The process of buying fresh King Crab online is relatively standard and falls in line with other seafood purchases – including finding King crab deals. For most online vendors, the overnight delivery from the company’s freezer in Alaska to your front doorstep is guaranteed. However, since all King Crab is shipped frozen, it begs one question: What does it mean for a King Crab to be “fresh”?

What makes wild King Crab fresh, in essence, is how quickly the crustacean makes it from the ocean to the table. That is ultimately determined by whether or not the King Crab is being bought during its peak season or during the off-season when you can buy it frozen.

When is Crab Season?

The primary season for buying fresh King Crab is from October to January. It is during that time that crabs will reach their largest size. That is also the period when crab populations reach their peak. However, King Crab can be fresh at other times in the year depending on the location of the vendor that you are buying the crabs from. For states like Florida and South Carolina, the crabbing season does not have any set months and lasts all year long. However, for states like Alaska and Maine that are primary producers of crab, their season typically ends in early spring when the temperatures start to rise.

How is Crab Preserved?

Techniques such as flash freezing and overnight deliveries are commonplace among online vendors. These are noteworthy terms that you are guaranteed to encounter when looking at different online companies as you make your next fresh King Crab purchase. Understanding flash freezing as a process is fairly straightforward — it is when seafood is frozen immediately after it is harvested. The fresh Alaskan King Crab is frozen solid in seconds through the use of ultra-low temperatures.

The ultimate goal of the process is to enable harvesters to catch and process their catches before they freeze them, all in a matter of hours rather than it taking days. What makes the timeframe so beneficial for both harvesters and vendors is that the flash freezing process ensures the product is sold to customers while it is at its peak. Flash frozen products are typically maintained at -10 degrees Fahrenheit and then many vendors — like Alaskan King Crab Co. — will ship their fresh King Crab packages using insulated containers and also pack them with dry ice.

Still, it is without question that fresh King Crab will only remain as such so long as the customer properly prepares for the delivery. The initial flash freezing process may help the seafood resist any freezer burn and keep its nutrition and flavor locked in for the trip to your house. However, it is crucial to make sure that your freezer has space to store the wild Alaskan King Crab until you are ready to thaw it. Otherwise, the best way to keep your King Crab fresh for at most two days is by putting it in your refrigerator and making sure that it stays moist and cool, but does not become wet.