Skillet Smoked Crab Legs

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Skillet smoked crab legs are a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for a special occasion or a weekend meal.

This dish consists of fresh crab legs that are seasoned with a blend of spices, then smoked in a skillet to perfection. The smoky flavor of the crab legs is enhanced by the spices, creating a delicious and savory meal. In this article, we will explore the history and ingredients of skillet smoked crab legs, as well as some tips for making it at home.

History of Crab Legs

Crab is a popular seafood that has been enjoyed by people around the world for centuries. In the United States, crab is particularly popular in coastal regions, where it is often prepared in a variety of ways, including steamed, boiled, grilled, and smoked.

Smoking seafood, including crab legs, is a popular method of preparation that has been used for centuries. Smoking is a process in which food is exposed to smoke from burning wood chips or other materials. The smoke imparts a unique flavor and aroma to the food, making it more delicious and flavorful.

The use of a skillet to smoke crab legs is a modern twist on this traditional method of preparation. Skillet smoking allows for more control over the cooking process and can be done on a stovetop, making it more accessible to home cooks.

Ingredients for Skillet Smoked Crab Legs

Skillet smoked crab legs require a few key ingredients that are readily available at most grocery stores. The ingredients include:

  1. Fresh crab legs: Fresh crab legs are the star of this dish. It is important to choose high-quality crab legs that are fresh and free from any odors.
  2. Spices: A blend of spices, including smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper, are used to season the crab legs or Old Bay Seasoning works well.
  3. Butter: Butter is melted in the skillet to create a base for smoking the crab legs.
  4. Wood chips: Wood chips, such as hickory or mesquite, are used to create the smoke that flavors the crab legs.
  5. Lemon: Lemon wedges are used to serve with the crab legs and add a fresh, citrusy flavor.

How to Make Skillet Smoked Crab Legs

Making skillet smoked crab legs is a relatively easy process, but there are a few tips that can help ensure success. Here are some tips to keep in mind when making skillet smoked crab legs:

  1. Choose high-quality crab legs: The quality of the crab legs is crucial to the success of this dish. Choose fresh crab legs that are free from any odors or signs of spoilage.
  2. Use a cast-iron skillet: A cast-iron skillet is the best option for skillet smoking, as it retains heat well and distributes it evenly.
  3. Season the crab legs well: Season the crab legs generously with the spice blend to ensure that they are flavorful and delicious.
  4. Monitor the cooking time: Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the crab legs and the intensity of the heat. Monitor the cooking time closely to ensure that the crab legs are cooked through but not overcooked.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges: Serve the skillet smoked crab legs with lemon wedges to add a fresh, citrusy flavor to the dish.

Skillet Smoked Crab Legs

Skillet smoked crab legs are a delicious and flavorful dish that is perfect for a special occasion or a weekend meal.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Seafood
Keyword: Skillet Smoked Crab Legs
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 248kcal
Author: Ned Adams
Cost: $50


  • 14" cast iron skillet


  • 3-4 lbs crab legs thawed
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder


  • Combine butter, lemon juice, garlic powder and Old Bay Seasoning together.
  • Cover Crab Legs with mixture in a 14" Cast Iron Skillet.
  • Preheat pellet smoker to 350°F. (You can also do this in an oven or Dutch Oven.)
  • Add Crab to smoker and cook for 20-30 minutes.
  • Use the remaining juice for dipping.


Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 559mg | Potassium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 733IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

Dutch Oven Daddy is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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