Crabs are one of the most liked seafood by people around the world. They are juicy, meaty and delicious! Because of crabs having a very short tail, they belong in the infraorder Brachyura. Crabs are also known as decapod crustaceans. Decapod crustaceans are animals that have an exoskeleton and ten legs. Crabs have lots of types. Some examples are blue crab, Dungenese crab, snow crab, king crab, horseshoe crab, peekytoe crab, stone crab and many more. And of course, they are all delicious! However, today we would like to focus on the difference between two particular crabs; King crab and Snow crab. Of course we would already know that both of these species are delicious, especially their leg meat, but there are some differences between these two decapod crustaceans that most people don’t know about.
The Differences Between King Crab and Snow Crab
- Season and Habitat
The harvesting season and habitat of the Alaskan king crab is very limited. They only live in between Russia and Alaska, or to be more accurate: the Bering sea. They are only available to be harvested in winter and last only for a few weeks. Snow crabs, on the other hand, live in oceans such as the North Pacific and North Atlantic. They also don’t have any limited seasons for harvesting.
- Size and Legs
The most noticeable difference between king crab and snow crab is their size. King crab is bigger than snow crab. King crab can reach until 20 pounds and five feet in length! Their legs could also reach 6 pounds and can be store bought. Another difference is that snow crab’s legs are longer than king crab. The legs of snow crabs are also thinner, easier to crack and not spiky like king crab. Because of this, snow crab can only reach up to 4 pounds only in weight.
- Taste and Texture
When cooked, the snow crab’s meat turns into a snowy white colour from it’s original red colour. Hence this is why it got the name snow crab. The meat of the snow crab tastes a little bit salty and sweet. Compared to king crab, the texture for snow crab’s meat is more thick and is more easily shredible. The shells at snow crab’s legs can be broken into pieces by simply using your bare hands.
King crab on the other hand is different. It’s taste is almost the same as lobster meat. The meat, especially from the leg part, is well known for its tender texture, juicy and sweet flavor. But because the crab has a thick shell and filled with spikes, you will definitely need a tool in order to crack it.
- Availability and Price
According to the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA Fisheries), snow crabs are a seafood choice that are harvested carefully and managed continually . They tend to be cheaper than king crabs. This is because king crabs’ harvesting period is very short. In addition, it tastes almost the same as lobster hence adding with the hard to be harvested factor, king crab is very very expensive.