With their succulent meat and unique flavors, crabs are a favorite among seafood-lovers worldwide. Among the myriad of crab species available, two of the most popular are the snow crab and the king crab. While they may appear similar at first glance, these crustaceans couldn’t be more different. What they look like, how they taste, and how available they are are all important points that determine which crab is right for you.


Species and Habitat 

Snow Crab

Scientifically known as Chionoecetes opilio, the snow crab inhabits the cold waters of the North Pacific and North Atlantic oceans. They are primarily found in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Snow crabs prefer softer ocean bottoms in shallower waters, and are typically found at depths of 650 feet or less.

King Crab

Belonging to the genus Paralithodes, the king crab includes several species, such as the red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) and the blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus). King crabs are native to the Bering Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, with notable populations found off the coast of Alaska. Unlike snow crabs, king crabs prefer deeper waters, living at depths of up to 2,000 feet.

Physical Characteristics

King Crab

King crab are renowned for their massive size, with the largest of them having a leg span of around 5 feet. Their bodies are much wider and heavier, with spiky protrusions on their shell and legs. The legs of king crabs are thick and meaty, the biggest you can get!

Crab Fisherman holding Red King Crab


Snow Crab

Snow crabs have a smaller and narrower body compared to king crabs. Their shell is typically reddish-brown to light brown in color with white spots, resembling snowflakes, hence the name. The legs of snow crabs are longer and thinner, featuring fine hairs.

Crab Fisherman holding Snow Crab


Flavor and Texture 

King Crab

King crab meat is famously rich, with a hint of buttery flavor. Known for its firm texture, king crab meat is prized for its sizable chunks and is commonly served as a standalone dish alongside melted butter for dipping (which is even better with our signature seafood seasoning!). The impressive appearance and taste of king crab make it a standout choice for special occasions and gourmet meals. 


Large Seafood meal spread with bowl of King Crab in the center


Snow Crab

The meat of snow crab is sweet, delicate, and slightly briny. Snow crab meat is often described as tender and flaky, making it ideal for use in salads, soups, and stir-fries; the more subtle flavor complements a range of ingredients. Still, the most popular way of eating snow crab is on its own, and it’s perfect for seafood boil recipes like this Lowcountry boil.

Cooked Snow Crab recipe being dipped into sauce



King Crab

King crab is considered a luxury seafood item and is often priced higher than other options. Harvesting king crab is more challenging and labor-intensive, contributing to its premium cost in the market. It is definitely worth the price, though, as the rich flavor and massive legs are beyond comparison, but don’t take our word for it! Read our customer reviews. 


Snow Crab

Snow crab is generally more abundant and commercially available compared to king crab. Due to its relative abundance, snow crab tends to be more affordable and accessible to consumers.


While both snow crab and king crab offer a delectable dining experience, they each possess unique characteristics that cater to different preferences and budgets. Whether you prefer the delicate sweetness of snow crab or indulge in the luxurious richness of king crab, elevate your next dinner with our collections of king crab and snow crab. And one thing’s for sure – you can’t go wrong with either!


What is the difference between King Crab and Snow Crab?
How does the flavor profile differ between king crab and snow crab?
How should I cook king crab and snow crab?
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