Snow Crab Vs King Crab – Their Difference And Best Recipe

Are you debating whether to try snow crab or king crab this holiday season? You’re not alone – most seafood lovers find it a tough decision to make. There are some key comparison between snow crab vs king crab that will help you decide which variety is best for your tastes and needs. Let’s take a look at what sets these ten-legged beasts apart, and determine which one of them earns the “kingly” title when it comes to seafood feasts.

King Crab vs Snow Crab: An Overview

When it comes to the king crab, its thicker legs offer seafood enthusiasts ample portions of large and firm chunks of delectable, sweet, and rich white meat. On the contrary, snow crab meat tends to shred into longer pieces, resembling corned beef. Although sweet, snow crab meat also carries a subtle briny flavor that sets it apart from king crab.

King Crab vs Snow Crab: An Overview

King Crab vs Snow Crab: Are They Different In Size

When comparing the sizes of King Crab and Snow Crab, it is evident that King Crab is significantly larger. The largest recorded King Crab found by fishermen reached an astonishing weight of 20 pounds and measured 5 feet in length. On average, King Crabs weigh around 6 pounds, whereas Snow Crabs typically range from 2 to 4 pounds.

The Differences Between King Crab and Snow Crab

King crab and snow crab differ in several aspects. King crab is widely recognized for its firm and juicy meat, with a slightly more coarse structure compared to the delicate and fragile snow crab meat. Additionally, snow crab is known for its enhanced sweetness, while king crab boasts a subtle hint of sea saltiness.


King Crab is native to the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean, which means it’s more readily available in Alaska, Russia, and Japan. On the other hand, Snow Crab can be found in both Atlantic and Pacific oceans.


Both King Crab and Snow Crab are sustainably harvested seafood options. However, since King Crab is larger and takes longer to reach maturity, it is more vulnerable to overfishing compared to Snow Crab. This makes Snow Crab a more environmentally friendly option.


In terms of size, King Crab claws tend to be larger and more visually impressive than Snow Crab claws. This can make for an eye-catching seafood presentation at your holiday feast.


Both varieties can be prepared in a variety of ways, from steaming, boiling, grilling to baking or broiling. Some prefer the flaky texture and delicate flavor of Snow Crab, while others enjoy the meatier and more robust taste of King Crab.

Nutritional Value

When it comes to nutrition, both types of crab offer a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. However, king crab tends to have slightly higher levels of these nutrients compared to snow crab.

Taste and Texture of King Crab vs Snow Crab

The taste and texture of snow crab vs king crab differ significantly. King crab is renowned for its exquisite flavor, with a sweet and mild taste often likened to lobster. On the other hand, while Snow crab also offers a sweet flavor, it is complemented by a subtle briny undertone absent in King crab.

King Crab vs Snow Crab – Are They Divergent in Price

When comparing the price of king crab legs and snow crab legs, it is generally observed that snow crab legs are more affordable. Snow crabs are carefully managed and harvested responsibly, rendering them an excellent choice for seafood. In addition, snow crabs have a longer harvesting season and are generally more accessible, which contributes to their lower cost.

King Crab vs Snow Crab – Are They Divergent in Price

King Crab vs Snow Crab: Where and When to Find Them

King Crab and Snow Crab differ in availability and harvesting seasons. Snow crab is freshly available almost year-round, with the Alaskan season spanning from January to April, and the Canadian season from April to August. On the other hand, King crab has a shorter harvest period, available only from October to January. It’s worth noting that both varieties are frozen and can be found throughout the year.

Choosing a Method for Cooking Your Crab Legs

  • Boiling: Precooked Crab – 3-5 minutes, Raw – 8-12 minutes
  • Steaming: Precooked Crab – 6-8 minutes, Raw – 10-12 minutes
  • Broiling: Precooked Crab – 6-8 minutes, Raw – 10-12 minutes
  • Baking (at 350): Precooked Crab – 15-20 minutes, Raw – 25-30 minutes
  • Grilling: Precooked Crab – 10-14 minutes, Raw – 18-22 minutes
Choosing a Method for Cooking Your Crab Legs

Best Tips for Serving Your Crab Legs

  • Serve snow crab or king crab legs with clarified, melted butter and lemon wedges on the side.
  • When removing the crab meat from the shell, squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top.
  • Dip the crab meat into the melted butter for enhanced flavor.

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6 thoughts on “Snow Crab Vs King Crab – Their Difference And Best Recipe”

  1. King crab legs are actually shorter than the snow crab’s, and are thicker with a spiky, tough-to-crack shell. Snow crabs boast extraordinarily long legs with thinner shells and reach an average of 2 to 4 pounds.

  2. Lobster vs. Snow Crab. Lobster wins. Lobster vs. king Crab, sorry, The King is called the King for a reason!

  3. Probably not real, but in theory crabs could grow indefinitely large, providing they’re able to consume enough oxygen. Oceans were much more oxygen-rich in prehistoric times, which is in part why sea creatures were much larger than today.

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