What are the different types of crabs in Alaska?


Crab meat is a seafood staple that shows how deceptive outward appearance can be — sometimes the best things lie beneath the surface. In this case, buttery-sweet meat is the reward for anyone who takes a crack at this crustacean cuisine. But all crab meat is not the same. Multiple bodies of water are teeming with unique crab species that differ in size, weight and taste. Among these places, Alaska and the Bering Sea stand out. Alaska provides 29 percent of the world supply of crab.

An Overview of The Types of Alaskan Crabs

The main types of Alaskan Crab are the following: Alaskan King crab, Red King crab, Blue King crab, Golden King Crab, Russian King crab, Jonah crab, Dungeness crab, Snow crab, Tanner crab, Opilio, and Biardi. Alaskan waters house an array of these delicious crab breeds that are ready to be split open for your next meal. However, several factors influence the quality and kind of crab that suit your taste buds. The location of the crab’s damp scurrying grounds — and later on, the location on the crab that you crack open to nibble — create a radically different dining experience. Whether your crab is bought on a trip to the coast or ordered by mail, you can indulge your craving. With such an array of crab available, your preferences will undoubtedly be satisfied. Check out the winning qualities, purchasing tips and cooking recommendations for each type of crab below.

Alaskan King Crab

Known for their sweet taste and the delicate appearance of their leg meat, Alaskan King crabs are the primary choices for leg and claw meat — and they come in primary colors. King crab is overwhelmingly chosen as a favorite and highly ranked against other breeds. Red, Blue and Golden King crabs make their rounds in the Pacific Ocean, but each breed clusters in a separate area due to biological adaptations. They also differ in price and popularity, and Red King crab is consumed more than Blue or Golden. However, Blue, in the soft-shell style, is a favorite in many circles. The common characteristics of Alaskan King crabs are spiky, knobby shells and equal leg-to-body proportions.

Red King Crab

Touting the iconic scarlet shade of crab, Red King crab dominates the field. They set up camp in shallower depths, just like Blue King crab, but they’ve adapted to warm-water settings and ventured into places where Blue King can’t go. They flourish even in size compared to the Blue and Golden variations, and when cooked, their color ripens to accentuate their deep red shell. Red is the most widely eaten King crab. These appetizing stone crabs are plucked from Bristol Bay and Norton Sound. Because of their enormous popularity, Red King crab prices are higher than its crab competitors. The most recent data marks the average price of Red King at $10.71/lb. For the savory taste of the Red King, the demand is still constant despite a slightly higher price. Indulge in this massive crab to see what everyone is raving about. Long Red King crab legs will immediately turn your meal into a feast. To ensure freshness for your dinner table, we cook Red Kings directly after the fishermen have captured them. Maine Lobster Now also provides pre-cooked crab that’s easily defrosted. You can heat your pre-cooked crab at home using many methods, but baking and steaming carefully warm the tender meat. Boiling is also an option, but the fragile flesh dazzles with the first two methods. Grab your sheller, and slather on the butter.