Ever longed for the taste of fresh seafood, and the wind in your hair, but you live somewhere land-locked? We have the answer for you.
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Did you know that canned crab is an excellent alternative? Enjoy the fresh taste of the coast from your home with crab meat in a can.
Crab meat can transform dull and boring zero-carb meals and revolutionize your diet, especially if you’re on a ketogenic diet or are a big gym-goer.
With the same convenience of canned tuna, why not mix up your choice in seafood? As an excellent source of protein without high fat or carbohydrates, crab meat in a can is a must-have in your pantry.
With a variety of crab meats on the market, it can be hard to know which one tastes the best, especially if it’s a new addition in your cupboard or you just don’t regularly eat it.
How can you find out which is the best crab meat in a can on the market? Don’t worry - we’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to!
We’ve created a list of the seven best crab meats in a can so you don’t have to worry about whether you’re making the right choice or not!
Take a look at our top pick below.
OUR TOP PICK
Crown Prince White Crab Meat is wild-caught and comes directly from Thailand, ensuring an authentic taste of seafood straight from the source.
This crab meat is excellent for zero-carb recipes and for an added source of protein as it contains a hearty 9% per can, perfect for maintaining muscle mass.
Great for soups, salads, crab cakes and pasta as a healthy addition to your meals.
Provides an excellent source of nutrients: one can contains 8% of calcium and 2% of iron, making it good for bones and teeth.
Contains zero trans fats so rest assured your choice of crab will be contributing to your healthy, balanced diet!
Ready to eat and minimal fuss!
- Minimal additives: No bleaching or added preservatives meaning you get exactly what is on the tin: crab!
- Suitable for celiacs as it is entirely gluten-free, meaning as an ingredient it is incredibly versatile and suitable for many dietary requirements that often limit individuals.
- Crown Prince’s crab has a delicate and sweet flavor that is the perfect addition to your recipes.
- A few customers found that the flavor was quite salty.
Chicken of the Sea Lump Crab is packed with flavor, adding versatility to any dish.
Sustainably sourced seafood is fundamental to the survival of the world’s oceans. Chicken of the Sea is proud to offer MSC products in a bid to be more sustainable!
This lump crab meat is protein-rich and full of omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your hair.
Canned lump crab is a good source of important nutrients such as calcium, 14g of protein, and more.
Has a sweet taste of the sea that will leave you wanting more!
- Famous for its great flavor.
- Chicken of the Sea is committed to sustainable seafood, meaning you can relax in buying this crab knowing that they sustainably fish for their seafood.
- Excellent source of omega 3 and protein.
- A few customers found that the crab became flakier in texture after being drained.
BUMBLE BEE Crab Meat strives for quality in every can, taken from the body of a crab and flaky in texture.
Great for dips and hors d'oeuvres, BUMBLE BEE’s white crab meat is the perfect addition to any occasion!
Using crab meat as a protein-packed snack, or as part of a lunch or any meal, can bring versatility to your life and meals.
This crab meat is a reliable keto food and keto snack for those on a ketogenic diet, whilst also being entirely gluten-free.
- Does not contain any traces of MSG.
- Whole or broken pieces of real crab meat taken from the body of a crab.
- Only 40 calories per serving so it makes a great low-carb, low-cal meal or snack!
- Packed with protein to maintain and build muscle.
- Some customers found the texture of this crab was quite fine, stating they would have preferred fuller lumps of crab.
Phillips Foods Super Lump Crab Meat is a premium crab meat and made for quality in every can.
Phillips Foods crab meat is perfect for use in crab cakes, dips, salads, and casseroles.
This crab meat is an excellent source of protein, containing 10g of protein per serving.
- Renowned for its exquisite taste, you’ll want to impress all of your guests with this crab.
- Premium quality crab meat, perfect for a special occasion or a treat for yourself.
- Commended for its large lumps: contains the two largest lumps of unbroken muscle connected to the legs of the crab.
- Some customers found it to be slightly pricier than some other alternatives that we found.
Crown Prince Lump White Crab Meat is wild-caught in Indonesia, providing an authentic taste straight from SouthEast Asia!
Since 1948, Crown Prince Inc. has provided the finest-quality canned seafood for consumers, so you know exactly the standard you’re going to get.
A perfect ingredient for dips, salads, ceviche, soups, casseroles, and crab cakes.
- Perfect for fancy recipes or a treat for yourself.
- Though it’s canned, with high-quality crab meat you still get nutrients you wouldn’t otherwise get from canned food.
- Contains no shell for your convenience. Eat straight from the can!
- Some customers disliked the flavor of this particular canned crab.
Crown Prince Natural Fancy White-Lump Crab Meat is wild-caught in Indonesia.
Processed and packed without any bleaching agents or preservatives, no MSG or sulfites.
One serving of this fat-free food provides 17% of the daily needed protein.
- Non-GMO Project Verified.
- Good source of iron and protein, helping you to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Low-carb, low-cal option for you and your family. Only 80 calories per serving!
- Some customers found that the quality of the packaging could be improved.
Reese Fancy 15% Leg Crabmeat is made from fresh, quality ingredients.
The perfect ingredient for sushi rolls, salads, and soups, providing the perfect blend of flavors to your seafood dishes!
Proud to be America’s most trusted name in gourmet specialty ingredients for nearly a century.
- This crab is made with quality ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about whether your seafood dishes will taste authentic.
- Wild caught, sourced in Malaysia with international delicacies in mind.
- High-quality ingredients from around the world.
- A few customers found that the texture was slightly more watery than they were expecting.
Best Crab Meat In A Can Buying Guide
There are a few factors to consider when buying crab meat in a can. However, it has a lot to do with whether it is wild-caught or farmed crab, largely contributing to its taste and texture!
The texture of canned crab is important, as you want the most authentic experience to fresh crab as possible when choosing a canned crab. Crab meat should usually have a meaty, firm but moist texture that is mouth-watering!
Although canned crab meat is often kept in water, it should still retain its meaty texture once drained, leaving you with a beautifully white meat to add to any recipe of your choice.
We’ve produced a list of a few things you should know about when buying crab meat in a can.
Check out our points to consider below before buying!
Wild-Caught v Farm-Raised Seafood
A factor to consider when buying canned crab is where it comes from. Has it been wild-caught or has it been farm-raised?
Wild-caught seafood generally tends to be better than farmed seafood. This is because seafood allowed to thrive in their own environment and natural habitat on the whole are healthier.
If you can imagine it is in these environments that they are able to eat their natural food, can swim and can also spawn freely, all which contribute to their muscle mass and flavor.
The environment that they live in is fundamental to these factors and makes them naturally flavorful. A natural crab = a tasty crab.
However, there are also other factors to consider with wild-caught crab such as fishing regulations varying from country to country.
There are rules in place to ensure areas are not overfished, however, some countries have stricter laws and regulations than others which leaves a grey area.
Fishing for endangered species, fishing for species outside of their season or overfishing can cause serious harm to the ecosystem.
Even when regulations are followed, there still remains a risk of by-catch, which in short, are the unwanted fish and marine life that are not wanted in commercial fishing.
Unlike wild-caught seafood, farmed seafood refers to crabs in a controlled environment such as tanks, and makes up a large proportion of the canned crab you can buy in store.
In these controlled habitats, crabs can spawn and grow consistently, providing a more consistent product for consumers to buy. Also, farmed seafood does not run the risk of by-catch, over-fishing or fishing out of season which is a big positive.
However, although farm-raised crab can be more convenient in terms of consistency, on the whole, cramped tanks that contain farmed seafood can often lead to unhealthier fish. If the water is not clean and well-circulated the fish can become really unwell and not good to eat.
As a result of this, then, if this occurs in farmed seafood stored in netted pens in the open ocean, these illnesses can infect surrounding natural species that come into contact with them resulting in grave losses. No one wants that!
Alongside this, depending on the food the farmed seafood are given, their flavor can be altered or worsened compared to wild-caught seafood. The flavor of crab is hugely important to a consumer, so when buying farmed crab a lesser flavour is the risk you can often run!
As a lean source of protein, crab meat is rich in essential vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and has very little fat, making it a healthy food catered for more limited dietary requirements.
A huge bonus to eating crab is that it is packed with protein that is excellent for muscle development and growth. Crab, therefore, is an ideal ingredient for people who are diet conscious and wary of high-fat foods.
Seafood is also great for those on a ketogenic diet. As the majority of canned crab is virtually zero-carb, it is an excellent choice for people who are ketogenic and trying to avoid high-carbohydrate foods and unhealthy fats.
Store-bought canned crab is always gluten free, meaning it is an excellent option for those who suffer from celiac disease and can offer lots of diversity to their diet, meaning you’re prepared even for the most limiting of diets.
Expiration Date & Availability
As crab is quite a niche ingredient, those who live land-locked might think recipes that require crab aren’t even an option to them. Think again!
Canned crab is an excellent alternative for those who do not live close to the coast, offering you a wealth of opportunities when cooking seafood recipes.
By nature, canned crab food lasts significantly longer than fresh crab does and is thus more convenient to store and keep for a longer period, meaning there’s less pressure and more time for you to use it up before its expiration date.
Relax in knowing your crab will keep in a can, giving you plenty of time to decide on which delicious recipe you’d like to make with it.
Unlike fresh crab, canned crab is much more accessible and is readily available all year round. This means you don’t have to rely on fishing seasons and can store canned crab in your pantry for a dinner party, a quick lunch, or even just a snack to go whenever you desire!
Sustainably Sourced Seafood
Lastly, a big factor to consider when buying canned crab is sustainability. Is this crab meat sustainable or is the company committed to sustainably sourcing seafood?
Crab in general is quite sustainable by virtue of the fact that as a species they have a high fecundity. They reproduce in very high quantities, reaching maturity from between 4-5 years, as opposed to fish that can take significantly longer to reach full size.
The increasing reality of climate change is important to take into account when shopping, so it is always essential that you look at a brand's ethos and consider the businesses you choose to support.
It’s great to sustainably source seafood, and most businesses that do are proud to do so. If a brand is sustainable, they will most likely tell you!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is crab meat in a can already cooked?
Yes, store-bought crab meat in a can is always cooked and ready to eat straight out of the can, which makes it a convenient and healthy lunch with minimal effort from you!
However, canned crab can be added to any dish that you desire whether you plan to cook with it or not and can diversify your usual meals, breaking up the monotony of the diet you follow regularly.
Is crab meat in a can healthy?
In short - yes! Crab meat in a can is incredibly good for you as it is an excellent source of protein, omega 3 and is virtually a zero-carb food, so is great for anyone but especially those that are on a specific diet or a regular gym-goer.
Not to mention that canned crab meat is suitable for people on ketogenic diets as well as people that suffer from celiac disease as it is entirely gluten-free.
Say goodbye to time-consuming dishes and hello to your new, fuss-free and fancy treat to eat!
What can I use crab meat for?
There are an abundance of recipes containing crab meat out there. A few popular recipes often use crab in salads, soups and of course crab cakes!
Crab meat makes a fantastic starter, dips and hors d'oeuvres for a dinner party and is an excellent addition to the table for a lunch when you have friends over for a special occasion or even just as a treat for yourself.
The options for crab recipes are endless, and the best part about canned crab is that it sits in your pantry ready to be used whenever you fancy it! Who doesn't love a good crab cake with jumbo lump crab? To be honest, I've been able to develop a taste for imitation crab meat. For me fresh crab meat is the best.
Though I do love claw meat or jumbo lump crab meat with a nice butter sauce and lemon juice. Some folks say Maryland crab meat is best, I'd have to disagree. I've never enjoyed blue crab.
Though Maryland crab cakes are delicious, when I'm looking for lump crabmeat I prefer fresh crab meat from South Carolina. Canned crabmeat will do in a pinch, but fresh crabmeat with butter and salt makes my palate sing. I love, love, love she crab soup.
Does crab in a can need to be refrigerated?
When stored in a cool, clean, dry place, canned crab can be kept in a pantry for months and even years, so it does not need to be refrigerated! Just check for the use-by-date after purchase.
However, after being opened, yes it does indeed need to be refrigerated. Most store-bought canned crab is usually safe to eat for up to 4 days after opening, but of course, user discretion is advised.
A good indication of knowing if crab has gone bad is its colour. White crab should be a crisp white. If your crab looks like it has a blue tinge around the edges, then the chances are it has probably had its day and you should avoid eating it!
Should I rinse canned crab meat?
There is no need to rinse canned crab meat, no. In fact, some people would even argue that you’ll ruin the overall flavor of your crab! The only thing that rinsing your canned crab meat will serve to do is leaving you with watery crab.
Because the canned crab meat has already been cooked, you don’t need to wash it before you use it. You will need to drain it, however, but that should be as simple as opening the canned crab meat and allowing the liquid to slowly drain away without letting out the precious crab meat itself.
Most people tend to wash their shellfish beforehand to try and get rid of any unpleasant odors. However, there isn’t really much point in doing this with crab meat. You should make sure that you rinse shrimp if you’re shelling them, but seeing as canned crab meat comes ready shelled you won’t need to do this.
What is the best crab meat in a can?
The best crab meat in a can is:
- Crown Prince Fancy White Lump Crab Meat
- Chicken of the Sea Lump Crab
- BUMBLE BEE Crab Meat, Fancy White
- Phillips Foods Super Lump Crab Meat
- Crown Prince Lump White Crab Meat
- Crown Prince Natural Fancy White-Lump Crab Meat, 6-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
- Reese Fancy 15% Leg Crabmeat, 6-Ounces (Pack of 12)
Is crab meat in a can any good?
Yes, crab meat in a can is good! It won’t be able to compare to the fresh stuff, of course, but it gives you a great alternative if fresh crab meat isn’t readily available where you live.
It will also last you much longer in the store cupboard than the fresh stuff will, as you’ll need to use fresh crab meat fairly quickly to prevent it from going bad.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that how the crab meat is sourced can influence its flavor. Wild caught crab will have a more authentic taste than farmed crab, as this type of crab has been able to eat its natural diet.
There are other factors that can influence the natural crab’s taste, of course, but in general this helps make for a tastier crab.
How long does canned crab last?
The good news about canned crab meat is that it can last for between three to five years. This will of course depend on the use by date on the can itself, as well as the conditions it’s been stored in.
You should always aim to store your canned crab meat in a cool, dry place. This should help to keep it in a good enough condition to eat within the confines of its use by date.