Dungeness Crab Claws Versus Dungeness Crab Legs

Eating crab claws and legs is an experience! 

But not everyone is well-versed in eating crustacean. If you aren’t too familiar with eating crab, it can be slightly intimidating at first; although it’s worth learning and practicing so that you can master the art of cracking and eating the best meat there is. Crab meat is a versatile ingredient: you can boil, steam, grill, and fry it, and you can also whip up creative recipes like crab cakes, soups, casseroles, and fancy Cajun dishes using it. 

The edible parts of a Dungeness crab are the claws, legs, body, and shells (to boil for fish stock), and each part of the crab has a method of cracking and getting the meat out of it along with its very own taste. 

Did you know what crab meat is a healthy food choice? 

According to the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, 3 ounces of cooked Dungeness crab meat has the following nutrition facts:

  • Calories: 94
  • Carbohydrates: .81g
  • Protein: 19g
  • Cholesterol: 64mg
  • Total fat: 1.06g
  • Sodium: 321mg
  • Saturated fat: .143g
  • Calcium: 50mg
  • Monounsaturated fat: .182g
  • Magnesium: 49mg
  • Potassium: 347mg
  • Polyunsaturated fat: .346g
  • Omega-3: .3g
  • Zinc: 4.65mg

Keep reading to learn about cracking and eating crab claws versus crab legs and get a new recipe idea. 

Dungeness Crab Claws

Dungeness Crab Claw

The Dungeness crab claw holds the largest amount of meat and it is sweet, delicious, and delectable. In order to crack the claws, you can either use a lobster cracker or even a nutcracker. Really anything that can give it a good whack to crack it and pull it apart will work. You don’t want to hit it too hard to start off because you want to minimize the chance that it might shatter and splinter. Once it is cracked, you can take the meat out with either a fork or skewers. Chopsticks will work as well. 

Time to get eating! 

What goes well with crab claws? 

An article in Saveur lists six unique sauces that are perfect for crab. Click each for the recipe. 

  1. Brandy Mayonnaise 
  2. Chive Emulsion
  3. Clarified Butter with Garlic and Chiles
  4. Diablo Sauce
  5. Tartar Sauce
  6. Ponzu Sauce 

Dungeness Crab Legs

Are you a leg person?

If you haven’t tried eating Dungeness crab legs, you are missing out. 

The legs are also sweet with a hint of saltiness and are very soft. They taste a bit like fish without that overly-fishy taste or smell. 

Crab legs can be cracked just like the claws; however, since they are much smaller and the leg shells aren’t as hard as claws, you can sometimes take a pair of kitchen scissors and break them open. 

Bon appetit! 

Hungry for crab legs now? Check out this super simple recipe made with Dungeness crab. 

Dungeness Crab Legs with Garlic Butter

Dungeness Crab Legs with Garlic Butter


  • 6 pounds crab legs Dungeness crab, king crab, snow crab or a combination of different types
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • lemon wedges optional


  1. Place 3 inches of water in a large, deep pot over medium heat. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Crack the crab legs with a seafood cracker. (How to Clean Crab)
  3. Place the crab legs in the pot and cover.
  4. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the crab is heated through. If you have raw crab, cook for 10-12 minutes until the flesh is red/orange and opaque.
  5. Drain the crab legs and cover to keep warm.
  6. Melt the butter in the pot. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, pepper and parsley.
  7. Return the crab to the pot and toss to coat with the garlic butter. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges if desired.

The good thing about cooking, cleaning, and cracking a Dungeness crab is that you don’t have to choose which part of the crab you’ll eat. Just eat it all! The legs, claws, and body will provide a succulent and tasty meal and you can get creative in the kitchen with the innumerable recipes that are out there. 

Surely now your taste buds are intrigued and you are wondering where to get fresh Dungeness crab for your next lunch or dinner. If you are reading this article...which you are...then you’ve already stumbled upon us. We are Fathom Seafood and we have the best live Dungeness crab around that can be ordered conveniently online and shipped to your house within 24 hours. Our company ensures that the Dungeness crab we sell are sustainably caught and shipped with care. 

Check out our website and select your next meal---crab legs, claws, and all! 

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