How many times have you walked past the aisle of canned crab meat but never thought about buying it?
But don’t let the simplicity fool you, good crab meat in a can is definitely worth a try.
But what is the best crab meat in a can? The quality of canned crab meat is judged by its fat, protein, vitamins, and mineral content. No matter what type of crab meat it is, the pieces shouldn’t be mushy and soft. Most importantly, high-quality canned crab meat should taste sweet and juicy like newly-cooked fresh crab meat.
We have covered everything you should know about canned crab meat – from choosing the right type that will work for you to the best options you can find on the market.
Types of Canned Crab Meat
There are many different types of canned crab meat out there.
Here are some types you’re most likely to come across frequently:
- Jumbo lump: Many crabs are needed to produce a can of jumbo lump crab meat. It forms a muscle that connects the crab’s back to its swimming legs. A crab has only two of these muscles. This is what makes jumbo lump canned crab meat comparatively expensive.
- Claw meat: As you can probably guess, this type of meat comes from the crab’s claws. It is less sweet than other types of crab meat. However, claw meat does have an intense crab flavor.
- White meat: White meat is typically flaked crab meat. It is usually a mixture of jumbo lump and claw crab meat. Leg meat can also be included in crab meat labeled as ‘white meat’.
- Leg meat: This is quite self-explanatory. It is the meat obtained from crab legs.
6 Reasons to Buy Crab Meat in a Can
If you have never thought of canned crab meat as something you should have a few cans of in your pantry, it’s high time to change it.
There are just too many advantages to having good-quality crab meat in a can. So here are some reasons to give canned crab meat a try:
1. It’s High in Protein.
Crab meat is high in protein. But eating fresh crab meat often is not always possible.
Should you stick to the good old chicken even if you are already bored of it? Of course not. You can buy crab meat in a can.
120 grams of canned crab meat contains around 16 grams of protein, so you’ll be pretty much all set for your protein needs on days you opt for canned crab meat!
2. It’s Quick and Easy.
Cooking fresh crab for dinner is a special occasion that needs some preparation. But when you need a quick lunch or dinner or need to welcome unexpected guests, canned crab meat is a life-savor.
You can easily turn it into a delicious dish within minutes. Canned crab meat is fully cooked. So, you don’t have to spend time on cooking it. The shell is removed too, which makes things so much more hustle-free.
3. It’s Economical.
Canned crab meat certainly costs way less than fresh crabs do. Even if you choose the best quality canned crab meat, the price rarely, if ever, gets close to the price of fresh crab meat.
It’s true that you don’t get the same experience. But what is also true is that the best crab meat in a can still provides you with the rich-tasting, creamy, and juicy meat you are looking for.
And when you’re looking to add crab meat to rich, flavorful or creamy meals, why go to the trouble of fresh when canned will serve just as well?
4. It’s Long-lasting.
Fresh crab meat has only a few days of shelf life. The good thing about canned crab meat is that it typically has a shelf-life of over 3 years if it’s been stored properly and if the packaging is undamaged.
If you store canned crab meat in a cool and dry area, it is likely to keep longer than the best-by date printed on the packaging.
5. It’s Gluten-Free.
If you are following a gluten-free diet and have had a bad experience with imitation crab, don’t be afraid to try canned crab meat instead. The latter is gluten-free and can bring lots of diversity to your diet.
What makes imitation crab unsuitable for a gluten-free diet is its ingredient list. It contains food starch which in most cases is made from wheat. Hence, most imitation crab options are not gluten-free.
Canned crab meat, on the other hand, is always gluten-free so long as the manufacturer doesn’t state the opposite.
6. It’s Not Seasonal.
The crab season differs depending on where you live. The primary crab season in the U.S. stretches from October to January. But again, this can differ from state to state, depending on the climate of an area.
A good thing about canned crab meat is that it is available all year round. If you have a favorite crab salad or dip, you don’t have to wait for the crab season. A trip to your local supermarket will solve the problem.
Choosing Canned Crab Meat
The first step to choosing crab meat is reading reviews and recommendations. As this is exactly what you are doing, let’s move on to some of the aspects of crab meat you should pay attention to.
Protein and Fat Content
Crab meat is a popular item in the diets of people who want to get all the protein they need while keeping their intake of saturated fat at bay.
Take a look at the fat and protein content of canned crab meat as it might differ from brand to brand and the particular type of meat.
We all know that canned food is not the healthiest thing to eat. However, with high-quality crab meat in a can, you can still manage to get some vitamins and minerals.
Type of Crab Meat
The high-end canned crab meat brands put larger chunks of meat in the can. If you open the can and see something resembling a poorly executed crab puree, you have made the wrong choice.
Depending on the type of crab meat you like, there may be a few good-quality options to choose from.
The type of canned crab meat also affects the price of the product. So, take this into consideration too. Jumbo lump canned crab meat, for example, is usually one of the most expensive crab meat varieties.
What Makes Canned Crab Meat Best-Quality?
If you are buying canned crab meat by no means does it mean that you should lower your expectations.
Once you open the can, look for the following indicators of quality:
1. The Fresh Scent: The fact that the meat is canned should never be an excuse for it to smell bad and fishy. Just on the contrary. The crab meat should smell as good as if it has just been cooked.
2. The Ivory Color: The classic ivory color is one of the most obvious indicators of high-quality canned crab meat. Note that the color shouldn’t be pure white as it indicates the use of bleach or other chemicals that brighten the meat to make it look more ‘presentable’.
3. The Texture and Integrity of the Pieces: Depending on the meat type, the size of the crab meat pieces may vary. However, good crab meat in a can should never resemble a puree. Additionally, the meat shouldn’t be too soft or mushy.
4. No Shells in Your Canned Crab Meat: While finding a piece of shell in canned crab meat is not the end of the world and can be considered something nearly unavoidable, too much shell mixed with the meat is not okay.
Once you have inspected the meat and have found nothing wrong with it, the ultimate quality test is to taste it. If the flavor is there, then all that’s left to do is enjoy!
How to Use Canned Crab Meat
Crab meat in a can is very versatile. There are so many ways you can use it. Here is what you can make with canned crab meat.
- Crab cakes
- Crab meat au gratin
- Crab meat soup
- Omelet with canned crab meat
- Crab chowder
7 Best Crab Meats in a Can
Crab is a delicate protein. Thus, it is easy to make it taste bad. We have found seven of the best crab meats in a can for you to try out:
|1.||Bumble Bee White Crab Meat||White meat|
|2.||Handy Jumbo Lump Crab Meat||Jumbo lump (pasteurized)|
|3.||Crown Prince Fancy White-Lump Crab Meat||White lump meat|
|4.||Handy Seafood Premium Lump Crab Meat||Large lump + body meat|
|5.||MW Polar Seafood White Crab Meat||White body crab meat|
|6.||Reese Fancy 15% Leg Crabmeat||White meat + leg meat|
|7.||Geisha Wild Caught Fancy Crab Meat||White meat + leg meat|
No matter what you’re looking for, we’re sure you’ll find an option to suit you. So keep reading for more about the wonderful world of canned crab meat.
1. Bumble Bee White Crabmeat
Bumble Bee white crab meat is a best-seller among canned crab meats. There are a few reasons for this.
First off, it is a very affordable option. Secondly, it has a great flavor. And lastly, this flaky white crab meat is ideal for dips.
Another good thing about it is that it contains 0.5 grams of fat, 9 grams of protein, and only 40 calories per serving.
Thus, if you are trying to cut down your calorie intake but still have diversity as far as the protein options are concerned, this Bumble Bee white crab meat is something to consider.
2. Handy Jumbo Lump Pasteurized Crab Meat
For jumbo lump canned crab meat, the Handy Pelagicus pasteurized crab meat is one of the best options you can find.
This canned meat has impeccable flavor packed in the jumbo lump pieces and is incredibly high quality.
One serving of this crab meat contains 50 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 11 grams of protein. It also contains iron, calcium, and vitamin C.
If any of that speaks to your soul, then go ahead and buy the most delicious jumbo lump crab meat on the market.
3. Crown Prince Fancy White Lump Crab Meat
Another affordable option for those who like having a few cans of crab meat sitting in their pantry just in case they need to prepare a quick meal.
This fancy white crab meat is not bleached and doesn’t contain any preservatives.
The ingredient list is as clean as possible and the calorie count is pleasantly surprising. Only 40 calories in 60 grams of this fancy white lump crab meat. There is also zero fat in this product.
4. Handy Seafood Premium Lump Crab Meat
If you want your canned crab meat to provide you with fine dining experience, this premium lump crab meat by Handy Seafood is a great option.
This canned crab meat is a combination of large lump and body meat that you can use for a range of dishes. It will work especially well for crab cakes as well as for stuffing vegetables and seafood.
This crab meat is produced by steaming live crabs. This is done to get the ultimate flavor out of the crabs and achieve a nice texture.
The manufacturer also claims that this canned crab meat is completely shell-free, as they carry out a black light inspection to make sure you are getting purely delicous crab meat and nothing else.
5. MW Polar Seafood White Crab Meat
For those who want to stock up on canned crab meat, MW Polar Seafood is a real find as you get 12 cans of meat for a very reasonable price.
The meat for this brand comes from 100% wild-caught crabs. It is then cooked and canned with water. However, don’t expect to see a few pieces of crab meat floating in a few inches of water. There is more meat in these cans than liquid.
So, if you are looking for white body crab meat at a reasonable price, the MW Polar crab meat in a can is a great option.
6. Reese Fancy 15% Leg Crabmeat
Reese Fancy 15% leg crab meat can be easily transformed into a protein-rich dinner within minutes.
A can of this crab meat contains 80 calories and 18 grams of protein. There is only 1 gram of fat in a can of the Reese crab meat. It also contains a small amount of vitamin D.
And with 15% of leg meat, this canned crab meat works well for salads and sushi rolls. Just in case you thought it could’t get any better.
The price is higher than some of the options above. However, if you have always wanted to try good-quality canned crab meat, you might as well start with this one.
7. Geisha Wild Caught Fancy Crab Meat
The Geisha Wild Caught Fancy crab meat falls in the middle as far as the price range of canned crab meat is concerned.
This crab meat in a can represents white meat in combination with leg meat. The sweet and delicate flavor paired with the soft texture of the meat makes this crab meat ideal for dips and crab cakes.
There is zero fat in a can of Geisha crab meat. But it does contain vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
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