The Most Prized Crab In The World
Red King Crab Vs Golden King Crab
While there are over 40 species of King crab, there are only two that are currently commercially fished in Alaska – Red King crab and Golden King crab (once known as Brown King crab). Both are noted for their impressive size and tender meat. Red King crab legs are generally larger with rich meat while Golden King crab leg meat is often described as being lighter and sweeter. While Red King crab is perhaps better known, Golden King crab has a devoted following among crab boat captains, chefs and other seafood lovers for its leaner meat. We suggest you give both a try and decide for yourself if you are team Red King crab or team Golden King crab!
Harvested From Icy Waters
Red King crab thrive in extremely cold environments where they prefer the sandy, muddy ocean floor along the continental shelf. Typically found in shallow coastal waters in depths of less than 200 feet, Red King crab will migrate and travel to deeper waters in search of food. In Alaska, Red King crab harvest is currently centered on the Bering Sea with carefully managed fisheries in Bristol Bay and Norton Sound. Red King crab can also be found off the frigid northern coasts of Russia and Norway in the Barents Sea.
Stewardship And Sustainability
The remarkable size and taste of Red King crab make it a very valuable and sought-after species. Great demand for Red King crab, however, has also led to great protections. Each year, fisherman, scientists, native groups and state and federal agencies work together to sustainably manage the stocks for future generations. Managers set harvest limits and allocate harvest shares through programs that address both economic and environmental issues. This series of robust programs also includes a community quota to protect the interests of coastal communities and real-time monitoring of the harvest.
From Sea To Shore To You
If you watch The Deadliest Catch on TV, you might already know a thing or two about harvesting King crab. As you may have seen on the show, the harvest takes place each fall during a very quick season which can be as short as 4-5 days in length. Commercial fishing boats capable of withstanding the harsh conditions of the Bering Sea are used to drop and haul back up steel and mesh traps called “pots”. The boats are fitted with hydraulic systems used to lift these pots which can weigh close to 1,000 lbs when full. Once retrieved, the crab is sorted to ensure only adult, regulation-sized crab are placed in the holding tanks on board. Smaller crab are returned to their habitat in order to mate and grow.
King crab is delivered to shore live where it is cooked, cleaned, sectioned and frozen. The freezing process creates a protective glaze that ensures Keyport King crab retains its wild-caught flavor during shipping. To guarantee the best taste experience and food safety, keep frozen until ready to thaw and use. Do not thaw and refreeze.
King Crab Leg Sizing Explained
King crab legs are sized according to the number of crab legs in a ten-pound package. Legs labeled ‘6/9’, for example, are large and it only takes 6 to 9 legs to make up a 10 lb box. A 20 lb box of ‘6/9’ legs would have 12 to 18 legs and a 30 lb box would contain 18 to 27 legs. It is typical to see King crab leg sizes described with names like “Gargantuan” and “Super-Jumbo” but there is no industry standard for these names.
Purchasing Wholesale King Crab
King crab have six legs and two claws. Each wholesale box of King crab includes this natural proportion of legs to claws. So, if you have 12 legs in a box, you can expect to find 4 claws as well. Keyport typically requires a minimum order of 600-1000 lbs for shipped orders. Our crab experts are happy to help with King crab pricing, special cuts and retail packaging. Live chat, call or email.