Is Canned Crab Meat Always Cooked?

Opened can of crab meat
Opened can of crab meat - dotini/Shutterstock

Canned crab is quite convenient to use in a variety of recipes because it's typically easier to find and more affordable for many home cooks. There's also a lot less prep work involved to incorporate canned crab into recipes such as a chowder or dip because it's already cooked. That's right, you can technically eat canned crab directly out of the container, just like canned tuna, salmon, or sardines. In addition to being cooked, the canned shellfish is also mostly picked free of bones and shells, although you may find small pieces in the mixture — so watch out when cooking with it.

Most canned crab is typically boiled or steamed, then the shells are removed. The crab meat is usually pasteurized, which is the process of removing potentially harmful germs and bacteria. It also helps preserve the canned shellfish while it sits on the shelf. After you open a can of crab, drain the juice and rinse the meat off before using it for the best flavor and to remove any preservatives left on the crab.

Read more: 15 Different Ways To Cook Fish

Canned Crab Meat Works Well In A Range Of Recipes

crab cakes with lemon wedges
crab cakes with lemon wedges - Cavan-Images/Shutterstock

While all canned crab meat is cooked, there are many types to choose from distinguished by the type of crab it's sourced from and the quality of the meat. Colossal and jumbo lump crab meat, for example, are large sweet chunks from the muscles that connect the fins, which tend to be pricier compared to other varieties. Then there's lump crab meat, which are smaller pieces that can be cheaper but still high quality. Backfin is a mixture of shredded meat, while claw meat is the cheapest but also has the strongest crabby flavor. The can or container should be labeled with what grade of meat is inside and how it's prepared.

Once you've scored your preferred type of canned crab, it can work in a variety of recipes. Use it to make crab cakes with breadcrumbs and seasonings paired with cocktail or tartar sauce or for a cheesy crab dip to serve as an appetizer. It's also a great ingredient to use in Tasting Table's recipe for creamy seafood-stuffed shells with shrimp and herbs or in our homemade crab rangoon recipe. To use the canned crab in a simpler manner, drain it and fold it into your favorite pasta salad to give the dish a seafood flare, or make crab salad with mayo, mustard, onion, and celery for an easy snack or lunch.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.