You don’t know how much you need these best canned crab meat until you try them. Canned crab is a perfect substitute for fresh crab, especially when you don’t stay near the seaside or the crab season hasn’t come.
I know many people like fresh crab, but you might not buy it all-year round. Whether fresh crab can be frozen or not, they might not taste as good as canned ones.
However, choosing the best one isn’t simple at all. You can end up with the worst result, a mushy, fishy puree that doesn’t taste like crab.
That’s why I’m here with this article, which includes all the highly appreciated productions with their pros and cons. Then, you can decide what option is your favorite.
Now, here we go!
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4 Types Of Canned Crab Meat
Before getting to the main deal, you need to know how many types of canned crab meat are on the market and what their trademark characteristics are.
Jumbo Lump Crab Meat
Among four types, jumbo lump meat belongs to the high-end group. Why is that? It’s because this part comes from the muscles connecting the crab’s swimming legs.
And one crab only has two of these muscles. Thus, to make a can full of jumbo lump meat, you need to prepare several crabs.
Also, this part needs extra care to get rid of all the shells from the meat.
White Crab Meat
White meat is the most common choice for canned crab. Simply put, it is a mixture of jumbo lump meat with claw meat. Various brands also include leg crab meat in this type.
Thus, white meat is flakier and stringier than the former type. However, it has a distinct sweetness that many people love.
Claw Crab Meat
If you want something with a strong crab taste but not high-priced, claw meat is your ideal choice. As it comes from crab’s claws, it’s like the brown chicken meat: darker-colored with a more robust flavor. However, this meat is less sweet than other parts.
Backfin Crab Meat
You can think of backfin as a lower cost of jumbo lump meat. It also contains jumbo lump but with other broken body meat, making it smaller and loosely separated. Also, backfin doesn’t get handled carefully like jumbo lump meat, so you can find some shells while eating it.
This is another example of how people grade crab meat. Watch this video:
Beside these four, you’ll also see imitation crab meat on the market. Though it has “crab” in its name, it isn’t real crab. But overall, it is also a good choice to prepare a lot of tasty dishes with imitation crab as it contains mainly surimi, a fish paste, and crab extract for flavor and aroma.
Benefits Of Using Canned Crab Meat
So why should you opt for canned crab meat? Well, the first reason is convenience. While fresh crab meats are generally preferred to canned ones, they can be hard to find during the off-season.
Besides, canned seafood always lasts longer and is cheaper than freshly caught ones. They might not taste as good, but you don’t need to be as meticulous about storing them. Plus, preparing a meal using canned crab is less time-consuming, as it is already cooked.
In terms of health benefits, crabs, either fresh or canned, are high in protein. This sea delicacy is also gluten-free, so you can add them to many diet plans.
Top-Tier Brands For Canned Crab Meat
To select the best choices for crab canned meat, let’s first look at some of the most well-received brands on the market. When you don’t know what products to purchase, these companies will be your safest bet.
Founded in 1948, Crown Prince is a famous seafood company throughout America and Mexico. The company has gone through 3 generations of the Hoffman family leadership and has developed steadily as a company that values product quality and customer relationships.
Chicken of the Sea is another company with a long history, as it was established more than 100 years ago. The name of this brand comes from the nickname of albacore tuna, which is also one of its most reputable products. Furthermore, the company produces all kinds of canned seafood, crab meat included.
Bumble Bee started producing canned albacore tuna, then gradually expanded its business to many other types of sea delicacies. The company is one of the core founders of ISSF (International Sustainability Foundation) and is now among the biggest seafood companies worldwide.
What Are The Best Canned Crab Meat On The Market?
One simple search of “best canned crab meat” can lead you to thousands of results, leaving you not knowing where to start. Luckily, you have me with my hand-picked list with all their particular features.
The best choice of canned crab meat should be Crown Prince, as it has both quality meat and necessary nutrients.
Bumble Bee is also a decent choice if you want to save your budget. Or, you can go for Chicken of The Sea Lump Meat if you want a taste of high-class crab meat.
- Best Overall: Crown Prince 6 oz White Lump Canned Crab Meat
“No bleach, preservatives, and fat; containing protein, calcium, and iron”
- Best Budget: Bumble Bee 6 oz White Canned Crab Meat
“MSG-free, no additives, good-quality meat, high protein content, affordable cost”
- Best Jumbo Lump Crab Meat: Chicken of the Sea 6 oz Lump Canned Crab Meat
“Lump meat from blue crabs; proven by NFI crab council; containing protein, calcium, and omega-3”
- Best Claw Crab Meat: Miller’s Select 6.5 oz Claw Canned Crab Meat
“Wild-caught crab meat, shell-free meat, low carb content, packed with protein”
- Best Packaging: Handy Premium 16 oz Lump Canned Crab Meat
“Smart packaging, meat examined under black light, additive-free, no artificial flavors”
- Best for Eating On Its Own: Epicure Jumbo 16 oz Pasteurized Lump Canned Crab Meat
“High-quality crab meat; big, satisfying chunks of crab; high protein content; no carbs”
- Best for Crab Cakes: Phillips Foods 16 oz Super Lump Canned Crab Meat
“Various crab meat lumps, high in protein, low calories content”
- Best for Crab Spread: Heron Point 16 oz Jumbo Lump Canned Crab Meat
“Shell-free meat, already steamed meat”
- Best With Pasta/Salad: Vital Choice 6 oz Wild Dungeness Canned Crab Meat
“Sweet and moist meat, gluten-free, low on fat”
- Best for Dipping: Geisha 6 oz Wild-Caught Canned Crab Meat
“Natural sweet flavor, packed with nutrients, fat-free, low price”
Best Canned Crab Meat Comparison Chart 2023
With this table below, you’ll have a quick grasp about the top 10 canned crab meat introduced here. Just a glance at it will help you make a more suitable decision.
|Best Canned Crab Meat||Weight||Type||Nutrition||Protein/ serving||Calories/ serving|
|Crown Prince 6 oz White Lump Canned Crab Meat - Best Overall||6oz||White Crab Meat||Protein, calcium, iron; No MSG, no additives, no trans fat, no carbs||9g||40|
|Bumble Bee 6 oz White Canned Crab Meat - Best Budget||6oz||White Crab Meat||Protein, calcium, iron; No MSG, no additives||16g||80|
|Chicken of the Sea 6 oz Lump Canned Crab Meat - Best Jumbo Lump Crab Meato||6oz||Jumbo Lump Crab Meat||Protein, omega-3, calcium; No preservatives, no carbs||14g||70|
|Miller's Select Claw 6.5 oz Canned Crab Meat - Best Claw Crab Meat||6.5oz||Claw Crab Meat||Protein, calcium, and iron||13g||50|
|Epicure Jumbo 16 oz Pasteurized Lump Canned Crab Meat - Best for Eating On Its Own||16oz||Jumbo Lump Crab Meat||Protein, vitamin A, calcium, and iron; No carbs||14g||70|
|Phillips Foods 16 oz Super Lump Canned Crab Meat - Best for Crab Cakes||16oz||Jumbo Lump Crab Meat||Protein; No fat, no carbs||4g||40|
|Heron Point 16 oz Jumbo Lump Canned Crab Meat - Best for Crab Paste||16oz||Jumbo Lump Crab Meat||Protein; No trans fat, no carbs, no sugar||Not specified||Not specified|
|Handy Premium 16 oz Lump Canned Crab Meat - Best Packaging||16oz||Jumbo Lump Crab Meat||Protein, calcium, potassium; No carbs, no additives||10g||45|
|Vital Choice 6 oz Wild Dungeness Canned Crab Meat - Best With Pasta Or Salad||6oz||White + Claw Crab Meat||Protein, calcium, omega-3; No carbs, no gluten, no additives||13g||60|
|Geisha 6 oz Wild-Caught Canned Crab Meat - Best for Dipping||6oz||White + Claw Crab Meat||Protein, calcium, vitamin C; No fat, no gluten||7g||35|
Top 10 Best Canned Crab Meat Review In 2023
It’s time for your long-waiting part now! In this part, I’ll show you 10 best canned crab meat with all their strong points and drawbacks. Read it carefully, so you can find the most suitable one for yourself.
Crown Prince 6 oz White Lump Canned Crab Meat
If you are looking for some healthy canned crab, this one’s for you! Crown Prince crab meat doesn’t contain any bleaching or preservatives, so you’ll experience the crab flavor to the fullest.
Also, there’s zero trans fat in this product, which means you can eat it without worrying about your health. Moreover, the ratio of calories in this canned crab is as low as you can imagine, only 40 calories per serving.
At the same time, this product from Crown Prince includes tons of nutrients like protein, iron, and calcium, making this dish an ideal choice for people on a zero-carb diet.
- Suitable for zero-carb diets
- No bleaching or preservatives
- Full of nutrients
- Fresh taste of crab meat
- Bleaching-free, preservatives-free, and fat-free
- High in protein, calcium, and iron
- Flavor is rather salty to some people’s palates
- Texture is a bit mushy
|Dimension||3.1 x 3.3 x 1.6 inches|
|Nutrition||Protein, calcium, iron; No MSG, no additives, no trans fat, no carbs|
Bumble Bee 6 oz White Canned Crab Meat
One thing that sets crab meat from Bumble Bee apart from other brands is it’s completely free from MSG and additives. Thus, it promises the freshest taste to you.
Also, this canned meat is full of proteins as it contains 16 grams of protein per serving despite the calories being a bit high (80 calories in each one).
Moreover, while being nutritious, Bumble Bee canned crab meat is also of high quality. It contains meat from different crab parts, so you’ll get a full taste of a crab. And the meat is super flaky, making it a perfect dip for any other dish.
- Suitable for people on diet
- Meat from all parts of crab
- No MSG and additives
- High-quality meat
- Packed with protein
- Affordable price
- The water content in the package is a bit high, so the meat can be a little mushy
- You may find shells in some cans
|Dimension||12 x 5 x 8 inches|
|Nutrition||Protein, calcium, iron; No MSG, no additives|
Chicken of the Sea 6oz Lump Canned Crab Meat
(Best Jumbo Lump Crab Meat)
If you once doubted the quality of canned crab meat, let this one free you from that suspicion. Crab from Chicken of the Sea is taken from live blue crabs, with the superior quality compared to others.
Thanks to that, this canned meat is richer and sweeter than other canned ones. It also inherits the signature fattiness from blue crabs. Not to mention, this brand is packed with nutrients like omega-3, calcium, and protein.
- Meat taken from alive blue crabs
- Certified by NFI crab council
- Great source of nutrients
- High-quality meat proved by NFI crab council
- High in omega-3, calcium, and protein
- Rich and sweet flavor
- Distinct fattiness
- If you drain the water, the meat can become quite flaky and dry
|Dimension||10.5 x 7 x 3.5 inches|
|Nutrition||Protein, omega-3, calcium; No preservatives, no carbs|
|Brand||Chicken of The Sea|
If you want to know how Chicken of The Sea crab meat tastes like, this video is your answer!
Miller’s Select 6.5 oz Claw Canned Crab Meat
(Best Claw Crab Meat)
Miller prides itself in a close relationship with local fishers, which helps them gain the freshest crabs possible. Also, with their aid in preparing those crabs, you can stay assured that there are no shells left in the meat.
Also, since Miller canned crab uses mostly claw meat, this product has a more robust flavor with minimum additives. Thus, you can still experience the fresh taste of the crabs. And just like other crab brands, this one is also low in fat and carbs-free with a high protein ratio.
- Wild-caught crab meat
- Robust flavor
- Not containing shells
- Suitable for low-carb diets
- Fresh meat with a strong crab taste
- Suitable for people who want to lose weight
- High in protein
- Shell-free crab meat
- Containing a few additives
|Dimension||10.4 x 7 x 3.7 inches|
|Nutrition||Protein, calcium, and iron|
Epicure Jumbo 16 oz Pasteurized Lump Canned Crab Meat
(Best for Eating On Its Own)
Epicure has always been well-known for its pasteurized seafood, and this canned crab is one of its superior products. The meat is prepared when fresh and steamed under high heat to keep its elegant flavor and soft texture.
And as Epicure often uses environmentally safe methods to obtain their products, your crab won’t have to suffer any stress, thus no damage to their quality.
- Pasteurized crab meat
- Environmental-friendly hunting methods
- Restaurant-quality crab meat
- Crabs don’t suffer from stress
- High cost
|Dimension||3.9 x 3.9 x 3.09 inches|
|Nutrition||Protein, vitamin A, calcium, and iron; No carbs|
Phillips Foods 16 oz Super Lump Canned Crab Meat
(Best for Crab Cakes)
This crab meat is the perfect choice for when you want something that can be used right away since it’s already cooked before getting canned.
And my favorite part about Phillips Foods canned crab is two massive lumps of muscle connected crab legs and various smaller chunks, making it so satisfying to eat.
It’s also a superb source of protein with 10 grams per serving while still being low on calories and fat.
- Already cooked
- Containing various meat lumps
- Nutritious choice
- Ready to use
- Big, satisfying lumps to enjoy
- Containing a high content of protein
- Minimum amount of calories and fat
- Slightly expensive
|Nutrition||Protein; No fat, no carbs|
If you don’t know what to do with your lump crab meat from Phillips Foods, take this crab cake recipe as a suggestion. Watch this video:
Heron Point 16 oz Jumbo Lump Canned Crab Meat
(Best for Crab Paste)
Search no further than this Heron Point production if you love having a whole chunk of crab meat. While canned crab from other brands tends to be flaky or stringy, this one maintains its shape and texture perfectly.
And don’t think you’ll struggle with crab shells stuck in these giant chunks! There are hardly any pecks or bones left for you to find! Heron Point also steams their crab beforehand, so feel free to use it immediately.
- Full of giant crab pieces
- No shells left
- Cooked in advance
- Big chunks of crab meat, satisfying to eat
- Hardly any shells left
- Can be eaten already
- Smell slightly fishy
|Nutrition||Protein; No trans fat, no carbs, no sugar|
|Brand||Robert Wholey & Co.|
Handy Premium 16 oz Lump Canned Crab Meat
Once you see the canned crab’s package from Handy, you’ll want to purchase it right away. The design is both attractive and practical, as you can see how your crab meat looks like. And when you open it, you’ll be surprised with the meat filling up to its brim.
Additionally, Handy’s crab meat quality is on par with the package. Since all the meat is examined under black light, there are no pecks and bones left. Also, it doesn’t include any additives or artificial flavors, meaning all crab meat tastes fresh and lasts long.
- Nice-designed package
- All pecks and bones are removed
- No additives or artificial flavors
- Smart packaging
- Fresh crab meat with a long shelf life
- High price
|Nutrition||Protein, calcium, potassium; No carbs, no additives|
Vital Choice 6 oz Wild Dungeness Canned Crab Meat
(Best With Pasta Or Salad)
Vital Choice canned crab uses Dungeness crabs, one of the tastiest crabs in the world. This one has a distinct sweetness with a hint of saltiness that you can’t mistake with other crabs. Thus, this canned meat is also moist and sweet, just like the fresh one.
Also, Vital Choice crab is gluten-free, so people with low gluten tolerance can still enjoy it. It doesn’t have any fat, suitable for anyone on a diet. Moreover, if you look for a component to make delicious copycat red lobster pasta with a lower budget, do not miss this product.
Moreover, you don’t have to worry about preparing crab from Vital Choice, as you can use it right away. However, be careful when eating it since there may be some shells left.
- Made from Dungeness crab
- Gluten-free and low on fat
- Can be used right away
- Sweet meat from Dungeness crab
- Suitable for people with low gluten tolerance and on a diet
- Ready to use
- Some cans can still have a few shells left
|Nutrition||Protein, calcium, omega-3; No carbs, no gluten, no additives|
Geisha 6 oz Wild-Caught Canned Crab Meat
(Best for Dipping)
This Geisha canned crab includes both white and claw meat. Thus, it has both the robust crab flavor and the sweetness that everyone loves. With that quality, this product is not so pricey, so even people with a low budget can enjoy it.
Moreover, it doesn’t contain any fat, making it an appropriate choice for ones that want to lose weight. Aside from that, you can find vitamin C, calcium, and iron in this crab meat.
- Containing white meat and claw meat
- Suitable for people who want to lose weight
- Packed with nutrients
- Affordable price
- Sweet, fresh flavor
- Containing various nutrients: protein, vitamin C, calcium, and iron
- Low cost
- Some buyers still find a few shells in their package
|Dimension||4.9 x 4.2 x 3.9 inches|
|Nutrition||Protein, calcium, vitamin C; No fat|
How Can You Choose The Best Canned Crab Meat?
You might get a bit confused with all the brands and products above. So, here are some aspects you should think through before choosing your own canned crab meat.
Wild-Caught Vs Farm-Raised Crabs
Just like with other seafood, there are two options to catch the crabs: Wild-caught or farm-raised. The former usually is the superior one as the crabs live in their natural habitat and swim freely, which improves their muscle and meat quality.
In contrast, raising crabs on a farm is more convenient and provides more consistent results. Also, this way prevents overfishing, a critical threat to the ocean. However, many feel farm-raised crabs don’t have enough desirable flavor.
Crab Meat Quality
In terms of meat quality, there’s nothing to hide. Once you open the can, you can figure out whether this brand is worth your money enough.
High-quality canned crab often contains lots of meat chunks, most of which are jumbo lumps. White crab meat is also a decent choice though it can be stringier or flakier than the former. And if you see something like a crab puree inside the can, don’t buy that brand again!
Also, you can judge its quality by the number of shells left. High-class brands will spend extra effort to make sure there are no pecks and bones in the meat.
Like when you choose other food products, you should also look at its nutrients with canned crab. High-quality crab meat should be packed with protein and other nutrients.
Also, remember to look at the fat content. Though seafood generally doesn’t contain much fat, larger crabs can have more fat than others. So, if you want to cut down on weight or are on a diet, you should pay close attention to this part.
You should differentiate between the expiration date and the best-before date. While the former refers to the date after which you can use your canned crab, the best-before date means your crab meat tastes best before that day.
Based on your intention, you shouldn’t confuse these two dates with each other. Also, it’s better to come to the canned crab that has a precise best-before date, so you can enjoy the tastiest meat.
Which Recipes Can You Make With Canned Crab Meat?
Now you know how to pick ideal canned crab meat. But just eating it alone doesn’t sound very interesting to me. So, here are some mouthwatering recipes for you to make with your canned crab!
You don’t need to spend all your money on fresh crabs to make these cakes. With a high-quality canned crab, they taste just as delicious. And since the meat is already cooked, it doesn’t take too much time to make this dish.
And there are tons of dishes to combine with crab cakes, from salad to mashed potatoes.
Don’t use up your canned crab without making this crab dip! Full of cheese, cream cheese, and crab meat, this dish is a perfect snack for any time of the day. You can eat it with crackers, tortilla chips, or bread.
Don’t know where to start with your canned crab dip? This is one of my favorite recipes! Watch this video:
If you are seeking a hearty breakfast or quick lunch, don’t skip this recipe! You just need to spread your crab mixture and cheese on top of your bread and bake it for several minutes. A piping hot, flavorful meal is ready for you!
Even with all the knowledge above, you may still have some questions left unanswered. That’s why, in this part, I’ll list out all the most commonly asked problems and solve them for you.
My Top Pick
At this point, I think you are ready to pick canned crab meat for yourself. Just remember all the vital factors above and choose the one that suits your palate and diet the most.
As for me, I often go for Crown Prince 6 oz White Lump Canned Crab Meat whenever I want some canned crab. Not only is its meat high quality, but it is also nutritious.
And if you are low on cash, Bumble Bee 6 oz White Canned Crab Meat is a nice option since it still brings you a full taste of crab meat.
So, what do you think about this list? Have you ever eaten one of those products above? Do you have any other choices besides this list?… No matter what your thoughts are, feel free to let me know via comment.
Table of Contents
- 4 Types Of Canned Crab Meat
- Benefits Of Using Canned Crab Meat
- Top-Tier Brands For Canned Crab Meat
- What Are The Best Canned Crab Meat On The Market?
- Best Canned Crab Meat Comparison Chart 2023
- Top 10 Best Canned Crab Meat Review In 2023
- How Can You Choose The Best Canned Crab Meat?
- Which Recipes Can You Make With Canned Crab Meat?
- My Top Pick