When folks mention King Crabs, many people’s minds immediately go to the reality television series, “Deadliest Catch.” The show popularized the inherent dangers of commercial fishing and highlighted one of the many reasons why King Crabs come with a higher price tag.
There are three commercially harvested species of Alaskan King Crab. The first two are golden and blue King Crabs. The third species, and the most popular, is the Alaskan red King Crab. The latter species makes up 75% of the Alaska catch. The species is also known for its potentially large size, with its weight sometimes reaching 24 pounds and its legs spanning 5 feet. There are places where you can find red King crab for sale, but get ready to pay a premium for this rare, delectable seafood.
What is the Average Giant Red King Crab Price?
Known as the most prized crab species in the world, the crab is caught in Bristol Bay and the Norton Sound. There is a particularly high demand for the particular King Crab in the United States, as well as Europe and Japan.
Alaska’s average statewide red King Crab price per pound in 2019 was $11.77. The average cost dipped in 2017, but then steadily increased again. The average statewide cost climbed $2.50 from $9.27 in 2018.
When compared with the golden King Crab, whose average price per pound was $6.35 in 2019, it is only partly clear why the former crustacean costs more. The sustainability and harvesting regulations in place prevent fishing for Red King crab in the Pribilof Islands and the Western Aleutian Islands.
Stocks are otherwise at recommended levels in Bristol Bay and the Norton Sound. However, the supply is regulated by quotas that often drive up prices and the crab still has to travel a distance before it arrives on your doorstep.
Where to Buy Red King Crab for Sale
There are still a number of online vendors where you can purchase the red species. Legs and claws are common products both for fresh and frozen King Crabs. Both fresh and frozen also include sections, and meat is another King Crab fresh product.
FishEx is one vendor that offers both King Crab legs and claws, as well as King Crab packages. The Alaska Red King Crab price for legs and claws is $49.95 per pound and the packages are delivered to your house pre-cooked and flash-frozen.
Island Seafoods is another online vendor that sells the crab legs. The legs are filled with sweet, white meat. If you are planning to host a dinner party, Island Seafoods recommends that you order 1 pound per guest. The crab legs cost $39.95 per pound. For the cooked and frozen sections, each leg weighs 1/2 to 3/4 pounds.
If you are more in the mood for jumbo King Crab legs, Captain Jack’s Seafood Locker offers 10-pound packages with legs and claws included. The crab feast is $469.99, or $46.99 per pound. The jumbo legs and claws each weigh about 2/3 to 1-pound, and FedEx Priority shipping is available.
While these are great options, we also know that most folks will be calculating cost comparisons while shopping. Check out our crab comparison grids to find a price that works for your budget.
Is the Higher Price Tag Worth It?
For the average buyer, there are a number of factors why spending more for the red species may not be worth it. The first factor can relate to your geographic location. Although much of King Crab species are fished in Alaska, certain species are more popular in certain areas.
The blue King Crab is highly popular on the east coast, particularly in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia. Although its legs are smaller and do not yield the same amount of meat as the other King Crab species, it can weigh up to 18 pounds. Their larger claws also offer significant meat.
Additionally, if you are a shellfish lover looking to reap the health benefits of King Crabs, the red species is not the only one that offers these perks. As a whole, Alaskan King Crab is low in fat and its sweet flesh is high in protein. Every 3.5-ounce serving has 7 milligrams of zinc, which is an antioxidant and supports both immune function, as well as bone mass. Other key vitamins and minerals that you will find in Alaskan King Crab include Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, and Folate.