Most consumers are familiar with jumbo- and colossal-sized king crabs, but there are many different sizes available. Categories for king crab size can be a little confusing at first, but hopefully this description will help you understand how it works before your next crab purchase.
The most important thing to know that king crab size is NOT based on one-pound measurements. Instead, sizing is based on the number of king crab legs in a ten-pound package. Using an example from the list below, a 6/9 size of super-jumbo or super-colossal king crab would mean that 6 to 9 legs comprises a ten-pound package. Medium size provides about 16 to 20 legs per ten pounds, and so on.
Some retailers use the same measurement system with different labels, which can cause ordering issues. This less-widely used approach uses the same ten-pound sizing scale, but the king crab size is framed in per-leg weight, making the customer think they’re getting more than they are. For example, 1lb leg would equal the ten-pound package. With that in mind, a 3lb leg would be the equivalent of a 6/9 measurement.
Depending on the seafood provider, they could also offer a 4/6 size, or a size that is not on this list. These sizes still work within the same framework. In this case, there would be 4 to 6 king crab legs per ten pounds.
Always keep ten pounds as the frame of reference, and the ordering process will be smooth!
King Crab Sizes
6/9 (super-jumbo or super-colossal)
9/12 (jumbo, reserve, colossal, gargantuan)
This sizing chart, though widely usable, is more specific to Alaskan king crab size, as well as other red and blue king crabs. The last two categories of small and extra-small, with over 20 legs per ten pounds, are usually reserved for golden king crab sizing because these crabs are smaller in size than Alaskan king crab size.
What About Claws?
King crab can also be measured by claw. Sizing for claws works similarly to legs, though it is measured by the number of claws per one pound. Typical claw sizes are 1/3, 3/5, and 5/7, with the largest size being 1 to 3 claws per pound. Depending on the fishery and provider, claws and legs are sometimes bundled together.