Difference Between Snow Crab Vs King Crab | Which is Better?

Learn the differences between snow crab vs king crab. Snow crab and king crab look incredibly similar, but when it comes to taste, texture, nutrition, and sustainability there are several differences. If you love seafood as much as we do then you’ll want to know the difference between snow crab vs king crab so that the next time you’re faced with a menu featuring either one of these delicious crustaceans or shopping for them in your supermarket—you can make an informed decision. Keep reading to discover all there is to know about each type of succulent shellfish!

Difference Between Snow Crab Vs King Crab

Difference Between Snow Crab Vs King Crab
Difference Between Snow Crab Vs King Crab

Before delving into the differences between Snow crab and King crab, let’s review what they have in common: their scrumptious meat! Both types of crabs can be swapped out in any recipe that calls for preparing crabs. Additionally, you could purchase or order their sumptuous legs from your local grocery store or seafood market online.

Let’s uncover the top 5 disparities between Snow crab and king crab. Read on to discover more about each of these differences!

  • Size and Legs
  • Habitat and Fishing season
  • Taste
  • Texture
  • Price

Size, Texture, and Taste

One of the primary methods to be able to differentiate between snow crab and king crab is size, as snow crabs usually weigh in at a maximum of 4 pounds while king crabs can range all the way up to 20! Not only that but another major contrast is shell thickness. Snowcrabs have thinner shells with long legs compared to their spikier shelled counterparts – King Crabs. Flavor-wise, both are exceptionally scrumptious with an excellent balance of sweet and mild fish flavors; however the taste difference lies moreso within texture. Snow Crab legs possess a slightly saltier flavor profile along with being tender whereas King Crabs deliver meaty lobster like consistency for your culinary enjoyment.


Craving the sweet, succulent flavor of snow or king crab? Look no further than their legs and claws! Heat them up over boiling water in a steamer basket or an improvised colander-over-a-pot steam basket for 3 to 4 minutes, until fragrant and with juicy pink meat. Serve your perfectly cooked crabs with clarified butter, zesty aioli, or tartar sauce – yum!

If you’re feeling brave and want to dig into snow crab legs with your bare hands, go for it! However, if king crabs are more of what you had in mind, make sure to have some lobster crackers around—those shells can be tough. But don’t worry; If the idea of cracking doesn’t set well on your taste buds, just ask the local fish market to do all the work before bringing them home for a delicious feast.


If you’re wanting to make your budget stretch while still giving yourself the best, King crab and snow crab are excellent choices. Unfortunately, due to climate change both species have had their fishing seasons shorten drastically in recent years which has caused prices for these premium products to skyrocket. Dorian Mecir of New York City’s renowned Dorian’s Seafood Market suggested that if you don’t want to overspend yet still treat yourself (and guests!), cutting each leg into pieces and serving them with other items is a more cost-effective way of going about it!

Does King Crab and Snow Crab Taste Different?

Does King Crab and Snow Crab Taste Different?
Does King Crab and Snow Crab Taste Different?

Size and Legs: Snow crabs have slim, long legs that are about 15 cm in length. On the other hand, king crab has thicker legs that can reach up to a length of over 40 cm in size. The carapace (or body) of the snow crab is smaller compared to King crabs as well.

Habitat and Fishing season: Snow crabs can be found near rocky bottoms regions with temperatures ranging from -2ºC to 10ºC while king crabs prefer deeper waters that ranges from -1ºC to 25ºC. The fishing season for both these species differs slightly with snow crab being available all year round while the king crab usually available during the months between October and January.

Taste: Both these species have a sweet, delicate and succulent taste. Snow crabs tend to have a milder flavor than King crabs while the latter may have a slightly salty aftertaste.

Texture: The texture of snow crab is usually more tender compared to king crab as it doesn’t contain as much protein in it. However, King crabs can also be quite tender if cooked correctly.

Price: Snow crab is more affordable compared to king crabs due to the fact that they are easier to catch and breed. It’s not uncommon for people to be able to purchase them from their local supermarkets at prices that are much lower than those of king crabs.

Which is Better King Crab or Snow Crab?

Ultimately, it all depends on your personal preference. If you desire a more delicate flavor and texture, then snow crabs are the perfect option for you. On the other hand, if saltiness and a firmer texture is what appeals to you most, king crab would be an ideal selection of seafood.

It all boils down to what you prefer in terms of flavor and texture.

In conclusion, the major differences between snow crab vs king crab include size, habitat, taste, texture and price. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference to decide which type of crabs will best suite your palate. As both have similar flavors and textures, it’s worth exploring both options before deciding on one particular type of crab. No matter which option you choose, both Snow Crab and King Crab are sure to provide a delicious meal for any occasion.

Read on to learn more: how to cook frozen crab legs

Which is The Best Tasting Crab?

Habitat wise, snow crabs are mostly found in the Northern Pacific Ocean and can be harvested year-round. On the other hand, king crabs are found mainly in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean and their fishing season runs between October to January.

When it comes to taste, though both of these crabs are incredibly delicious, there is a slight difference in flavor. The king crab is slightly sweeter and richer than the snow crab. The texture of king crabs are also firmer compared to that of the snow crab.

When it comes to price, king crabs are usually more expensive than snow crabs due to its size, taste, texture and availability.

In conclusion, both the king crabs and the snow crabs are incredibly tasty but depending on what you like, there could be a preference for one or the other. King crab tends to be pricier but with its sweet flavor and firmer texture, it makes up for it in overall quality. As far as taste goes, it all depends on personal preference so try out both types of crustaceans before making your decision!

Snow Crab vs King Crab: Season and Sourcing

Alaskan and Canadian waters near the Bering Sea are home to both Snow Crab and King Crab, with Maine, Canada, and Norway also providing a source for the former. While Snow crab is available fresh nearly all year long – Alaskan season from January through April; Canadian season from April till August – its royal counterpart has a much shorter harvesting period: October through January only. Both crustaceans can be found frozen during any time of year.

Why is King Crab More Expensive Than Snow Crab?

Why is King Crab More Expensive Than Snow Crab?
Why is King Crab More Expensive Than Snow Crab?

The main reason why king crabs are more expensive is because they are found in deeper waters which makes them harder to catch and breed compared to snow crabs.

Additionally, king crabs are larger and can weigh up to forty pounds while snow crabs usually only weigh four pounds. This makes it much more labor-intensive to process them and therefore drives up the cost.

Moreover, the meat of king crabs is denser with a firmer texture while the meat of snow crab is slightly saltier and more tender. All these factors contribute to why King Crab has a higher price tag than Snow Crab.

The demand for king crabs will always exceed that of snow crabs as they need to travel further out into the ocean in order to get them, thus driving up its price.

Top 10 FAQ about Snow Crab vs King Crab

What are No 1 crabs?

Among crabs, the largest and heaviest males are classified as No. 1s while smaller males fall under No. 2s; females are categorized into the lightest group, which is designated by No. 3s. When it comes to estimating quantity for purchase, you can either buy a crab each or opt for more savings with their bulk offers of 12-piece dozen orders or half/full bushel buckets (which contain between six to seven dozen large crabs).

Is lobster or crab better?

Lobster – Health Benefits

Not only is lobster meat firmer and richer in taste than crab, but it also offers several health benefits. Iron-richness is a common feature of both seafoods; however, the vitamins found in lobster have been proven to guard against malignant cancers. Therefore, not only will you enjoy its unique flavor with every bite but also reap advantageous results for your wellbeing!

Why do crabs have no meat?

During their growth, crabs shed their shells in a process known as moulting. Crabs that have recently undergone this process will lack meat and appear clean with semi-transparent shells; furthermore, there will be no discernible wear on the claws (see image 1).

Which is healthier shrimp or crab?

Rich in vitamins, crab provides less cholesterol than shrimp but comes with a higher sodium content. This makes it an unsuitable option for those suffering from hypertension or other heart-related conditions.

Which crab is healthiest?

If you’re looking for a delicious and low-calorie seafood option, blue crab meat is the perfect choice. According to USDA National Nutrient Database, just 3 ounces of cooked blue crab offers 74 calories – an excellent alternative compared to other options such as Alaska king or Dungeness crabs with 71 and 73 calories respectively.

Which crab is the strongest?

The Birgus latro, famously known as coconut crabs, are the biggest land-based crustaceans on our planet. They can measure up to a remarkable one meter in length and possess an unbelievable strength of lifting more than 30 kilograms! The creatures also hold their namesake by being able to crack coconuts with ease – making them some of nature’s most extraordinary organisms.

Which is sweeter king crab or snow crab?

If you’re looking for a soft, sweet taste with an additional oceanic brininess, then snow crab is the perfect option. This succulent crustacean meat not only has remarkable flavor but its firmness allows it to easily broken into pieces and makes it ideal for dipping in your favorite sauce!

Are eating crabs healthy?

Crab is a powerhouse of protein, essential for building and sustaining muscles. An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and selenium as well, Crab offers invaluable nutrients that contribute to overall wellness while helping protect yourself from various chronic diseases.

How much king crab per person?

As a guide, for crab aficionados it is wise to purchase 1.5 pounds per individual. If your guests are especially ravenous eaters, then up the ante and get 2 pounds of deliciousness for each one!

Which crabs Cannot be eaten?

Lurking in the depths of various oceans and estuaries, Xanthidae is an extraordinary family of crabs commonly known as gorilla crabs, mud crabs, pebble or rubble crabs. Many species are vividly colored with vibrant hues; however these stunning crustaceans come with a warning: their toxins remain potent even after cooking and no antidote exists for them!


So now you know Difference Between Snow Crab Vs King Crab right? From their size and weight, to their taste and nutrition, snow crab and king crab have distinct differences. Understanding the facts about these types of crabs can help you make the right choice for your next seafood dinner. Just remember to buy them fresh – or frozen if needed – and enjoy!

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