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Crab imperial in a cast iron skillet

Smoked Crab Imperial

This is an amazing recipe that works well all by itself as a glorious appetizer or it can level up your dinner recipe as an over the top... topping. With a few simple ingredients and fresh crab, the smoker adds an amazing layer of flavor to an already luscious recipe. Hate to say it, but if you make this for friends, you will be asked to make it again and again.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Calories 166kcal


  • 1 lbs jumbo lump crab
  • ½ cup Mayo
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • ¼ Onion minced
  • 2 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s BOLD Seasoning divided
  • ½ teaspoon Ground mustard
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ teaspoon Parsley minced plus more for garnish


  • Preheat your smoker to 300 degrees.
  • Place the crab in a large bowl.
  • Mix the mayo, Worcestershire, butter, and lemon juice in a bowl.
  • Add the minced onion.
  • Mix in 1 teaspoon of the Tony Chachere’s BOLD blend and the ground mustard to combine.
  • Mix in the beaten egg to combine and the parsley.
  • Add the mayo mixture to the bowl with the crab, folding gently to not break up the crab meat.
  • Gently spoon into a small 6” cast iron skillet.
  • When ready to smoke, add the wood chunks to the embers and place the skillet over a grate at least 10” from any flames.
  • Cover the smoker and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until the crab imperial is golden and bubbling.
  • Carefully, with heat resistant gloves, remove the skillet from the fire and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with the remaining Creole seasoning and minced parsley or chives.
  • Spoon over beef tenderloin or serve as an appetizer.


When using any crab meat, you want to quickly look it over for shells. Hard to spot, but there is often one or two that has slipped through that can be pulled out before you mix the crab with anything else. 
If you are using crab meat packed in a container, make sure to drain it of any liquid before you start this recipe. 
Crab meat is one of the few ingredients where I will really splurge. I want to make sure that its top quality lump crab meat and will often look for region. It costs more than canned crab I will use for other recipes but it's worth every penny for the once a year recipe. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 139mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg