Can You Freeze Imitation Crab?


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One of the only times I like imitation crab meat is when it is used in a seafood salad.  I know it may be used in the crab and cream cheese rolls from a Chinese food restaurant as well as in things like sushi, macaroni salad, soups, and more but I rarely use it for those things. 

Personally, imitation crab meat is not a big staple in my life. I do know people who use it more often, but for me, it’s not a big deal. 

However, my mom will get it every now and then, and use it for different recipes that she has. When she brings it home, it’s always a question on if it should go in the freezer or the refrigerator. Is it possible to freeze imitation crab meat?

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Imitation crab meat can be frozen but only if it was already frozen or has never been frozen before. If the imitation crab had been frozen and then was thawed out then it should not be refrozen again. 

Can You Freeze Imitation Crab?

To thoroughly answer this question you need to know how it is when you get it. Is it thawed or raw? Or is it already frozen? These two things will determine if you can put it in the freezer safely. If it is raw, and has never been frozen before, then you may freeze it one time and keep it in the freezer until you are ready to cook it or use it. If it was frozen but is now thawed, then you can’t refreeze it. 

It will not be good any longer as bacteria will start to grow very rapidly once it reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. If you are bringing it home frozen from the store, and it’s still frozen when you get to your house, then you can put it safely back into a freezer. Again, though only if it’s still frozen.

If the meat is frozen correctly, it can be kept in the freezer for 10-12 months. That’s actually a pretty good amount of time. Although it is said it will probably still be safe to eat for longer. 

It will need to be kept at zero degrees Fahrenheit for however long you decide to keep it frozen. If you see dry spots or discoloration on the frozen crab meat, then it’s no longer in a good condition as freezer burn has set in. 

It doesn’t always mean you can’t eat it, but it will have a different taste and texture if you do decide to try it. My personal recommendation is not to eat it though.

Now whenever the imitation crab meat is bought, we know that as long as it’s still frozen, it can be put back inside the freezer. However once it’s thawed out, it can’t be put back into the freezer. Imitation crab meat can only be frozen one time. 

You also have a limited amount of time to be able to use the meat once it’s thawed, so make sure you’re ready to use it right away when you purchase it or pull it out of the freezer. 

To get some imitation crab (even if it’s not sold at a store near you) just click here. 

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How To Cook Imitation Crab Meat

Being a cook in the household means I’m constantly trying new things and praying it turns out well! Most of the time, my food turns out great! Other times, I’ll take a bite and declare we’re ordering pizza (don’t lie we have all done it a few times). 

Whichever happens though, at least I’m confident enough to try new foods. Of course, trying new foods means I need to know how to cook it. Thanks to Google and Pinterest, I have learned many new ways to cook and new foods to try over the years. 

But when it comes to imitation crab meat, that’s a new one for many people. So how do you cook imitation crab meat?

Before you even get to the cooking part, you need to decide what you want to go with your imitation crab. Lemon and butter are a great pair to imitation crab meat with a touch of garlic. Also adding mayo, cream cheese, your favorite spices and seasonings will make a great dish. 

Unsurprisingly Alfredo sauce is also pretty good with the imitation crab meat (what doesn’t it taste good with?) Deciding what will go with your meat will determine the dish you wish to make. So whether it’s made as a salad, pasta, or a dish all its own, you will need to know the condiments first before you cook it.

Once you’re ready to cook imitation crab meat, you will want to put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours to thaw it out first. Then you will want to steam it. You can use a double boiler or by putting two pots on top of the other with the bottom one filled with water to be boiled. This process will take about ten minutes to do. 

However if your meat is only partly frozen or thawed, it may take as long as six minutes instead. You will just have to watch it as you cook it.

However you decide to make your imitation crab meat and which condiments you use, you first need to thaw the meat in the refrigerator for 24 hours, and then steam the meat. So whether you use a double boiler or two pots on top of each other, the point is to steam the meat. 

Add your condiments and favorite spices and seasonings, and you have yourself a delicious dish to serve for when you want it.

Can You Eat Imitation Crab Meat Without Cooking It?

I know whenever I buy imitation crab meat from the store, it’s always because I have a recipe on hand ready to use with it. If I’m using imitation crab meat, it’s generally for a seafood salad or for Crab Rangoon when I’m feeling like a Chinese dinner. 

Those are my two favorite things to make with imitation crab meat. However, then comes the question if it’s ok to eat imitation crab meat without cooking it.

If you’re like me, you may like to taste whatever it is you’re making. No matter if it’s cookie dough, soup, or a generally amazing meal, I always like to taste what I’m making to make sure it’s good and I made it right. But when using imitation crab meat, is it ok to eat without cooking it first?

When you buy imitation crab meat from the store, it’s already pre cooked so you don’t have to cook it before eating it. This means you can use it right from the package for cold dishes such as seafood salad or a crab dip. 

You of course can still add it to dishes you wish to cook with it. It’s a versatile option that’s open to anything when you wish to use it for a dish you want to serve. With this in mind, it’s definitely ok to eat it before cooking with it.

With imitation crab meat available in stores, it’s no wonder that there are questions concerning how to cook and eat it. Thankfully it’s a meat that’s already pre cooked before packaging. This makes so many options available, plus it makes it simple and easy to add to other dishes. 

My favorite cold dish with imitation crab is definitely a seafood salad. It’s great for that time when I’m in a seafood mood. Plus I can keep a bowl of it in the refrigerator for those times I just need a quick snack. However I do have to hide it from my husband as he likes this even more than me! 

So don’t worry about getting sick if you eat the imitation crab meat straight from the package. It’s already pre cooked!

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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