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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.