Crawfish, crawdads, crayfish, freshwater lobster – these freshwater crustaceans have many names but one common fact: they are super tasty to eat. And with the invention of freezing as a means of preservation, you can enjoy crawfish even when it is out of season. The question is, how to reheat frozen crawfish without losing all of the flavors?
Reheating crawfish on the stovetop by placing a steamer basket on top of boiling water is the best way to ensure the flavors remain intact. Alternatively, you can directly add the frozen crawfish to boiling water until it heats up all the way through.
You can reheat frozen crawfish in a few different ways. And in this article, we will discuss some of the best and easiest options that you can try. Additionally, we will look at the method for cooking frozen whole crawfish and crawfish tails.
How to Reheat Frozen Cooked Crawfish?
Frozen crawfish are often wholly or partially cooked before packaging. So, when trying to reheat it, the meat will turn hard and chewy. The flavor of the crawfish dissipates quickly.
So, here are a few different ways you can reheat frozen cooked crawfish:
How Do You Reheat Frozen Cooked Crawfish on the Stove?
The stove is arguably the best choice for reheating frozen crawfish, cooked or uncooked. And there are a couple of different ways you can go about this. So, let’s talk about them:
Steamer Pot Method
For this technique, you will need a pot with a lid, a steamer basket, tongs, and crawfish spices (if you have any leftovers).
- Put a thin layer of spices on the bottom of the pot. This is not mandatory, but it will help preserve the flavor of the crawfish.
- Put water in the pot and place it on the stove at a high temperature.
- Place the steamer basket on top of the pot with water. Make sure that the water level inside the pot does not reach the steamer basket. Wait for the water to come to a boil.
- Once the water starts to boil, put the crawfish in the steamer basket. Cover the basket with a lid to trap the steam. This will create a high-pressure room that will help with the reheating.
- Keep the crawfish in the basket for 5-6 minutes. Take the lid off and pull one of the crawfish with the tongs. Check to see if it has become warm all the way through.
- If the crawfish is not warm enough, put the lid back on the basket and steam it for another minute.
- You have to be careful here, as keeping the crawfish for too long may overcook the meat. And overcooked crawfish do not taste very pleasant.
- Once all of the crawfish is heated all the way through, remove the basket with a pair of mitts or gloves (the basket will be very hot at this point)
Now, serve the crawfish on a plate and enjoy. This method has a few advantages over others. You have less risk of overcooking the crawfish. This method preserves the flavor of cooked crawfish.
Direct Boil Method
- Fill a large enough pot with water and put it on the stove. If you have leftover crawfish spice mix in your store, you can add them to the water. This will make the crawfish more flavorful.
- First, bring the water to a boil at a high temperature.
- Once the water has reached boiling point, bring the heat down to medium. Put in the spices and the crawfish. You can directly drop the crawfish into the water or do it with the help of a fryer basket (if you have one at hand).
- Boil the crawfish for 4-5 minutes. Afterward, use a tong to pick out one of the crawfish as a sample. Check to see whether the meat is warm all the way through.
- If the meat is not warm enough, put it back in the pot and continue to boil it for 1-2 minutes.
- Once all of the crawfish is heated, turn off the heat. Drain the water with the help of a colander. Squeeze some lemon juice on the crawfish, and they are ready to enjoy.
This method is ideal for thoroughly heating the crawfish and keeping them juicy and flavorful. But you do have to be very careful not to overcook the meat. Since the water is boiling, you have to be extra careful compared to the steamer basket method.
How to Reheat Frozen Crawfish in an Air Fryer?
- Spray the air fryer basket with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the crawfish inside the basket and close the air fryer.
- Set the temperature at 300-degree F. Keep the crawfish inside the fryer for 1-2 minutes. Take this chance to rotate them to their other side and fry them for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Afterward, turn the fryer off and check if the craws are all warmed up. If not, you can reheat them in the fryer for an extra 30 seconds.
While an air fryer can heat your crawfish in a quick time, you should only use this method as your last option. Because with this method, you have a high risk of drying out the meat. And dried crawfish is not that pleasant to eat.
How to Reheat Frozen Crawfish in the Microwave?
- Place the crawfish inside a microwave-safe bowl.
- Cover them with a bit of water or 2 tbsp of melted butter. This is to prevent them from drying out.
- Cover the bowl with a paper towel.
- Now, place the bowl inside the microwave and turn it on at full power. Keep the crawfish inside for 2-3 minutes.
- Bring the bowl out and check whether the meat is warm enough. If not, you can put them back inside the microwave at full power for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
This method works best when you are short on time and want to cook the crawfish simultaneously. But you have to be careful as microwaving for too long will make them very dry.
What Is the Best Way to Reheat Frozen Crawfish?
When reheating frozen crawfish, you have to be careful not to overcook them or dry them out. So, with this in mind, arguably the best method for reheating them is the steamer basket method over a stovetop.
With this method, you have less risk of drying the crawfish out while ensuring they become warm all the way through. Additionally, it allows the meat to absorb the flavors of the spices that you put in the water.
The second-best method would be to dunk them in boiling water for a few minutes. But you have to be extra careful not to keep them in the water for too long. And you should add the crawfish only after the water starts to boil.
If you want a quick and easy solution, microwaving the crawfish is an option. This method tends to leave the crawfish a bit dry. But if you are careful enough, you can reheat your crawfish thoroughly without drying them too much.
How Long to Cook Frozen Precooked Crawfish?
If you are using the steamer basket method, you should look to cook the frozen crawfish for at least 6-7 minutes, even if the crawfish are precooked. Since you are indirectly using steam to heat them, there is less chance of overcooking the meat. This also gives the meat time to absorb the flavors of the spice.
How to Cook Frozen Crawfish Tail Meat?
The best way to cook frozen crawfish tails is to sauté them in a pan. Since the tail meat breaks apart easily, you should not try the same methods used with the whole crawfish. Here is how:
- Thaw the crawfish tails first if they are frozen.
- In a pan, add 1 tbsp each of butter and olive oil. Heat them for a few seconds until they start sizzling.
- Add chopped garlic to the oil and sauté for a couple of minutes or until the garlic turns brown and releases a fragrance.
- Now put the crawfish tails inside the pan and sauté them. After a minute or until the meat turns pink, rotate the tails on their other side—Cook for a further minute.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Also, add lemon juice to give it some nice acidity. You can optionally add wine to the tails to give them some sweetness and tang.
- Remove the tails from the heat. Sprinkle on some chopped fresh herbs and enjoy. You can optionally squeeze some more lemon juice right before serving.
How to Thaw Frozen Crawfish Tail?
You can safely thaw a crawfish tail under running cold water or via a microwave. But the best way would be to thaw them in a refrigerator overnight.
Can You Refreeze Frozen Precooked Crawfish After Thawing?
You can refreeze any crawfish thawed out, even if they are precooked. The freezing process will ensure the meat remains safe for consumption. Now, repeatedly thawing and freezing any product will decrease its quality over time. So, you have to be mindful of that fact. It is best to thaw out the number of crawfish you plan to use.
Of course, this is achievable only if you thawed the crawfish properly. Refreezing will not be safe if the crawfish somehow became contaminated during the initial thawing period. So, you have to be careful about how you will thaw the meat.
How to Store Leftover Crawfish Boil?
The best way is to refrigerate them in an airtight container within 2 hours of cooking. If you want to store them for longer, completely freeze them in a freezer.
As you can see, there are several methods you can implement when reheating frozen crawfish. Figure out which option works for you best and enjoy these delicious crustaceans at your convenience.