Crabs are commonly seen as shellfish since they live in water, and their exterior is covered with a shell. However, in a closer definition, crabs are crustaceans.
Besides, they are 8-legged and have two chelipeds, each with two claws. The size of Crabs varies from 4.5 inches for the small ones to 6 inches for the big ones.
Black Spots On Crab Legs – Are They Safe To Eat?
It is safe to eat crab legs that have black spots. That’s because the black spots only affect the shell, not the leg meat. As such, with proper cooking of the crab legs, one can be assured of their safety in eating the meat. However, discard the meat if the taste is awful or the bacteria-infected spots have penetrated inside.
Where Do Black Spots on Crab Legs Come From?
I love crab legs and would buy them raw or cooked! That’s why I’m keen on checking safety to ensure my meat is not contaminated.
To do this, I began by understanding the root causes of the black spots on the crab legs. Some reasons are beneficial, while others may be risky. In my explanation, I will mix but explain each of them. I hope my description is understandable to you!
- Shell shedding: One of the reasons crab legs will have black spots is because the crab has shed the shell recently. That’s a good thing as it means the old and possibly infected shells are no more. In this case, black spots could mean safety.
- Eggs of leeches: Leeches are parasitic and predatory worms that stay in the water. Sometimes, leeches lay their eggs on the shells of crabs for protection from predators and dispersal. Although the leeches or the eggs will not penetrate the crab shell, they may get infected by bacteria which will then affect the crab shell and may penetrate inside, thus causing black spots. Such spots could be risky to one’s health.
- Physical trauma: If the crab has been physically injured, it is likely to develop black spots. It’s advisable to be cautious as some of these injuries may be infected.
Since it may sometimes be confusing to tell the difference between the various spots, proper and thorough cooking is necessary.
What Are the Health Risks Posed By Eating Crab Legs with Black Spots?
As earlier noted, not all black spots on crab legs are dangerous to human health after consumption. However, those that are could pose a significant danger to the well-being of an individual.
If a person eats crab legs with black spots and probably one that is undercooked, they risk getting infected or developing some illnesses.
That’s due to the bacterial infection on the crab legs. While in some cases, cooking the spotted legs for a longer time could eliminate the threat, if the infection seems too severe, the best option is to discard the meat.
Is There A Way I Can Salvage Crab Legs with Black Spots?
The one strategy one can use to guarantee they are safe eating crab legs with black spots is thorough cooking. The cooking should be at approximately 150 °F and for about 25 minutes. That will ensure any potential bacteria and germs are dead, eliminating health risks.
Again, thorough cleaning of the crab shell is necessary before cooking is done. Also, maintain complete hygiene when preparing your crab leg meat.
Nevertheless, if the taste or the smell is terrible, or if you establish the infection is too deep into the meat, discard the meat.
Easy Ways to Cook Crab
There are several ways to cook crab meat. I have a preference for three, which I will share with you. You can be sure either of them is unique and will give an exceptional taste to the delicacy. My three top recommended techniques for cooking crabs include;
The cooking technique is easy and fast. The best part of it is that it retains the tasty juices of the crab meat. That helps in preventing water logs during the boiling process. The procedure of steaming the crab is a four-step one.
- Step 1: Put salted water into a cooking pot to a height of about one inch. Ensure the pot you use can fit the size of your crab.
- Step 2: Put your crabs in a steamer basket and place them on the pot. Cover the pot.
- Step 3: Heat the cooking pot to a temperature of about 150 °F. Let it cook for 15 to 25 minutes.
- Step 4: Remove the crabs from the steamer basket and let them cool down, then wash them thoroughly before enjoying the meal.
Boiling is simple and also entails a three steps processes.
- Step 1: Put some salty water into a cooking pan that would fit your crabs, and place it under fire until it boils.
- Step 2: Put the crabs in the boiling water. Be faster to ensure they all cook for the same amount of time. Continue heating until the water boils once more and the crabs are floating. That takes approximately 12 to 15 minutes.
- Step 3: Using the tongs, remove the crabs and let them cool to a point where you can hold them. Wash the crabs thoroughly.
Your delicacy is now ready.
The roasting technique is easy too and also uses three simple steps, including;
- Step 1: Steam or boil the crabs and clean them as outlined in the steaming technique.
- Step 2: Paint the boiled or steamed crabs with melted butter or cooking oil. At this stage, you may sprinkle spices such as garlic, and ginger, among others. If you have aromatics, this is the right time to spread them too.
- Step 3: Place the crabs on the roasting pan. Ensure no crab is placed on top of another.
- Step 4: Place the cooking pot in an oven and heat at about 450 to 500 °F. Heat for approximately 10 ten minutes until the crabs are sizzling and browned.
Frequently Asked Questions to Black Spots On Crab Legs
Are Crab Legs with Black Spots Bad?
Most crab legs with black spots are not harmful and can be eaten. However, some may have been black due to infection. Therefore, thorough washing and cooking are necessary.
What Makes my Crab Legs Get Black Spots?
Several reasons cause black spots on crab legs. They include parasites, shell renewal, or injury.
Can I Get Sick From Eating Crab Legs with Black Spots?
One will not necessarily get ill from eating crab legs with black spots.
Conclusion to Black Spots On Crab Legs
Crab legs with black spots are safe to eat as long as the black spots haven’t penetrated into the meat. The shell protects the meat inside and thorough cooking will help ensure that it is safe to consume. However, if the crab legs have any off smell or taste, it is best to discard them.