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Live King Crab vs. Dungeness Crab: What's the Difference?

June 06, 2023

Live King Crab

Live King Crab vs. Dungeness Crab: What's the Difference?

When it comes to indulging in delectable seafood, two popular options that often make it to the top of the list are live king crab and Dungeness crab. These crustaceans offer a unique culinary experience, but what sets them apart? In this blog post, we will explore the differences between live king crab and Dungeness crab, from their taste profiles to their appearances. So, let's dive in!

Taste and Flavor:

Live king crab boasts a rich, sweet flavor with a delicate, succulent meat that has a firm texture. Its taste is often described as a combination of sweet and briny, making it a true delicacy. On the other hand, Dungeness crab offers a more subtle taste, with tender, flaky meat and a slightly sweeter undertone. Both crabs have their own unique flavor profiles, providing seafood enthusiasts with diverse options.

Appearance and Size:

In terms of appearance, live king crab stands out with its large size and impressive leg span. With a reddish-brown shell and long, spiky legs, it makes an eye-catching centerpiece for any seafood feast. Dungeness crab, while slightly smaller, possesses a wider body and a mottled brown color with white-tipped claws. Its shell is not as spiky as that of the king crab but still adds an element of visual appeal to the dining experience.

Culinary Uses:

Live king crab is often enjoyed by cracking open its thick shell to reveal the succulent meat within. It is commonly steamed or boiled and served with melted butter or a zesty dipping sauce. Dungeness crab, on the other hand, is renowned for its meaty claws, which are perfect for extracting the tender flesh. It is commonly used in crab cakes, crab salads, and even in pasta dishes, adding a delightful taste to a variety of recipes.


Q: Are live king crab and Dungeness crab equally expensive?

A: Live king crab tends to be more expensive compared to Dungeness crab due to its larger size and higher demand.

Q: Can I substitute one crab for the other in recipes?

A: While both crabs offer unique flavors, they can be substituted for each other in recipes. However, keep in mind that the taste and texture may differ slightly.

Q: Are live king crab and Dungeness crab sustainable seafood choices?

A: Dungeness crab is considered a sustainable seafood choice, but the sustainability of live king crab can vary depending on the fishing practices and regulations in the specific region.


In the battle of live king crab vs. Dungeness crab, there are notable differences to consider. While live king crab impresses with its grand appearance and rich, sweet flavor, Dungeness crab offers a more subtle taste and a slightly smaller size. Ultimately, the choice between these two delicacies comes down to personal preference and the culinary experience you seek. Whichever you choose, both live king crab and Dungeness crab are sure to satisfy seafood enthusiasts with their delightful flavors and unique characteristics.

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