While some people love crab formed into crisp crab cakes or swirled in smoked cheese dip, there’s a scrumptious pleasure cracking into butter-doused snow or king crab legs in Plano, TX. While both crab species are known for their flavorful crab legs, there are a few key differences between these sought-after crustaceans, for example, size, habitat, season, taste, and even price.
Size and Legs
Size is an obvious difference between the two crab types, with king crabs being the larger variety. The biggest king crabs can reach 20 pounds and measure five feet across, with crab legs weighing an average of six pounds! Snow crabs boast extraordinarily long crab legs with thinner shells and come in at an average of two to four pounds.
Habitat and Season
Snow crabs live in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans, preferring the deep, cold water with a harvesting season from late fall and lasts until early summer. However, the Alaskan king crab lives in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia, and fishermen harvest them for crab legs during only a few weeks in the winter.
Taste and Texture
Snow crab is named for its meat, which turns from red to snow white when cooked. It has a sweet, subtly salty flavor with a firm texture and tends to be more fibrous (easily shredded into pieces). Snow crab legs are thin enough for simply cracking open with your hands.
King crabs are known for their rich, sweet flavor and tender texture, more like lobster meat. But the thick shells with large spikes often necessitate a cracking tool.