Crab meat is a favorite in the US and the world over. It is delicious and versatile.
Whether you like eating it with corn, potatoes, cornbread, coleslaw, or roasted veggies, you will deeply enjoy biting into it.
The seafood is also quite nutritious and offers calcium, protein, and vitamin A.
If you are making crab legs (or ordering them) for your family, you need to know what’s enough for every member of your household.
Understanding how much meat is in your dish is a pretty good way to go about it.
Without further ado, let’s talk about the amount of meat in one pound of crab legs…
If you know a thing or two about crabs, you are probably aware that they come in different types. Not only are they different in shape but in size as well.
Let’s go over each type and the amount of meat in each one.
As the name goes, this is the king of the crab world.
It is typically the largest species and can weigh up to 20 pounds and is five feet in length.
The heaviest ones are often available during winter months (October to January).
King crab varieties include the Japanese king crab, Alaskan king crab, and Russian king crab.
King crab legs are made of 65-75% meat depending on the crab.
That means that one pound of meat will give you 0.6 – 0.75 pounds of meat.
Crabs harvested between October and January typically weigh more and hence give more crab meat per pound leg.
Additionally, the specific variety of the crab matters. Some have more meat than others.
Snow crab is famous for its meat which is red when raw and snowy white when cooked.
The sea animal actually got its name from its meat which changes color when cooked.
Snow crabs are smaller than king crabs and weigh about 2-4 pounds and have 0.5 feet in width shell.
While this specific type of crab is smaller than the king crab, it has the longest legs of the two.
On average, snow crabs boast a shell-to-meat ratio of 1:1.
The entire body of the crab has about 50% of shell and 50% of meat.
The legs, on the other hand, are 30-35% crab meat.
That means that each pound of crab leg gives 0.3-0.35 pounds of meat.
One leg weighs about 8 ounces and is ideal for two people.
One pound translates to about 8 legs and 2 claws.
Also called the Cancer magister, the Dungeness crab is broad and has an oval body covered by a hard shell and eight walking legs.
Speaking of legs, this specific crab has the shortest legs compared to snow and king crabs.
Additionally, it has a smooth and spineless dorsal surface in its carapace.
The Dungeness measures about 0.5 feet across the chest and weighs 2 pounds (give or take).
One pound of this crab gives you about 0.2-0.25 pounds of meat.
Its meat-to-shell ratio is 13-30%. The ratio typically depends on the time of year, how recently the seafood has molted, and where it was caught.
Ideally, three pounds of the crab legs will give you about one pound of meat which is enough for two people (as long as it is paired with other dishes).
Blue crabs or Chesapeake blue crabs are different from other crab species in that they are bright blue in color.
Since they are the only ones with this distinct color, they are easy to spot in the ocean.
The crabs also have a fifth pair of legs shaped like paddles. As such, they are excellent swimmers.
Blue crabs are pretty small. They measure 0.6-0.65 feet and weigh about 0.25 pounds making them some of the smallest crabs in the world.
The meat-to-shell ratio for blue crabs is 10-15%.
That makes sense since they are pretty much the smallest.
The size affects the amount of meat in the legs. One pound of blue crab legs will give you 0.1-0.15 pounds of crab meat.
An experienced crab picker will get about 2 and ¼ ounces of crab meat from a pound of blue crab legs according to a study by Donald E. Sweat.
This is certainly less compared to other types of crabs on this list.