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Any good canned or frozen crab out there? [Moved from Home Cooking]

Has anyone ever had luck with frozen or canned crabmeat? I love making low-on-filling crabcakes, crab-filled gumbo, etc. but dread picking crabs. In addition, Dungeness crabs are great for eating on their own but not intensely flavorful when put into dishes. Any ideas?

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  1. I've had reasonably good canned crab from SEAsia, but it's sold on ice at fish stores. Good for crab you are cooking with.
    The plastic tubs of lumb crab from North Carolina etc are expensive but really YUM. Also sold at fish stores, on ice.

    1. I have recently been buying a brand (sorry, can't recall the name) of crabmeat that is sold in foil envelopes which are kept refrigerated and sold near the fish counter in the supermarket. They have two types, claw meat and lump - the lump is slightly more expensive. I think tastes a lot better than canned. I am not sure whether or not it is previously frozen, I don't think so.

      1. Chicken of the Sea sells a foil pouch version that's pretty good. It's also shelf-stable, so it's easy to keep around.

        1. I'm very jealous of you Americans and your tubs fresh crab meat. But, here in Toronto we have had big sales on frozen King Crab Legs.

          They are great, lots of meat, big flavour and fairly easy to crack. I wouldn't add any extra salt without tasting, as I found them fairly salty.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mila

            Crab legs (king or snow) can be a crap shoot when it comes to saltiness, as they are frozen in a brine solution (and can have been thawed and re-frozen numerous times between initial processing and finally reaching your retailer's shelf).

            However, if you ever see King crab legs from Bristol Bay grab them! They are the best crab legs I have ever had, and they are frozen only once ever, so the saltiness is typically very low.

          2. I have had NOTHING but good luck with the Phillips brand of crabmeat (the lump variety) that comes in 1 lb. cans in the refrigerated section of the store - I have found it in regular grocery stores, but usually buy it at Costco (Sam's has it, too). I have used it in crabcakes, pasta sauces and even salads and to make crab cocktails out of and it is really good. I was raised on the Eastern shore, so I am used to good crab. This is NOT blue crab, it's south Asian, I think, but still very, very dependable and good.

            3 Replies
            1. re: kim shook

              If I remember correctly, blue crab is found in most parts of the world, so the canned crab meat from SE Asia, could very well be blue crab. This is not to say, however, that there is no difference in taste/flavor to that of East Coast blue crab.

              To weigh in on the original question, I have had pretty consistant good results with canned crab meat.

              1. re: djohnson22

                Blue Crab is only found on the eastern coast of the US. The stuff coming out of SE Asia is actually Walker Crab, which is called "blue walker crab" to promote sales, and often just shortened to "blue crab", but really its a totally different variety. It looks very similar but is almost flavorless compared to Blue Crab.

              2. re: kim shook

                I agree that Philips crabmeat is delicious. I've tried other brands of canned crabmeat and found them to be tinny or tasteless or both, but I'm addicted to this stuff.

              3. I like the previously frozen dungeness crabmeat I can get at any grocery store meat counter just fine. But, I'm not sure how widely available this is-I'm in Seattle. I'm sure your fish market would have something like this.

                1. If you are close to a Costco, try Phillips Lump Crab. It comes in a 16oz can in the cheese and cold case items area. It's very good as a replacement for fresh.

                  1. Another vote for Phillips. It's about $14 for the 16 ounce can at Costco but it's very good--makes great crabcakes and salads. I tried the Chicken of the Sea in the foil envelope, but it had too much cartilage in it.

                    1. I like Phillips too. It differs a lot from non-refrigerated canned stuff, less heated and pasteurized I think; anyway it tastes much more natural. There is the little matter of perishability but it's worth it.

                      On the other hand, I have found Trader Joe's refrigerated canned crab, which looks a lot like Phillips, to be remarkably taste-free.

                      1. There was one I got from Central Market, but only because the woman was doing demonstrations and so I knew it was good. It was in a round can, inside of a square box but other than that, I can't remember much about it.


                        1. Trader Joes recently had huge cans of crab meat for sale for a GREAT price. I was totally tempted but I still perfer to get my meat fresh from SM Seafood (Not bad, I think last I paid for it, $20 a lb and that makes a LOT of crab cakes...)


                          1. I recently read this and decided to try the Phillips brand crab meat located near the seafood counter. I did think it made a good crab cake, and it was $6 for 8 oz for the claw crab meat. The other varieties are more money, but overall, I was pleased with the quality of the crab meat and would use it again.

                            1. simple, just go to the Tsukiji market in Tokyo and there's a mom n pop stand in more or less the middle that runs off their own. several stands seem to do this. awesome stuff but non-pasteurized so they can't ship bulk to the states sadly.

                              1. I agree with you all, crabmeat is such a great ingredient but can be hard to find, and even when I do it is as pricey as it gets. I have gotten Phillips, great stuff, but also a brand called Jack's Catch, a blue can, the taste and texture were the same but it costs me much less than Phillips.

                                Any one heard of Jack's Catch Crab? Where to buy it? Cant find nowadays.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: GimmeMoFood

                                  Jack's Catch is an old Newport RI brand that got repurposed by a Florida company and markets SEAsian crabmeat. It has the full range from jumbo lump to claw - claw, strongest taste, most brown color; jumbo lump, biggest pieces, white and sweet, most expensive.