Wherever there’s seafood, there’s crab. It brings taste, flavor, and meat quality. Crab is often measured by its accessibility and endless combinations in creating dishes – from butter-dipped starters to gourmet creations.
Is King Crab better than Snow Crab? Yes – King Crab is better than snow crab because of its size, weight, and texture. It is also scarce, legally protected from extinction – and expensive. Snow carp is the cheaper solution with its queen’s legs and savory taste. It is delicious and readily available.
Looking closely at crab royalty, one can find many reasons to find – and pay for – king crab legs. But there is also an attractive alternative when one cannot find or afford superior crab meat.
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6 Reasons Why King Crab Is Superior To Snow Crab
King crab is seen as superior to snow crab. It is a delicacy that challenges those who seek it by being hard to get and expensive. But the real reasons for king crab supremacy over snow crab are related to specific reasons that differentiate between the two.
Size And Weight
King crabs are larger and heavier than snow crabs. A king crab’s shell length can reach 11 inches, and its leg span averages about 5 feet. They weigh 6 lbs. on average, but larger crabs like the Alaskan colossal king crab could weigh 25 lbs., or more.
In comparison, snow crabs are smaller and lighter. They weigh between 2 and 4 pounds and have a shell length of up to 6 inches. Female snow crabs are much smaller – 3 inches at the most. Their legs are longer than king crab legs, and their shell is thin and brittle.
King crabs are preferred to snow crabs because their larger mass means they offer more meat.
Unlike taste, which is detectable by taste buds on one’s tongue and transferred to the brain, the flavor is a conglomeration of taste, smell, the texture of the food, and the memories we keep of having tasted, smelled, and felt the texture of this food before.
Snow crabs have a mild, sweet, and slightly salty taste that lands to the crab’s gentle flavor, while king crabs tend to have a bolder sweet flavor that some like to compare with the taste of a lobster.
King crabs offer a rich flavor that is abundant due to the size of the crab. The sweet taste and appealing flavor make the king crab the first choice in luxury seafood.
Eating a chunk of each of the two crab-types’ meat serves to realize why king crab is considered superior. Snow crab meat is chewy, tough, and fibrous, while king crabs have a rich, sweet taste and chunky, flakey, juicy meat. You will find that the similarity to lobster meat is but one of king crab’s claims of superiority.
Snow crab is delicious, and its popularity shows that many opt for the inferior of the two. Often people replace king crab with snow crab, but this is done overwhelmingly for one reason – price.
Snow crab chooses marine water as their habitat. It prefers cold water and is plentiful around the northern Pacific and Northern Atlantic Oceans. Its preferred areas have sand or at least 20% mud at the bottom. Younger, smaller crabs live in built shelters, where they grow hidden from predators. Older and larger snow crabs live at depths of 165 ft and 985 ft.
King carb are found in the northern Pacific Ocean around Alaska, British Columbia, and Bering Sea. Young ones live in habitats built in shallow water and made of cobble, algae, and bryozoans. Grown crabs live and move in pods of thousands of crabs, probably set to reduce the risk of being taken by predators. Adult crabs live at a maximum depth of 650 feet to feed and hatch eggs.
The remoteness of king crab habitats contributes to the crab’s scarcity and pushes its price up, as king crabs need to be transported across vast distances before they reach main north American markets.
Scarcity, Availability, And Price
The price difference between king crab and snow crab speaks for itself. The cost per pound of snow crab could be a third to a half cheaper than that of king crab.
The main reason for the difference in cost is that king crab is scarce. The supply of these crustaceans is strictly controlled through measures designed to protect the fisheries.
It takes 7 to 9 years for a crab to attain the size where it can be sold legally. In addition, the king crab harvesting season is short, from late October until early January, compared to the snow crab harvesting season between April and early November.
Combining king crabs’ abundant quantity of meat, due to its mass, its lobster-like taste, and the legal restrictions on harvesting and supplying it, makes king crab a highly sought-after delicacy, even at high prices. Snow crab, grown widely and without strict legal regulations through a much more extended harvesting period, is much more available and, therefore, significantly cheaper.
In sheer numbers, snow crab is way more popular. They sell much more than king crab. The low price is attributed to the high cost of the larger crustacean and its scarcity. Conversely, the expensive, rare, often unavailable king crab is a highly sought-after delicacy, available only to those who can afford it.
King crab is loaded with zinc, copper, and selenium. These micronutrients are excellent boosters for energy, one’s immune system, and bones. They support collagen production and iron absorption. Vitamin B12 supports and rejuvenates blood cells, improving oxygen transport in the body. King crab contains phosphorous, a crucial agent to help the body maintain body cells.
Snow crabs have an extremely low caloric content – 160 Kcal per 3.5 ounces serving. It contains micronutrients like magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, calcium, and potassium. In addition, it carries iron and a host of vitamins, such as vitamin C and some of the B vitamin groups, including B3, B5, and B6.
King crab offers a host of health benefits in addition to its lobster-like taste and rich sweet flavor. Snow crab does quite the same – at a lower cost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why King Crab Is Superior To Snow Crab?
King crab is superior to snow crab in size and weight. It has a unique lobster-like taste with an additional rich sweet flavor. It is also considered superior because it is rare, not readily available, and protected from overfishing. Finally, king crabs require 7 to 8 years to reach the size that enables them to be sold legally.
Are King Or Snow Crab Legs Better?
King crab is considered a delicacy because it has a richly sweet lobster-like taste. The meat is tender, juicy, and succulent. The snow crab’s legs have a sweet and a bit briny (salty) taste. They are longer than king crab legs and, when cooked, turn from red to white – which gives the snow crab its name. Snow crab legs are often called “Queen Legs” to mirror the king crab leg name.
Is Snow Crab Or King Crab More Expensive?
King crab is much more expensive than snow crab – sometimes, one must pay as much as double the price of a snow crab for a king crab. The price is based on the distance between the North American market and the natural habitat of king crab, off Alaska and British Columbia. Other factors are legal limitations imposed on king crab harvesting and a short yearly harvest period.
What Is The Difference Between Snow Crab And King Crab?
Snow crab is lighter and smaller, and its shell is brittle, unlike a king crab’s shell, which means you do not need a tool to crack it – your fingers are enough. Snow crab meat is fibrous, chewy, and quite tough, while king crab has richly sweet chunky and flakey meat.
What Is The Highest Quality Crab?
King crab is the highest quality crab when compared with snow crab. This distinction is borne by its superior size and weight, the quality of its meat and the fact that it is not commonly found or easily obtainable, and its premium cost.
King crab is royalty – its sheer size and weight and its superior meat quality make it the undeniable leader. Its high price and limited availability mean that many of us will settle for the second – and delicious in itself – choice of snow crab, which is readily available and much cheaper.