could even use a can of beer (or part thereof) for real goodness. I prefer a light lager personally but go with what you have.
Pressure Cooker Crab Legs
When it comes to seasonings you may have a few of your own favorites. This is definitely one of my favorite Old Bay recipes for sure. It is a Southern must and adds a ton of flavor with even just a bit of it. You’ll likely want garlic butter to dip your pieces in when it’s done, we have instructions for that too.
- Snow crab legs, fresh or frozen
- 1 onion diced or sliced
- 2 cups of water, broth or beer
- Old bay
- If you want it a bit spicy you can add hot sauce, optional
- Mixed or baby red potatoes, sausage like precooked kielbasa could be added with them cut into 2″ chunks
- Corn cobs broke in half, optional
Garlic Butter Sauce
- 1/4 c butter
- 2 tbsp minced roasted air fryer garlic (or out of a jar), fresh squeezed lemon juice and chopped parsley
Instant Pot Frozen Crab Legs
Ok so if you only wanted to cook the meat and not the veggies that would be okay as well. If yours are fresh or defrosted it would take just 5 minutes start to finish. You would skip the first 5 minutes which is just to get the vegetables nice and tender (but not entirely done).
How long does it take to cook frozen crab legs in Instant Pot
If you are cooking frozen fish, or crab legs in this matter, you would need to increase the cook time by 2 minutes, not bad. So instead of the 5 minutes you would need about 7 instead.
How do you steam crabs in the Instant Pot
Have everything prepped and ready to go. If you are using regular size taters you will want to cut into very large chunks beforehand. Think about the size of small bagged potatoes at the store, you want it about that size.
- Put rinsed baby potatoes, onion and corn in your pot (can skip this veggies step if you only want the crab).
- Sprinkle Old Bay and any other seasonings you want on top. Then add the water or beer.
- Secure the lid on your IP and set to manual for 5 minutes. Do a quick release. Add the crab, and optional hot sauce.
- The legs should sit on top of the vegetables and not be submerged in the liquid.
- If you didn’t add veggies use a trivet on the bottom at this time with liquid at bottom.
- Secure the lid on your IP and set to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Quick release.
- For the optional garlic butter, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
- Add the lemon juice and chopped parsley.
Serve with a king crab leg cracker so you can get the crab meat out. Enjoy with your dip or sauce on the side to dip all the things in and enjoy. You can print recipe below and get going!
What is the best way to reheat leftover crab legs
You would want to steam them again if left in the shells. You can do the same in your IP but for just 1 minute on top of a trivet with a cup of water inside. Or you could use your oven but it will take longer. Put into a preheated oven at 350 F for about 15 minutes.
You’ll need 1/2 inch of liquid in the bottom of a casserole dish with legs inside. Cover with foil with a few holes poked into the top. Depending on how many you have 15 min. should do it.
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Instant Pot Crab Legs
- Place the baby potatoes, diced onion and corn in your Instant Pot (can skip this veggies step if you only want the crab). Sprinkle on 1 Tablespoon of the Old Bay Seasoning and add the water or beer.
- Secure the lid on your IP and set to manual for 5 minutes. Quick release. Add the crab, remaining Old Bay and optional hot sauce to the Instant Pot. The crab should sit on top of the vegetables and not be submerged in the liquid. (if not adding veggies use a trivet on the bottom)
- Secure the lid on your IP and set to manual for 5 minutes. Quick release. Stir the contents of the Crab Boil and place the lid back on the IP as you prepare the garlic butter.
- For the optional garlic butter, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Add the lemon juice and chopped parsley. You can serve the garlic butter on the side for dipping or drizzling over.