How Do Snow Crabs and King Crabs Differ?

Crab is the king of the sea. It shares the throne with lobster, and the two dominate the global seafood industry. Snow crab and the appropriately titled king crab are only two of the hundreds of kinds that reside in the ocean, but they are often regarded as the pinnacle of crab cuisine.

Although there are distinctions between crab species, such as which are edible and which are harmful, there are also variances between the king and queen of crabs.

There are various aspects to consider when comparing snow crab vs king crab. These differences and similarities may influence how you cook and consume crab, as well as the variety you purchase next.

The primary distinctions between snow crab and king crab are price, flavor, texture, appearance, and the meals in which they are utilized.

Let us begin by noting these distinctions quickly before breaking them down and examining the distinguishing features of each crab separately. We’ll also look at how you may swap one for the other.

Differences Between Snow and King Crab

The primary distinction between snow crab and king crab is that snow crab has a sweet, saline flavor, fibrous, chewy texture, and a fair price tag, while king crab has a rich and sweet flavor, chunky, flakey flesh, and a sky-high price tag.

Snow crabs are much smaller than king crabs in size. These are generally reddish in color and have smooth shells. Meanwhile, king crabs have spiky shells and come in a variety of colors and designs. The majority of the ones caught in Alaska are red and quite enormous.

Snow crab has a delicate, marine flavor. It has a delicate depth and is salty and sweet, while king crab has a lively taste. King crab has a sweet and savory flavor that is more meaty and powerful.

Crab Legs: If you want the legs plain, snow crab legs are much simpler to crack and open by hand, but king crab legs have a much thicker shell that needs a tool to shatter. The flesh also comes out in bigger pieces from king crab legs and is stringier and more separated from snow crab legs.

Snow crab and king crab are ideally consumed as fresh as possible. They may be cooked and consumed in the same ways, however king crab is used in elaborate, savory preparations.

Snow vs King Crab Comparison Table

Let’s look at some of the key distinctions between snow crab and king crab. While deciding between the two, these are the first things people look for.

  Snow Crab King Crab
Size 2-4lbs, long, thin legs 6lbs, medium, stout legs
Price $20-$35 per 1lb $60-$70 per 1lb
Availability Late fall to early summer Mid-fall to mid-winter
Cooking Methods Broil, steam, boil Steam, boil, grill, bake
Taste Sweet and subtly briny Sweet and rich like lobster
Dining Experience Easy to crack by hand, long, stringy flesh Need a tool to crack, large, denser flesh
Other As with most crab species, snow and king crabs are at risk of endangerment from habitat loss, warming oceans, and overfishing

Can You Substitute Snow for King Crab?

Snow crab and king crab may be used interchangeably. They may be cooked in the same way, used in the same recipes, and are two of the most delectable crab kinds, but there are a few significant distinctions to be aware of if you want to replace one for the other.

The first and most crucial item to remember is that king crab should never be used as a replacement. The taste of king crab is significantly more delicate and nuanced than that of snow crab. It would be a waste to use king crab in snow crab recipes.

The only time you should substitute snow crab for king crab is if you want softer, less expensive legs.

The second thing to make is that, although king and snow crab are related, they are not the same. You will notice a change in taste and texture if you eat the crab legs plain.

King crab is flakier and features juicy pieces of rich, sweet flesh that is similar to lobster. However, snow crab generates stringier, chewier tendrils of flesh with a sweet and saline flavor. It tastes more like the classic crab flavor.

Although snow crab may be substituted for king crab, nearly no meals call for it. Since king crab is so esteemed, it is often served alone, although snow crab may be eaten alone or utilized in various cuisines.

If you can’t afford or don’t want to pay for king crab, you may always substitute snow crab. Snow crab is delicious on its own as well as in meals such as crab cakes, snow crab macaroni and cheese, and snow crab egg salad. When substituting snow crab for king crab, use a one-to-one ratio.

When it comes down to it, the primary difference between snow crab and king crab is the cost. King crab is sometimes more than double the price of snow crab, or at least half the price per pound.

Although there are variances in taste and texture, the key differentiator is the financial cost. Snow crab is the most cost-effective alternative for any crab meal.

While king crab is delicious, it belongs in the same category as those novelty meals with gold foil on top. You’re paying for the experience, presentation, and taste, not just the flavor itself.

What is Snow Crab?

Snow crabs are giant ruddy crabs called by their icy home and the fact that their meat turns from red to snow white when cooked. They inhabit in the north Pacific and northwest Atlantic Oceans near the Arctic Circle. They may dwell at depths ranging from 20 to 2000 meters.

Because of their stature in comparison to king crabs and their royal blue blood, snow crabs are often referred to as queen crabs. Snow grabs’ blood has large quantities of copper and other chemicals, which aid in oxidation in colder climates and at deeper depths.

The snow crab has a lifetime of 12-13 years and achieves maturity at the age of 9 years. Moreover, since the permissible carapace harvesting size is 9.5cm and females are substantially smaller, only male snow crabs are sold commercially.

How to Use Snow Crab

Snow crab is the less expensive alternative, and the flavor reflects this. Snow crab is not awful, however it may take a bit more preparation than king crab.

You can always take the traditional approach and grill, boil, or bake the legs of snow crab, but there’s a lot more you can do with it. Try smoking snow crab to add some flavor. The deep smokiness helps to mask the salty flavor and accentuate the sweetness.

Shredded crab may also be used to produce foods like crab cakes. They’re wonderful and great for using up any leftover parts after cooking the legs.

Snow crab legs complement coleslaw, potatoes, corn on the cob, salad, and cornbread. Snow crab is best appreciated with simple foods that complement rather than overpower the crab’s taste.

What is King Crab?

The king crab is a massive spindly creature with a wide range of colors and patterns. These are migratory crabs that move from deeper seas to coasts to breed and reproduce. King crabs may be found all throughout the near-Arctic coast, including Canada, Alaska, and Japan.

Male king crabs may weigh more than twice as much as females and reach up to 24 pounds with a limb span of more than five feet.

They have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years and communicate by touch and pheromones.

Infant king crabs are known as zoeas, while females are known as jennies and males are known as buck. Consortiums are groups of crabs.

King crabs eat clams, worms, urchins, mussels, snails, and barnacles, but they are not aggressive despite their size and massive claws.

How to Use King Crab

The easiest way to prepare king crab is to keep it simple. Steaming, grilling, or even microwaving are all viable methods, and the legs should be served with butter and lemon.

Since king crab is so rich and delicious on its own, incorporating it into a recipe is like to adding chocolate to fudge. It would be overbearing, and the tastes would blend into an indistinct muddle.

In addition to the legs, the body of a king crab may be eaten. Their massive torso contain almost as much flesh as all of their legs combined. To prepare king crab legs at home, particularly if you’re a beginner, begin by roasting them in the oven. This procedure requires very little effort and produces great results.


What is better snow crab or king crab?

Taste: King crab and snow crab have distinct flavors, and their flesh is often utilized for various reasons. When it comes to crab flesh, the King crab is recognized as the finest of the best, and it is generally a delicacy eaten on its own or with a buttery dip.

Does king crab and snow crab taste different?

The primary distinction between snow crab and king crab is that snow crab has a sweet, saline flavor, fibrous, chewy texture, and a fair price tag, while king crab has a rich and sweet flavor, chunky, flakey flesh, and a sky-high price tag.

Which crab tastes the best?

Many people believe that blue crab flesh is the sweetest and nicest tasting of all crab meats. Blue crabs that have lost their old shell to develop a new one are known as soft-shell crabs.

What is so special about king crab?

It has “sweetness and meatiness” like no other crab flesh in the world, according to Chef Choy. Then there’s the health factor: it’s a leaner protein than other crab meats, with less calories and fat. It has around 100 calories and 19 grams of protein per 100 grams of beef.

Do you get more meat in snow crab or king crab?

King crabs have a leg span of over 6 feet on average (1.8 meters). Snow crab, on the other hand, is often considerably smaller than king crab, ranging between 2 and 4 pounds. Moreover, although snow crab legs are longer than those of their enormous counterparts, they are skinnier and contain less meat.

Is king or snow crab more expensive?

The more costly of the two is king crab, which has a short harvesting season, limited availability, and a lobster-like taste. Snow crab legs are usually cheaper than king crab legs.

Does king crab legs taste like snow crab legs?

In terms of flavor, both crab species have a good combination of sweet, mild fish tastes; however, snow crab legs have a somewhat more saline taste and delicate texture, and King Crab legs are meatier, with a texture more reminiscent to lobster.

Is king crab or snow crab cheaper?

Snow crab legs are usually significantly cheaper than king crab legs. Snow crabs are sustainably maintained and caught in a responsible manner, making them an ideal seafood option. Snow crabs have a longer harvest season and are usually simpler to locate, which accounts for their reduced price.

Why is king crab more expensive?

It’s rare – supply is restricted by a quotation to ensure the fishery’s long-term viability. Before reaching legal size for retention, each crab is at least 7-9 years old. Before it reaches anyone’s plate, each crab travels hundreds of kilometers.

Is lobster or crab better?

Health Benefits of Lobster

Although lobster and crab flesh are almost identical, lobster tastes richer due to its firmer and meatier texture. Although both types of seafood are iron-rich and high in vitamins, lobster may help prevent cancer.

Rate this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *