Whether you are heading to the seafood market or pulling up a new online seafood retailer tab on the computer, figuring out which crab legs size to purchase can feel like a daunting task. All of the numbers: 6/9, 10/12, 11/14… What do they mean? There are tons of different names, too, which can be confusing. Understanding how crab sizing works can make the search for huge crab legs much easier. In this world, there can be a massive difference between large crab legs and extra large crab legs.
The first, and best, place to start is that the numerical sizes for crab legs describe how many legs per ten pounds. For example, the 6/9 size, usually called a super-jumbo or super-colossal, means that there are 6 to 9 crab legs per ten pounds. This would indicate that each crab leg is about 1 to 3 pounds. The 10/12 size means that each leg is just about, or under, 1 pound. As the numbers get higher, the legs become smaller.
This method of sizing works for many crab species, but these particular measurements are specific to Alaskan king crabs because of their massive size. Other crabs, like snow crabs or Dungeness crabs, might use a similar measurement system, but have higher numbers and smaller legs.
Some markets or retailers might use “giant” to describe the same size crab legs another place is selling as “jumbo,” while still another calls them “colossal.” A customer’s search for giant crab legs might become confusing with all these monikers. There are many different sizing labels that can be used, so pay more attention to how many legs per ten pounds the retailer can offer, rather than the label they are using.
King Crab Sizes
6/9 (super-jumbo or super-colossal crab legs for sale)
9/12 (jumbo, reserve, gargantuan, super colossal crab legs)
Crab Claws Sizes
Crab claw meat is not as tender as the meat of giant crab legs, but the claw meat is perfect for dips, soups, tacos, or stir-fries. Some online seafood retailers include claws in their crab leg shipments, but some do not. Make sure to check ahead of time for claws if claw meat seems enticing. Order some giant crab legs and claws to make a full crab feast.
Crab claw sizing reads similarly to leg sizing, but is instead measured by a single pound. Sizes for crab claws are usually 1/3, 3/5, and 5/7. The largest size is 1 to 3 claws per pound, and the sizes get smaller per pound from there.