Snow Crab, Queen Crab, King Crab, and Dungeness Crab: How Different Are They?

Crabs are well-known seafood that comes in several species. People who love to have seafood will never miss having a crab on their table. Crab is nutrition-rich meat that proves to be beneficial for your health. Crabs are consumed almost all over the world. Crabs can be edible or non-edible.

There are a lot of categories of crabs based on their size, shape, habitat, etc. In this write-up, you’ll get the complete information about “Snow crab, Queen crab, King crab, and Dungeness crab: How different are they? “. Here we come.

Snow Crab

Snow crabs are prominently marketable with the white or pale abdomen and light red or brown guarding shells. Snow crabs are supposed to eat whatever they find around them. In today’s era, two categories of snow crabs have been introduced. These are

  • Chionoecetes bairdi
  • Chionoecetes opilio

Snow crabs have a sweet flavor. So, the people adore having a snow crab in their meal to relish their pure and delicate taste.

Queen Crab

The snow crabs and the queen crabs are the roots of confusion for many folks. Let me clarify it for you. Queen crabs are another name for snow crabs. They belong to a cold water habitat. It also has two species named Chionoecetes bairdi and Chionoecetes opilio. The queen crab doesn’t possess much meat, so the people love to have queen crabs due to their elevated legs.

King Crab

King crab is the extensively liked one in crab varieties. A King crab has a very unique and fantastic taste which attracts the consumers to eat them. King crabs are also found in cold Atlantic regions. If you want to enjoy the excellent taste of King crab, you should wait for its season to come. 

It is also said that the King crab is named King because it is the giant crab found in the sea. If you want to identify a King crab, you should search for a snowy white crab with red linings.

Dungeness Crab

The Dungeness crab is a mouth-watering crab for seafood lovers. The Dungeness crab has a sweet, nutty flavor of meat used in almost all the crab dishes. Many people have shared that the stiffer leg meat of a Dungeness crab is the tastier thing to eat. The body meat of a Dungeness crab tends to be juicy and less stuffy than that of legs. 

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Factors That Make Crabs Different From Each Other

Due to less knowledge of the sea world, people confuse the Atlantic species with each other. Various people eat crabs but cannot distinguish between the different varieties of crabs.

There are a lot of factors that make a clear difference between the crabs, like snow crab, King crab, Queen crab, and Dungeness crab. So, let’s jump in and analyze the distinction between crab species. 

Size

The first component that will let you differentiate between crabs is their sizes. Crabs come in different appearances and sizes. Here is the size difference between snow crabs, Queen crabs, King crabs, and Dungeness crabs.

  • The male and female Snow Crabs come in varied sizes. The average length of a female snow crab is 3 to 3.7 inches, while the average length of a male snow crab is 6 to 7 inches. This is the size of a snow crab inside the shell.
  • The queen crabs are the same as snow crabs. So, the ideal size of a male crab will be 16.5 cm, and a female crab comes in a length of 9.5 cm.
  • The King crab is known to be the giant crab. It weighs from 6 to 10 pounds. 10 pounds is the average weight of a King crab, but it can fluctuate. It is said that a 20-pound heavy king crab is found with approx 6 feet elevated legs.
  • The Dungeness crab is not too giant. The average length of a Dungeness crab varies from 6 to 10 inches. The size of a Dungeness crab may fluctuate according to its age.

Habitat

The habitat of crabs might be similar or can be differentiated. The habitat of different varieties of crabs is given below.

  • The Snow crabs can always be found in a cold water habitat. The snow crabs are located in the South of the Gulf of Maine, Northeastern Atlantic, and near the west coast of Greenland.  The snow crabs prefer to live in the muddy bottoms of the depth of the sea.
  • The queen crabs also exist in the same cold water environment. The queen crabs can be found 20 to 2000 meters the depth of the sea.
  • The King Crabs have versatility in habitat. The King Crabs are found in the smaller fisheries of Southeast and Norton Sound. The King Crabs live in a shallow water region. The central area from which most King Crabs originate in Alaska.
  • The Dungeness Crabs inhabit open coasts, inlets, and ocean bays. The Dungeness crabs also prefer cold water to live. You can find Dungeness crabs in Southern California, Washington, Oregon, and the Aleutian Islands.
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Flavor & Texture

The flavor is the most crucial aspect that plays an essential role in making their space in people’s hearts. Here are the flavors of different categories of crabs like snow crabs, King crabs, Dungeness crabs, etc.

  • The Snow Crab has a sweet and subtly salty flavor. The uncooked snow crab possesses red color. When you cook a snow crab, it gives you a snowy white color. The snow crab is easy to eat as you can handily break it.
  • The Queen crab also possesses a ripe flavor. People love to have a queen crab to enjoy its sweetness.
  • King crab has the same taste as lobster. The King crabs give you a mild sweet flavor. People always prefer the King crab because of its high percentage of meat. The legs of King crabs have a next-level fan base as it is juicy and tastier than the whole meat.
  • The Dungeness crab provides you with a nutty flavor. It may seem a little sweet. Dungeness crab is the widely used crab meat in making seafood feasts. Folks enjoy the nutty taste of Dungeness crab with their all-time favorite meals.

Price

The prices of crabs vary according to the meat and type of a crab. The crab prices, depending on their species, are bestowed below.

  • The 3 lbs of Snow crab clusters can be purchased for $113.9 from any retail store. There are almost 3 clusters in 1lb of snow crab legs. The price of Snow crab will vary according to their weight and size.
  • The per-pound rate of queen crabs is $29. The brands and the quantity of meat will fluctuate the cost of queen crabs.
  • The King crab is the most demanded seafood. The average amount of King crabs is $250 to $400. The King crabs are expensive to others because they’re large and give you more meat.
  • Suppose you want to purchase Dungeness crab meat but are blind about the rates. Let me tell you. The standard rate of 1 pound of Dungeness crab varies from $50 to $70. Likewise, you may see the oscillation in rates according to the ups and downs of markets. 
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Availability

The availability of crabs is a critical factor that consumers need to know. So, without further ado, let’s explore the availability of various varieties of crabs.

  • The Snow crabs don’t depend upon any season. You can find a Snow crab from any retail store the whole year. You may face a shortage of snow crabs due to some strike or critical conditions in the country.
  • The queen crabs are easy to buy food. You can also enjoy the fantastic taste of queen crabs for 12 months of the year.
  • The King crabs have different varieties that can be found rarely or easily. The Blue and Red King crabs are located in the cold weather of November to January. Meanwhile, the Golden King Crabs are not restricted to any season. You can avail Golden king crab anytime from February to June. Therefore, King Crabs are also available the whole year.
  • The Dungeness crab devotees want their favorite Dungeness crabs the whole year, but unfortunately, these crabs are restricted to the season. The Dungeness crabs are available from November to midyear (June). You can enjoy your beloved snack only in cold weather. But you can avail it frozen from the stores. 

What Are The Most Expensive Crabs in Markets?

The King Crab is the most expensive of all the edible crabs like snow crab, queen crab, King crab, and Dungeness crab. Snow crabs are less costly than King crabs because of their difference in size and availability. King crabs have the vastly unique taste that people are starving for. Therefore, it has a considerable selling percentage with striking rates. 

Conclusion

Hopefully, this write-up has brought up all the differences between the snow crabs, Queen crabs, King crabs, and Dungeness crabs. Now, you don’t have to trouble yourself with the basic information about crabs. If you’re a seafood worm, you’ll get all the essential information from this article. Enjoy your crab meal!