Snow Crab vs. King Crab

After deciding you want to add crab to an upcoming menu, one choice still remains. Which kind? Snow Crab and King crab are two of the most popular options available. Both provide that classic sweet white meat with shades of crimson we are all familiar with. The meat primarily comes from the legs in both. You can even prepare them the same way.

So what are the differences between Snow crab and King crab? Why choose one over the other?


Snow crab harvesting season lasts the longest, but the specific time depends on location. In the United States snow crab season typically begins in the late fall and can extend into the early summer months. These crabs are found on both sides of the U.S. off of the coasts of Alaska and Maine.

King crab have a more limited harvesting season, usually lasting for a few weeks in the winter. Sometimes it can start as early as late October and with decent weather, it can last into January. Much shorter than the snow crab harvesting season to be sure. These crustaceans also have a limited locale in which they are found. This is mostly in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia.


Snow crab is the smaller of the two, weighing on average somewhere between two and four pounds. On the other hand, their legs tend to be longer.

King crab can get really big. Some can even exceed 20 pounds. On average, King crab sold on the market are weigh somewhere around 6 pounds. They have shorter, but also thicker legs than the Snow crab.

Meat Consistency

Snow crab meat often comes off in long pieces that shred like corned beef. King crab meat tends to come out in large, firm hunks.


Most of the time you can crack snow crab using only your hands. King crab on the other hand have thicker shells with larger spikes. These require some assistance with a cracking tool, like this one.


Of course, all of these factors lead to one of the biggest— the price. With a longer harvesting season and because they are found in more locations, snow crab are usually the cheaper of the two. King crabs on the other hand are more of a delicacy because of their limited availability.

Whether you choose Snow crab or King crab for your next seafood feast, just know that in terms of flavor and enjoyment, you can't go wrong.

At Maine Lobster Now we have a wide selection of Snow Crab and King Crab for you to choose from. Be sure to take a look at these crab side dish ideas as well to fully round out your menu.