When we listen to the word crab, especially seafood lovers their mouth waters like anything. Crabs are the most loved and favorite dish for most seafood eaters.
Crabs are seen in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors. Both Alaskan king crab and snow crab are from crab families with huge differences in terms of structure, size, dwelling season, and taste.
Both these crab types are found in Alaska. And both the king and snow crab types are the most common varieties.
- Alaskan king crabs are larger and have more meat than snow crabs.
- Snow crabs have a sweeter and more delicate flavor than Alaskan king crabs.
- Alaskan king crabs are more expensive than snow crabs due to their size and taste.
Alaskan King Crab vs Snow Crab
Alaskan King Crabs are a popular seafood that are larger, with a sweet, rich flavor and tender texture, they come with a high price tag. Snow Crabs are also a popular seafood choice that are smaller with a slightly briny taste, and are more affordable than King Crabs.
King crab is a big and thicker variety of crabs that come from Alaskan and Russian frigid waters. King crabs are big and stronger with hard shells on their body and legs.
Due to these shells, handling and cooking these crabs becomes a complex task. They need some specialized tools for breaking their shells, called crab cracker tools.
Snow crab is a thin crab with long legs and delicious, sweet meat. Each snow crab has four crab legs per section. Snow crabs are found in large quantities.
Snow crabs have a sweet and mild briny flavor. Since snow crab legs are long and thinner, without hard shells they can be cracked easily without using special crab cracker tools.
|Parameters of Comparison
|Alaskan King Crab
|Body Size and weight
|They are big and can reach up to 9 kg.
|They are smaller and reach up to 1.8 kg.
|The legs of the king crab are thicker and shorter.
|The legs of the snow crab are long and slim.
|King crab is found in Alaska and Bering sea.
|Snow crab is found in the waters of Alaska, Russia, Norway.
|October to early January.
|April to November
|Sweet and mild.
|A bit briny and sweet.
|A bit expensive.
What is an Alaskan King Carb?
Alaskan King Crab is a native species of the Bering sea which is located between Russia and Alaska. King crabs have small spine-like structures on their shell.
They have a hard shell body. King crabs have thicker and shorter legs. King crabs are derived from the hermit crab family. Large in size and delicious taste are the reasons which make them more expensive. King crab on average weighs up to 20kgs.
Before getting ready for the crab feast, one should be familiar with crab shell cracking tools. Due to their shell coverings over the body and legs, they are harder and require specialized crab cracker tools to break their shells.
King crabs have enormous meat delicious, sweet meat inside their legs. King crab harvest season starts from late October to early January and sometimes lasts into January.
King crab has large, thick meat pieces. Usually, king crab dishes require a bit more effort to crack their shell. The legs of the king crab are thicker with prickly structures.
They are quite hard to crack but you will get paid for your effort with sweet and delicious meat inside. A crab cracking tool helps you to reach its tasty meat. King crabs’ meat has a delicate texture and snowy white.
Alaskan king crab has great repetition for its flavor. Its meat is much similar to lobster meat.
What is Snow Crab?
Snow crabs are the most abundant and popular crab variety found in the offshores of Alaska, Russia, and Norway. Snow crab has a hard and rounded protective layer for its body i.e. shell.
A typical snow crab has four pairs of walking legs and a pair of claws. It has a brownish texture on its top. And underneath, it has lighter color. Snow crab has longer and thinner legs. The average snow crab weighs about 1.8Kg.
Snow crab is more affordable due to its longer harvest seasons. Usually, it is available from the month of April to November. They have thinner shells. Shells of snow crab are not too hard; they can be cracked easily with bare hands without any cracking tools.
A male snow crab is preferable for your dinner because a male snow crab is double the size of a female snow crab.
In fact, Snow crab acquired its name from its meat. Because snow crab meat turns into snowy white in color on cooking from reddish-brown meat color.
The meat has undeniably sweet and mild briny flavor. Its meat is more fibrous and rigid. Shredding snow crab meat into pieces doesn’t need much effort.
Due to its loner harvest season and easier to catch, snow crabs are much more abundant and hence, more affordable.
Main Differences Between Alaskan King Crab and Snow Crab
- Alaskan king crab and snow crab can be distinguished easily with size parameters. King crab can grow up to 5 feet across and can weigh up to 9kgs. While snow crab weighs up to 2kgs only.
- Alaskan king crab has a bigger and thicker body than snow crab. But Alaskan king crab legs are shorter and thicker while snow crab legs are thin and long.
- Alaskan king crab lives in Russian and Alaskan waters. While snow crab prefers cold and deep northern waters. They are found in Alaska, Russia, Greenland.
- There is a great difference between harvesting periods of these two crab types. Alaskan king crab has a shorter harvest time than snow crab. Alaskan king crab is available during late October and early January. While snow crab is available during the month of April to November.
- Due to their shorter harvest time, Alaskan king crabs are costlier than snow crab. Snow crabs are more abundant and affordable too.
Last Updated : 14 July, 2023
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.