Live crab (fresh meat) should not be stored in the fridge. They must be kept alive (typically in aerated water) until they are cleaned and cooked. Putting a crab in the fridge will kill them and you should never cook a dead crab. Cooked crab meat, if stored in an airtight container, can last three to five days refrigerated.
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Freezing cooked crab meat is quite easy. Simply store it in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag. You can also wrap the meat tightly with foil or freezer wrap. Frozen crab meat will maintain its best quality for up to three months.
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Placing crab meat in the refrigerator is the safest and most effective way to thaw it. Because frozen crab is prone to dryness, be sure to substitute its loss of natural juices with a wet ingredient like mayonnaise.
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Whether you’re using Maryland blue, West Coast Dungeness, or Florida stone in your crab salad, the sweetness of the crabmeat enjoys a little savory embellishment. Get fancy with your salad and go the route of a tuna melt, or take a lighter approach and serve this atop salad greens.
Game plan: You’ll need to make the mayonnaise and hot sauce before you begin. Or just pick up some high-quality store-bought mayo and a bottle of Tabasco.
This recipe was featured as part of our Picnic Sandwiches and Soups recipe slideshow. For more, see our salmon salad recipe and our crab cake recipe.