Tasty Crustaceans: All About the Best Types of Crab to Eat

Photo by Shilad Sen

They’re not the easiest to eat, but they sure taste great. Here’s your guide to the different types of crab, plus tips on how to eat them.

If you’re a fan of seafood, crab is some of the most delicious around. Even the effort it takes to get to the meat inside their hard shells seems to heighten their tastiness. Read on to learn the different types of crab that you can find throughout the year to enjoy, and some tips on how to properly eat them!

1. Snow Crab

Snow crab can be found in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific Oceans from January to April. It’s known for its sweetmeat, and the four walking legs and claw arm are easy to break without the need for tools.

2. King Crab

The bright white king crab meat is much harder to get out of its tough, spiny shell and leg clusters, necessitating a nutcracker. This crab can be found from October to January in Norton Sound, Alaska, and the Bering Sea. It’s also the largest crab species, where it probably gets its name. 

3. Dungeons Crab

These can be found throughout late fall and into late spring in Alaska and down the West Coast. However, it’s marketed year-round. It’s known for its sweet and flaky meat. 

4. Blue Crab

This crab can be found along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico from April to December. Unlike the other crabs, these need some effort to eat. It’s necessary to dissect the whole crab before snapping the body in half to get to the meat. 

5. Stone Crab

This is found in South Florida from mid-October to mid-May. Instead of fishing the entire crab, fisherman snaps off a single claw in the proper way and throw the crab back into the water. It may seem barbaric, but the crab is able to regenerate a new one and continue on with its peaceful life.

Best Types of Crab to Eat

6. Spider Crab

Spider crab is usually boiled or baked. Species exist in the oceans around Europe, Japan, and Florida, though the species in the sunshine state are ignored because their meat is particularly tough. 

7. Horsehair Crab

This crab is commonly found in Japanese cuisine because of its mild, delicate taste. It can be found year-round off the coast of Hokkaido. For preparation, it’s often boiled in saltwater or served inside its own shell. 

How to Pick Crab Legs

Eating crabs can be frustrating if you don’t know the proper way to do it, especially if you’re hungry. If you’re eating at home, spread out some newspaper on your table so you don’t have to worry about messes. Have separate bowls for the shells you’ve cracked and the meat you’ve picked. To get to the leg meat, it’s usually best to break the joints backward, though this is only worth the effort if you have a large crab, such as king crab legs. Afterward, use a nutcracker for the claws and knuckles.

Now that you know the different types of crab and where you can find them, go out there and expand your seafood palate! Continue reading our blog for more delicious food guides.