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Looking for a new protein source without falling back on chicken or turkey? Or do you want the taste of seafood without having to pay exorbitant prices to get it?
In both of these cases and more, crab meat in a can could be a great choice. Crab meat is tasty, affordable, and packed with protein, making it an ideal pick for folks wanting to build muscle or trying to make a new dinner recipe with meat other than chicken.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live on the coast in order to get tasty crab meat. Crab meat in a can is available in practically every grocery store. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best crab meat in a can so you know what to look for on your next shopping trip.
4 Kinds of Crab Meat in a Can
Before diving into the best canned crab meat brands and types, you need to know what types of crab meat you can find on the market. Although there are many different crab meat types in total, most canned crab meat comes in these four varieties:
- White meat, which is usually flaked crab meat. It’s often a mix between claw crab meat and Jumbo lump crab meat (more on those below)
- Claw crab meat, which comes from the claws of crabs. It’s notably less sweet compared to other types of crab, but it offers a more intense meaty flavor
- Jumbo lump meat, which comes from several crabs. That’s because jumbo lump meat is derived from specific pair of muscles that connect a crab’s swimming legs to its back. A crab only has a pair of those muscles, so jumbo lump crab meat costs up to almost $50 per pound which is expensive compared to most other canned meats
- Leg meat, which comes from crab legs and which is often sweeter than the above varieties
Any of these meat types can be good, but you might prefer one or the other because of its cost or flavor profile.
Why Eat Crab Meat in a Can?
Although we typically place a premium on fresh seafood, crab meat in a can is often a good idea, particularly if you don’t live near the coast. Crab meat in a can is:
- Very high in protein, so it can be a great alternative to chicken if you are getting bored of poultry dishes. Just 120 g of canned crab meat has nearly 60 g of protein
- Easy to prepare. All canned crab meat comes fully cooked and with the shell removed
- Affordable. Although certain canned crab meat can be more expensive compared to other canned brands, crab meat overall is affordable and economical since it’s always cheaper than fresh crab meat
- Long-lasting, as you can store canned crab meat for over three years if the cans remain sealed
With all that out of the way, let’s take a look at some great crab meat can brands and types you should consider the next time you go to the grocery store.
5 Crab Meat Cans You’ll Love
Bumble Bee White Crab Meat
Bumble Bee’s White Crab Meat offers excellent value for money; you can find it at an affordable price and in grocery stores throughout the country. This crab meat brand doesn’t have any traces of MSG and each can is packed with whole or broken pieces of fresh crab meat.
Since each can also only has 40 cal per serving, it can make a great ingredient as part of a low-carb and low-calorie meal or snack. The can’s flaky texture and savory flavor make Bumble Bee’s crab meat a favorite for crab enthusiasts.
Crown Prince White Lump Crab Meat
Crown Prince’s White Lump Crab Meat is always caught wild from sources near Thailand, offering a fresh taste with all the convenience of canned seafood products. Since it comes with zero carbs and 9% of your daily value of protein per can, it can also be a good choice for exercise enthusiasts looking to build muscle.
Even better, it comes with 8% and 2% of your daily recommended values for calcium and iron, respectively. With no trans fats and a sweet, notable taste, this canned crab meat is a perfect choice for advanced crab dishes.
Chicken of the Sea Lump Crab Meat
Chicken of the Sea might be primarily known for its canned tuna, but it also offers flavorful canned crab meat. Most importantly, Chicken of the Sea harvests its crab and other seafood sustainably: thus, this could be a good choice if you only want to support companies that do their part for the environment.
Regardless, this canned crab meat has tons of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are great for muscle growth, skin health, and even hair health. While the crab meat becomes flakier after you drain the can of water, this brand is still an affordable and accessible choice for crab rolls, salads, or soups.
Handy Jumbo Lump Crab Meat
Handy Jumbo offers some of the only pasteurized canned crab meat. Each can is filled with jumbo lump crab, offering excellent flavor and a pleasurable texture in each bite. Just a single serving includes 11 g of protein, 1 g of fat, and tons of vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
While it also contains 50 cal, this could nonetheless be the top choice for folks who want crab meat they can sink their teeth into while building muscle and maintaining skin and hair health all the while.
MW Polar Seafood White Crab Meat
MY Polar Seafood’s White Crab Meat is ideal for bulk buyers, as you can find 12-can packs of this crab meat for affordable prices around the country. It’s also a good brand since all the crab meat comes from wild-caught specimens, which are then cooked and mixed with water.
There’s more meat than water in each can, however, so keep in mind that each bite could taste a bit drier than average. Still, this brand is a great choice for anyone who wants to stock up on canned crab meat on a budget.
Any of the above crab meat brands could be your favorite – consider trying them all the next time you go shopping. Since each brand isn’t as expensive as fresh crab, you can try every one of them in turn and make your favorite your go-to crab meat choice for future dishes.