What are the Different Types of Crabs?

There are over 4,500 different species of crabs peppered throughout the earth's oceans, freshwater bays, and streams, but only a few different types of crabs come to our restaurant. Seafood lovers know that this delicate, flaky meat can be served in endless variations, including crab cakes, chowders, and deep-fried delights, and best of all, they're a great source of protein and other vitamins and minerals. So, what crabs can you eat? How much does a crab weigh? And what's the best crab to order at Billy's Stone Crab Hollywood? Our experts are here to answer all your crustaceous questions.

What Crabs Can You Eat?

Although there are thousands of different crab types, only certain ones are suitable for eating. We've gathered the most common types of crabs you'll find at restaurants and in the supermarket.

Blue Crab

Blue crabs get their name from their beautiful blue-green appearance. They magically turn bright red when cooked and are among the East Coast's most popular and abundant crustaceans. They are sold by size, ranging from 4 1/2 to 10+ inches in length, with a sweet, salty flavor that's perfectly balanced.

Dungeness Crab

Named after a city located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, these crabs can be found along the western coast of North America. They're brownish-purple on the outside, with delicate pink meat inside. They range in size from two to four pounds but must be at least 6.25 inches long to be harvested in the fall and winter months. Dungeness crabs are a West Coast delicacy harvested from November to June.

King Crab

Also known as Alaskan King crabs, these crustaceans are enormous (as their name suggests). They can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh 25 pounds, offering delicate flavors and beautiful white meat. Although massive, only about 1/4 of their meat is edible, mostly found in their legs and claws.

Peekytoe Crab

A newbie in the seafood scene, Peekytoe crabs used to be thrown out when they were caught alongside lobsters and other seafood delights. It wasn't until the 1990s when they entered chef's kitchens, and they continue to be a favorite among foodies across the US.

Soft Shell Crab

Soft-shell crabs are blue crabs that have molted and shed their shells. A few days before a new shell develops, they're caught and served as a true seafood delicacy. They are typically deep-fried, and every part of the crab can be consumed.

Snow Crab (aka Spider Crab or Rock Crab)

Found on the East Coast, snow crabs hide out in the deep, rocky waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Their long legs and small, round bodies make them resemble spiders, ranging in size from two to four pounds. Their meat has a salty taste that's perfectly paired with melted butter.

Stone Crab

Stone crab claws are very large, and they can regenerate over time. Because of this, fishermen catch the crabs, and then they can either take both claws as long as they are both legal size or take one claw. Their claws are filled with firm, sweet meat that is boiled and served cold with a mallet for cracking. The meat is especially delicious when dunked in warm, melted butter.

The Best Crabs to Eat

As a rule of thumb, the best crabs to eat are the ones that are fresh and prepared by an experienced chef. The third factor is your personal preference. Because of this, foodies and seafood aficionados debate endlessly about the best crab types to eat. One fact that most people can agree upon is that crab meat is a delicacy that's best left to the pros. 

Seasoned chefs know how to properly prepare, cook, and serve all types of crabs so they retain that sweet, delicate flavor that's so unique.

Try Our Famous Crabs at Billy's Stone Crab Today 

Are you drooling? Are you just thinking about all the different types of crab legs you can order? Make a reservation today to visit Billy's Stone Crab Hollywood. We offer a wide variety of seafood and other dishes to curb your crab cravings. Our servers and chefs would happily make your lunch or dinner experience delicious and memorable.