Types of CrabsVisit this page for information about several of the most popular types of edible crabs.
Atlantic Blue Crabs
Blue crabs are available live or pre-cooked. They can be steamed whole or chilled, then the backs removed and rinsed out before steaming. In either case, the crabs are sprinkled with crab seasoning and steamed until they are bright orange. See our tutorial on how to steam blue crabs. Blue crabs are also available as soft shelled crabs.
King Crab Legs
King crabs are the largest of all the crabs caught in the world, weighing up to 10 pounds.
Snow Crab Legs
Snow crab is a market term for both "tanner" and "opilio" crabs. Opilio crab are the smallest variety, with an average weight of 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. Opilio crabs are found at depths of 30 to 1500 feet in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Opilio crab is an excellent source of high-quality protein, and is low in fat and calories. Frozen snow crabs are available worldwide, cleaned and pre-cooked, ready to heat and serve.
Tanner crabs weigh 2 - 4 pounds and are found at depths of 30 to 1500 feet in the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean.
Dungeness crabs are known for their high quality meat. The 2-3 lb crabs are steamed and served whole.The Dungeness Crab is named for the town of Dungeness, Washington, now called Old Town Dungeness, where the first commercial harvesting of the crab was done. Its scientific name, Cancer magister, means "chief crab."
The Dungeness Crab is the only important crab harvested in the state of Washington's territorial waters and was the first crab that was caught commercially along the Pacific Northwest Coast of the USA and Canada.
Stone crab claws are a popular seafood item in the southern USA. A larger portion the USA's stone crab claws are commercially harvested off the southern tip of Florida's peninsula from Sarasota to Fort Lauderdale.
Stone crabs are caught in traps and only the claws that meet a regulated size are taken. The live stone crabs are then returned to the water where they regenerate new claws in about 18 months.
Red crabs are delicious and prized by seafood lovers. A exists along the mid and north Atlantic USA coast where the crabs are processed at sea or rushed to port and made available locally.