Smoky Grilled King Crab

Lots of folks grill fish, a few dabble in shrimp and lobster, but smoking a king crab will make you king of the grillers.

We’ve all had steamed crabs at some point. Pretty good stuff. But really, what does steam taste like? It cooking the crab, but that’s all. On the other hand, put some wood chips in a smoker box and let that flavour infuse into the tender white meat of Alaskan King Crab and I promise, you will never want to go back to the pale, wispy flavour of steam again.


Wood chunks or chips (recommended: apple, alder, pear, or peach) 900 g – 1.4 kg Alaska King Crab Legs
3 tablespoons olive oil or clarified butter
3 tablespoons favourite seafood spice blend (like Old Bay)
2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminium foil


  1. Place wood chips in smoker box in pre-heated grill set up for indirect heat as per instructions of equipment being used and wait for smoke to begin. A light blue smoke is desired rather than white smoke. (NOTE: Practice generating smoke in the method of choice prior to cooking – temperature of the grill and restricting air flow to the burning wood will be the primary way to control the quality of smoke.)
  2. Rinse crab legs under cold water to remove any icy glaze, pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Cut slits on one side of the shells to 'open up” strip in the shell to expose the meat. Quality kitchen shears will be the best tool for this job.
  4. Drizzle olive oil onto expose crab meat and sprinkle with seasoning.
  5. Lay crab legs on grates on opposite side of direct heat, meat exposed side up. Use the foil to make a scrunchy base to hold the legs and keep from rolling.
  6. Close hood and smoke/heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the crab is warm and no hotter than 65°C. If you are using a smaller grill you may need to rotate the legs to create even cooking so legs closest to the heat do not cook too fast while those further away don’t cook.
  7. Serve with lemon or other condiments preferred by your guests.