Why Is King Crab So Expensive? (Top 4 Reasons Explained)


King crabs are one of the rare kinds of seafood we encounter from time to time. It’s not something you’ll always see in grocery stores and markets. Also, it’s not something that you’ll always see in restaurants. Another thing is that they can be so pricey. So, you may wonder:

Why is king crab so expensive? King crabs are expensive because there’s a low supply of king crabs. In addition, these crabs take several years to mature, and they only grow in icy environments. As a result, the harvest of such is hazardous and labor-intensive, and the shipping to consumers would be a long way.

King crabs are known for their large sizes and exquisite flavors that don’t need much when cooked. Thus, they are usually enjoyed with only a bit of ingredient and are best served fresh. However, as someone who wants to enjoy this experience, you may wonder why they are so expensive to know if these crabs are worth buying.

In this article, you’ll see the top four reasons why king crabs are expensive. This way, you can understand the value of these crabs and determine if it’s worth being part of your budget.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Is king crab expensive?

Yes, king crab is expensive. King crabs are one of the most expensive kinds of seafood. They are so expensive that a pound can cost around $50 to $60. Another thing is that king crabs can get so large that they weigh around 6-10 pounds, which means a single crab can cost around $500.

Why is king crab so expensive?

If you’re wondering why king crabs are so expensive, here are the top four reasons. Then, read further below to learn what gives these crabs the high value and price.

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Low Supply

The first thing that makes these king crabs so expensive is the low supply. Generally, king crabs only thrive in specific areas or regions. In particular, they thrive in icy environments.

Since there are few regions for them to grow, there’s no way to expand the farming of king crabs, resulting in a higher price significantly when the demand increases.

Long Maturity

Besides the specific area where the king crabs live, these crabs also take several years to mature and be ready for harvest.

In particular, each crab needs to be at least 7-9 years old before they become ready to be harvested. Such a long maturity time adds to the high price of king crabs.

Labor-Intensive and Hazardous Processing

Another thing to note is that harvesting these crabs involves a lot of hazards for the farmer.

For instance, these crabs live in deep and freezing waters, which means they are challenging to harvest. In addition, no one can survive these waters for extended periods, so they cannot get a lot.

Also, the king crabs themselves are dangerous to get since they can cut off fingers if you’re not careful.

In short, the effort and risks involved to get these crabs are reasons enough for the high price.

Long Shipping

King crabs are best served and enjoyed while fresh, and keeping this freshness is another problem. While their environment is cold, the long hours of travel need specific preservation methods to keep each crab fresh and enjoyable.

In short, it takes a lot of effort for these crabs to remain their best until the consumers enjoy them on the plate.

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How much does king crab cost?

Generally, king crabs cost around $50-$60 per pound. Most of these crabs are sold per leg since they can be pretty expensive and huge when bought as a whole.

For instance, a king crab can weigh around six to eight pounds, which means a single crab can cost around $300 to $500.

Now, an average serving size for king crabs is one to two pounds, which means an entire crab can satisfy two to three persons.

Is king crab worth the money?

It depends on your preference and your budget. However, if you want to indulge in king crabs to celebrate or enjoy a special occasion, it’s worth experiencing. King crabs are known for their sweet and mild flavor that begs comparison to lobsters.

The meat, which is large and tender parts, can cost over $47 per pound. Now, it all boils down to your budget. If you have an extra, it’s undoubtedly worth your money. If your budget is tight, you can always enjoy other seafood alternatives.

Why is king crab so popular?

King crab is so popular because it’s not something you’ll usually see in typical restaurants and stores. In addition, the meat of these crabs is packed with a unique flavor that you’ll surely enjoy.

Also, many people like to enjoy these crabs because their meat is lean, packed with high amounts of protein while low in fat and calories. In short, even those who are conscious of what they eat can enjoy these crabs without worries.

Why are king crab legs so expensive?

King crab legs are so expensive because they contain the largest chunks of meat you can find in king crabs. Each leg can weigh a pound, especially with huge king crabs. For this reason, most of the king crabs are sold by legs and weighed in pounds to determine the price.

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Why is king crab more expensive than snow crab?

King crab is more expensive than snow crab because it is rare, huge, has a specific harvesting season, and has limited availability.

On the other hand, snow crabs are cheaper since there’s a larger supply and the harvesting isn’t that labor-intensive and hazardous.

Of course, when compared with other seafood, snow crabs are still expensive. However, if you choose between the two, you’ll save more with snow crabs than with king crabs.


In a nutshell, king crabs are very expensive because they are a limited number. In addition, they grow only in icy environments, taking several years to mature. Hence, the harvesting and shipping of these products would be hazardous and labor-intensive.

King crabs are known for their large sizes and exquisite flavors that don’t require much cooking. As a result, they are usually eaten with only a small amount of ingredients and are best enjoyed fresh. However, if you want to enjoy this experience, you might wonder why these crabs are so expensive and whether they are worth buying. We hope this information helped you decide whether king crabs are worth buying for you or not.

Also Read:

  • Why Are Oysters So Expensive?
  • Why Are Scallops So Expensive?
  • Why Are Lobsters So Expensive?
  • Why Are Wings So Expensive?
  • Why Are Quail Eggs So Expensive?


Image credits – Canva

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>