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If you are unfamiliar with crab meat, more specifically, crab legs then it may be a bit difficult to plan how much is considered a good serving for each person. Obviously, it will change depending on the person as one person may be capable of happily eating 2 pounds of crab meat whereas another person may have a slightly smaller appetite and only manage to eat half a pound. This can make preparing crab meat for others, or ordering at a restaurant quite difficult if you are in a large group.

Cooked crabs

How much crab legs per person is a suitable amount?

It is impossible to understand everyone’s appetite perfectly, sometimes it is even quite difficult to predict your own. The general rule of thumb is that each person will most likely eat anything from a half-pound to two pounds. So how many pounds would you need to feed a large group? If there are five of you then the minimum would be 2.5 pounds and the maximum would be 10 pounds. If you find the general average in the middle, which in this case is about 7 pounds, you should be good.

It heavily depends on the type of person you are, or your friends are. If you all tend to go to the gym and make sure you eat a lot all of the time to maintain muscle mass, then chances are you will want quite a large portion of crab meat per person. On the other hand, if you and your friends are all relatively tame when it comes to eating, you may not want to order lots as you may not be able to finish it all

The nutritional value of crab should also be taken into account when you are deciding serving sizes. If you are on a particular diet then you should make sure that crab does not interfere with that. Crab can be quite salty which is bad for people who may be lowering their salt and sodium intake. Alongside this, crab is also not vegan or vegetarian friendly. However, anyone on a ketogenic diet is more than okay to have crab as it is high in protein and nutrients while having quite low carbs.

As crab is seafood, it must be cold and fresh at all times before eating, so unless you plan on having crab for multiple meals in the day, don’t go crazy on it and use too much as leftover crab spoils quite quickly. If you are serving yourself then you understand your appetite and know where it sits in terms of having 0.5-2 pounds of crab, but it is best to ask your guests if you are cooking for them beforehand to make sure you don’t cook them too much or too little.

Obviously cooking too much crab is an issue, but cooking too little can leave you or your guests hungry. So if you opt for a lower amount of crab then make sure to provide enough side dishes so that no one is hungry. After you get portion sizes right you will love serving crab to your guests as it is such a nice dish that everyone will praise you.

Why are crab legs so popular? What are they?

Crab legs, and crab meat in general, is quite a luxurious meal and is famed for being on the menu in very expensive and fancy restaurants. Yet it certainly deserves to be there as the meat itself when prepared properly is so delicate and sweet while not being too overwhelming like other fish or seafood dishes. Serving crab to guests is a surefire way to make them enjoy dining at your place.

Why is crab meat so good?

What makes crab meat so good is its flavor and texture. The Sweet undertones of such delicate meat are irresistible and if served with garlic butter and a squeeze of lemon, the crab can easily compete with any other meat for how flavorsome it is. Crabs are often boiled, steamed, or broiled and then served. They can be served in their shell for a touch of presentation or the meat can be scooped out and placed on its own, or even put inside tortellini as many famous restaurants do.

Crab is commonly referred to as the cheaper version of lobster, which is actually a very accurate title. It is much cheaper than lobster but the taste is not worse at all, they both taste amazing. Similar to a lobster, crab legs can be removed from the rest of the body and served separately. The reason crab legs are so good is that they hold a lot more moisture and tend to be softer with a nicer texture. There are little spoons on the market that are specifically for scooping out the meat from crab legs and lobster claws.

There are a lot of different types of crab, all with their own tastes, textures, and special qualities. The other types of crab, and crab legs, are;

  • King crab legs
  • Snow crab legs
  • Fresh crab legs

King crab meat is known for its rich flavor, which is deeper and more intense than fresh crab or snow crab. However, king crab does tend to cost more due to how difficult it is to get ahold of. King crab meat is also especially expensive as there is a particular season that it is much fresher and tastier in, which is when prices start to go up. King crab is known to taste more like lobster than standard fresh crab, which can be seen as a good thing. The meat from a king crab is also easier to extract due to its large size which will give you a better percentage of meat when buying fresh king crabs by the pound.

Snow crab is known to be a bit firmer than other types of crab yet it still has a very distinctive taste that is sweet and slightly briny and salty. Snow crab is also more affordable and naturally breaks off in long pieces so it is often shredded and used in recipes for tortellini and anything else that uses crab as an ingredient.

How much does crab or crab legs cost?

The price of crab heavily depends on what crab you are trying to buy, what part of the crab, and also if it is in season or not. Another factor that determines the cost of crab is how close you are to the sea or a body of water with crabs in it. The cost will go up more and more depending on how far the crab has to be transported to get to you or near you. Also, the quality of crab is less consistent the further you get away from the sea.

When buying online, 10 pounds of fresh cold water crab will cost about $100 and there will also be an indication of how many legs you get, alongside how big the legs typically are. Snow crab will run you just over $100 for the same amount of crab, and king crab will cost you a hefty $400 for about 10 pounds of it. This is expensive, and probably best saved for special occasions. Most stores with fresh fish and a seafood counter will have different prices so you can not be completely sure but that is a general benchmark of what you are to expect. Your local fish monger may also have a different price, but this price is most likely to be the cheaper or most accurate price.

Can you cook crab at home easily?

It is surprisingly easy to serve crab legs at home provided you have high-quality crab meat or crab legs. If you have frozen crab legs, completely thaw and defrost them before trying to cook them. If you want a delicious meal you can serve the crab legs with steamed artichokes or other dishes on the side that compliment the crab meat. If you buy pre-cooked crab legs or crab, then you want to serve them with something warm to counter how cold they most likely will be. It is not best to reheat cooked crab. If you crack open the body of a crab, you can pour melted butter and lemon juice on the meat inside to give it a delicious and rich flavor. This is by far one of the best ways to enjoy crab.

Crab claws can also be very nice to eat and can be dipped in your favorite sauces, as can crab legs. A mix of garlic butter or a chili sauce will serve well with crab legs or claws. To extract a claw you will want to use a nutcracker as without one it can be very difficult to get to the meat inside without breaking the meat apart.

If you want to use your fresh crab for something else, you can pull it all out with a small fork and put the lumps of crab meat with potatoes, and make crab cakes.

When will you start serving crab to all of your guests?

As you can see, whether you’re eating king crab, snow crab, or just normal cold water crabs they can be a delicious meal to impress all your friends. There are no set-in-stone answers to “how many pounds of crab per person” but anything between 1-2 pounds will be ideal even if the person has a bigger or smaller appetite.

FAQ – How much crab legs per person

How many crab legs for 4 adults?

Each person will typically eat between 0.5 pounds to 2 pounds. Ask your friends what their appetites are like and buy accordingly. If they have big appetites then 8 pounds will be a good amount.

Is a pound of crab legs enough for 2 people?

Assuming you have side dishes and other items of food on the plate, half a pound each is an okay amount. Most people would eat a bit more than that so a pound per person may be best.