By Tanis Boganis

Canned lump crab meat.


Picking canned crab meat leaves you with so many options for tantalizing your taste buds. Not a bad problem to have if you ask me.

Not only is crab meat in a can yummy it’s also good for you…

Nutritional value of crab meat in a can:

Per 1/2 cup serving

  • 100% protein
  • 60 calories
  • and no fat

It’s easy and healthy to grab a can of crab meat and whip up a delicious meal. The question is which type of crab meat to choose?

If you find you’re left guessing which one is the better choice judging by the price then we can help you with this decision making process and probably save you money.

Colossal lump…jumbo lump…backfin…whitemeat…claw meat, those are just the parts of the crab that the suppliers label as their grades of canned crab meat.

When you are picking out the type of crab, grade only matters when it comes to what you want to do or how you want to use the crab.

If you are making a crab recipe that requires a lot of crab flavor then claw meat is your best choice.

If you are trying to impress a hunk of burning love by making the posh crab cakes that you would find at an up scale restaurant then colossal lump crab meat, or the cheaper-but-still-expensive jumbo lump crab, is for you.

Lets break it down…

Grades of Canned Crab Meat:


Different grades of canned crab meat and recipes.



Colossal Lump Crab Meat $$$$

This is the master of the crab in a can universe and also the most expensive type of crab you will find…in a can. The reason this grade is more expensive is because it comes from the largest of the blue crabs, which are getting harder and harder to find now a days.

The meat is exactly the same as the jumbo lump crab below… it’s just bigger. Follow the same recipes for the jumbo lump or just eat it with some melted butter.


Jumbo Lump Crab Meat $$$$

Jumbo lumb blue crab meat
Jumbo lumb blue crab meatis fine dining. You pay more for jumbo lump because it’s a big hunk of white meat that has very few shells or cartilage. Extra special care is taken to make sure this part of the crab is removed from the shell intact. The meticulous process reflects on the high price of this grade of crab.

When you handle the crab meat make sure to keep the meat together,” treat lump meat like eggs,” they say. It best in recipes where very little is done to the meat.

Our favorite recipes for this crab grade (but I also use other grades for these recipes as well) are:

Crab Norfolk

Crab Louise

Jumbo lumb blue crab meat
Cakes with scallops as the filler.

*I wouldn’t use this meat in soup, casseroles, most appetizers and dips. Only because it’s way cheaper to use a lesser grade without compromising the recipe at all.


Backfin also called Backfin Lump $$$

This grade comes from the same part of the crab as jumbo lump meat does except the lumps have been broken. There are some large pieces of meat as well as smaller ones. There also tends to be more shells and cartilages mixed in with the meat.

But it’s cheaper…about $5.00 a pound cheaper! The flavor, texture and color is the same. The only difference is the meat is not in one lump.

I would use this grade in crab cake recipes, where the crab cakes are either broiled or pan fried. This is also great in crab salad recipes as well.


White Meat or Special $$

This is a combo of Jumbo lumb blue crab meat
mixed with some claws and is generally flaked. It has a sweeter more crab flavor because the claws are mixed in.

It’s cheaper reflecting on the amount of crab shell and cartilage you have to pick through before you can use this grade in recipes.

This crab grade is perfect for chowders, soups, bisque, stews, crab cakes, dips and appetizers. Pretty much any recipe that calls for crab meat.


Claw Meat $$

Claw meat has a rich succulent crab flavor that the other parts of the crab don’t offer. It is for this reason that I prefer this meat when I’m making crab cakes that don’t need to look as appealing as a jumbo lump crab cake.

The meat is firm with strong crab flavor and the price is right.

Use this canned crab meat in all of our recipes we offer.

Grading Canned Crab Meat
: Main
: 2
  • canned crab meat


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