King crab legs are seriously my favorite dish. As in, last-meal type of favorite food. For the most part, I prefer a traditional King Crab Leg, the whole leg, gently steamed to just perfection, with plenty of warmed butter. That, a glass of wine, and a perfectly cooked baked potato and some garlic sauteed green beans, and I’ll be in heaven. However, aren’t there times when you want to change up even your favorite meal? For me there are. I recently ordered some split king crab legs just to put on the smoker and add some different flavors to them. Out of several renditions, this Ancho Basil King Crab Leg was by far my favorite!
Smoked Ancho Basil King Crab Legs
All crab legs are already cooked. You just have to heat them up and serve. It’s important to remember this, you just want to get them hot enough to serve and no more so the meat doesn’t get overcooked. Or, you can always pull the meat out and serve cold on a salad, or as a seafood appetizer. But for this dish, I was looking to add plenty of flavor. I made the melted butter and flavored it with garlic, ancho powder, fresh basil, and shallots for basting. I also heated these up on my Deep South Mailbox Smoker. I ran if fairly cool, with plenty of apple wood to give me a hint of smoke flavor, and they were perfect.
Split vs Whole Legs
Pre-split crab legs are certainly easier to eat. Generally speaking, the whole legs will retain more moisture as you warm them up. However, when they’re split, we can add so much flavor. And, you can dive right in- no mess! Whenever you’re buying King Crab legs, you can get them in a variety of sizes. Even the smallest King Crab Legs dwarf snow crab legs. And the meat is so much sweeter, it’s just a wonderful treat.
As always, I hope you enjoy!Print