Crab legs are a popular ingredient in many types of seafood dishes. Alaskan King crab is the most common, but snow and blue crabs can also be used for different recipes.
The first type of crab leg you’ll encounter on your visit to an American restaurant will likely come from the Alaskan King Crab. This species has been hunted relentlessly by humans since its discovery back in 1780 when it was found off Alaska’s coast near what would become known as Onalaska Island or Unalga (it later became identified that this region had no other native large marine life).
Just how much will crab legs cost?
Crab leg prices can vary greatly depending on where you live and which type of crab legs are being bought. If the crabs have been caught fresh near your area, then their cost will be lower than if they were shipped in from another region. The best way to budget for these costs is anywhere between $10-$30 per pound. However, online stores that sell food items usually charge a higher price due to shipping expenses so it’s important when purchasing this kind of seafood product through an internet store to be prepared to spend slightly more.
For example, at Great-Alaska-Seafood.com you can buy four-pound wild Alaska giant king crab legs and claws for $179; their colossal king crab leg and claw packages retail for about $429 per 10 pounds. Sam’s Club sells a 10-pound box of fresh snow crabs or crayfish (depending on availability) with 32 ounces each that cost around $110, so the average price is roughly $11 per pound which makes it comparable to what one would find in other seafood stores such as Costco or Winn Dixie.
Walmart is currently offering a 16-ounce bag of premium Dungeness crab for close to $17 while one can purchase 1.5 pounds worth of cooked snow crab legs at about 20 dollars each. However, Kroger charges almost double that price with $24 per pound and $32 per pound prices respectively on wild-caught king crabs leg clusters of 16/20 and 9/12. The more expensive 5 lb box sold by Amazon is priced at close to $125.
According to FatWallet.com, if you can find crab legs for less than $15 per pound, then it is a fantastic deal; however, they also claim that you should be prepared to pay as much as $30 per pound depending on the distributor and quality of your purchase. If ordering in a restaurant setting, expect prices ranging from around $20 to $50 for dinner portions.
Details on crab legs
There are many ways to buy crab legs. For example, if you purchase them fresh from the docks at a fish market, then all you have to do is pick out which ones you want and throw them into a plastic bag to take home. Alternatively, if they’re available at your local grocery store, they will either be snow or king-sized leg crabs. They will be prepackaged inside of some kind of packaging; typically this comes down to whether it’s prepped on an individual styrofoam tray with occasional bubble wrap protection or bulk items packaged as frozen pieces wrapped up tightly in thick layers of several sheets each inside cardboard boxes.
Crab legs are graded by size that will indicate how many legs you would get if you were to purchase 10lbs. If a number is listed, such as 9/12 then this means nine or twelve crab-legs per ten pounds of weight. Aside from these numbers though, extra small, medium, large and jumbo can also be seen on the package, which will give you a general idea of the size of the crab legs you are getting. As you might imagine, the bigger the legs, the fewer there will be in a 10-pound bag.
They may be cooked either hot or cold, and they can easily go from the freezer to your mouth in less than five minutes. They will have been thoroughly cooked at sea before being flash-frozen on board a fishing vessel – this process helps protect their flavor.
Any extra costs to expect?
Crab legs may be among the most difficult meals to open. Thankfully, a crab shell cracker will make this task easier for those who have trouble cracking through tough shells with their hands alone. A set of these tools typically costs no more than $10 to $20 and are available at any restaurant supply store or hardware store that has an extensive food selection department.
Sides that go well with crabs include vegetables, salads, green beans, or even Brussels sprouts (depending on your preference).
Other important details
Crab legs are best when eaten fresh. They can survive for up to two days if properly refrigerated, but their true flavor will be lost after being frozen and cooked even just once. Luckily there’s a trick that you can use so your crab leg won’t end up tasting like the insides of an ice cube tray! As soon as you get them home from the store (or buy them live) place them in the refrigerator immediately before cooking or freezing – this way they’ll stay moist and flavorful until it’s time to enjoy them with friends over dinner.
The two most common crab leg varieties are the king and snow, but what’s the difference between them? For starters, a king crab can grow much larger than a snow crab; up to 25 pounds compared to five. Secondly, while both crabs have different flavors – with some people preferring one flavor over another – it is believed that King Crabs taste “richer” when contrasted against Snow Crab legs which tend to be leaner in texture. Lastly on appearance: as for the look of their shells-the shell of the Snow Crab will be softer and there won’t be many sharp protrusions around its side making it easier to crack through.
Is there any way to save some money?
Why shell out a fortune for crab legs when you can find them at wholesale clubs like Costco? Here, the best quality ones go for around $10 to $15 per pound.