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Special Crab Meat vs Lump Crab Meat: Which is a Better Option?

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting either special or lump crab meat, then you know that they are both amazing in their own right.

Both types have a succulent and distinct flavor – but there are vast differences between them.

Special crab meat is made from meat that has been extracted from the claws and body parts of a crab, giving it an incredibly distinctive taste with many subtle notes.

Lump crabmeat on the other hand offers a more rudimentary flavor profile – one that doesn’t tend to showcase any particularly strong flavors, instead offering what seems to be little more than chunks of white meat.

So why should you bother learning about these two very different types of seafood? Knowing about their distinctions can make picking out (or making) your favorite dishes easier; plus, understanding how two such drastically different items might save often big bucks when ordering restaurant materials.

This post will dive deep into exactly what sets these two delectable variations apart so you can get a better idea of which type would suit your meal best.

What is Special Crab Meat?

When it comes to seafood, few things are as delicious and versatile as crab meat.

But have you ever heard of special crab meat? This type of crab meat is different from regular crab meat in a few important ways.

First and foremost, special crab meat is extracted solely from the body of the crab, rather than the legs or claws.

This means that it is often softer and more delicate than other types of crab meat.

In addition, special crab meat is often considered to be of a higher quality than regular crab meat, and is often used in more upscale dishes.

Whether you’re a crab lover or just a seafood enthusiast, special crab meat is definitely worth trying at least once.

What is Lump Crab Meat?

Lump crab meat is a highly coveted seafood staple, known for its sweet and delicate flavor and tender texture.

This type of crab meat is harvested from the legs and claws of the blue crab species, which is found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States.

Unlike canned crab meat, which can be stringy and lacking in flavor, lump crab meat is carefully hand-picked to ensure that only large, flaky pieces are used.

This makes it a popular choice for a wide range of dishes, from crab cakes and dips to pasta and salads.

Not only does this delectable meat taste amazing, it’s also high in protein and low in fat, making it a healthy addition to any meal.

So whether you’re a seasoned seafood lover or a curious foodie looking to try something new, lump crab meat is definitely worth a taste.

Differences Between Special Crab Meat and Lump Crab Meat

Crab meat comes in two widely consumed variations- Special and Lump Crab Meat.

Special crab meat is made up of broken pieces of legs or body parts, whereas lump crab meat comprises big and intact chunks of white meat.

While special crab meat is used as a filler in other dishes, lump crab meat adds texture and flavor to seafood recipes.

Texture and Appearance

The crab meat’s texture and appearance have a significant role in choosing the type of meat for consumption or recipe preparation.

The selection depends upon the optimum usage of different types available, such as ‘Special Crab Meat’ and ‘Lump.


Special Crab Meat is typically shredded, small pieces that are extracted from the body of a blue crab and maintain consistent quality throughout the batch.

It has a delicate flavor and smooth texture, making it an excellent option for salads, dips, and soups.

However, it may contain slight shell fragments that can decrease overall aesthetic appeal.

In contrast, Lump crab meat consists of more thick and sizable chunks sourced from larger crabs’ muscular backfin area.

It presents an extensive range of distinctive ingredients in every serving.

Lump meat comes in different grades depending on its size—Jumbo Lump and Super Lump being the most popular varieties used in many recipes.

While both options have their advantages, many chefs prefer Lump Crab Meat as it provides standout visuals for stunning presentations and textures suitable for high-end recipes like puff pastries or cheffy gourmet dishes.

It is essential to understand the differences between Special Crab Meat vs Lump before selecting one for your dish.

Both offer unique benefits based on how you intend to use them, so choose wisely.

Taste and Flavor

The mouth-watering taste and distinct flavor of crab meat can vary depending on its type and quality.

The texture, sweetness, saltiness, and umami of both special crab meat and lump are unique to them.

These characteristics depend upon the part of the crab from which it is extracted.

Furthermore, special or claw crab meat comes from the claw area of a crab.

It has a flaky texture but is soft and juicy at the same time.

On the other hand, lump meat is derived from larger muscles near the leg joints of crabs.

Lump crab meat has a firmer texture compared to special or claw meat.

In addition, it’s important to note that the harvesting method also impacts their flavor profiles.

Hand-picked crab meat is considered better than machine-extracted as it reduces damage during extraction maintaining its delicate flavors.

Overall, since both special crab meat and lump have different taste profiles, choosing between these two comes down to personal preference.

Those who prefer tender flesh with uniform flakes in their dishes should go for special or claw meat while those looking for firm chunks with less moisture should opt for lump crab meat.


The price of special crab meat and lump crab meat varies depending on factors like origin, quality, packaging, and availability.

Special crab meat is usually less expensive than lump crab meat as it contains broken-up pieces and bits of the meat.

However, lump crab meat is more expensive due to its larger pieces, firmer texture and sweet flavour which make it ideal for specialty dishes and events.

When buying either option, it is essential to consider your budget, taste preferences and recipe requirements.

Special crab meat is an excellent option for soups, dips or sandwiches because of its shredded character.

Lump crab meat is perfect for gourmet meals that require larger pieces of delicate white meat such as seafood pasta or fancy salads due to its magnificent texture.

Ultimately, selecting the right option comes down to individual preference.

When shopping online or in-store, compare prices per ounce within each category to make the best choice for your needs.

Whether you select special crab meat or lump crab meat; remember that both are healthy protein choices packed with essential nutrients and succulent flavours.

Culinary Uses

Crab meat can be used in various culinary dishes, ranging from soups to salads.

Its delicate and sweet flavor makes it a popular choice among seafood lovers.

Lump crab meat is often preferred over special crab meat due to its larger pieces that add more texture and flavor to a dish.

Lump crab meat is ideal for dishes where the texture of the crab meat needs to be prominent, such as crab cakes or stuffing for fish.

Special crab meat, on the other hand, is better suited for dishes where the flavor of the crab needs to blend with other ingredients, such as in soups or dips.

When using either type of crab meat, it’s important to handle it delicately to prevent breaking up the large chunks of lump or shredding the small flakes of special.

This ensures that the distinct taste and texture of the crab remains intact throughout the cooking process.

In summary, choosing between lump and special crabmeat depends on what kind of dish you want to create.

Both have their unique qualities that can enhance any seafood recipe.

Similarities Between Special Crab Meat and Lump Crab Meat

Crab meat enthusiasts often debate on the quality of Special Crab Meat and Lump Crab Meat.

Both these delicacies have many similarities in terms of taste, texture and nutrients.

They come from the same crustacean species and are used in a variety of dishes ranging from salads to soups.

Special Crab Meat and Lump Crab Meat both have a similar sweetness coupled with a hint of brininess that enhances their flavor.

Moreover, they both offer high protein content that makes them suitable for people who prefer low-fat, high-protein diets.

The texture is also quite similar, as both types offer a slightly chewy yet tender bite.

It’s important to note that Lump Crab Meat is considered more premium due to its larger size and lack of shell fragments compared to Special Crab Meat.

However, it comes at a higher price point.

To conclude, while the two varieties are very similar in most aspects, the main difference lies in their size and pricing.

Regardless of which type you choose to purchase or cook with, they’re both delicious options that’ll add depth and richness to your meals.

Which Crab Meat Should You Choose?

When deciding which type of crab meat to choose, both special and lump crab meat have unique characteristics.

Special crab meat includes parts of the crab that are smaller and broken up, while lump crab meat consists of larger, intact pieces that are sourced from the body of the crab.

Lump crab meat is often considered a higher quality option due to its larger pieces and sweeter taste.

The larger pieces make it ideal for dishes that showcase the texture and flavor of the meat, such as crab cakes or salads.

On the other hand, special crab meat is perfect for recipes such as dips or soups, where smaller pieces will blend in easily with other ingredients.

When making your decision between these two options, consider what type of recipe you will be using them in.

If you want a more prominent crab taste and texture, lump crab meat may be your best bet.

If you are looking to blend flavors or need smaller pieces for your dish, special crab meat might be a better choice.

Ultimately, the decision between special and lump crab meat depends on personal preference and the specific recipe at hand.

So next time you’re at the seafood counter choosing your ingredients, consider which type of crab meat will best suit your culinary needs.

Factors to Consider

One must consider certain factors when choosing between Special Crab Meat and Lump.

These include quality, texture, versatility, and price.

Both options may vary depending on the crab species, preparation, packaging, and source.

Special Crab Meat is made from small pieces of white meat that are extracted from the body of a crab.

It has a mild and sweet flavor and is well-suited for dishes where the meat needs to be shredded or flaked.

Lump Crab Meat, on the other hand, is made up of larger chunks of meat that are taken from the legs and claws of the crab.

It has a firmer texture and a stronger flavor that can hold up to bold flavors.

In addition to their differences in taste and texture, Special Crab Meat is more affordable than Lump Crab Meat.

Although Lump Crab Meat is more expensive than Special Crab Meat because it consists only of large chunks of meat without added fillers or preservatives.

Ultimately, determining which option to use depends on personal preference or recipe requirements.

Whether you choose Special Crab Meat or Lump Crab Meat will depend on the price point you’re comfortable with; flavor profile; overall taste preferences; recipe specifications; availability; quantity needed for cooking applications.

Recipes for Special Crab Meat and Lump Crab Meat

When it comes to choosing between special crab meat and lump crab meat, there are important factors to consider.

Each type has unique qualities, tastes, and uses in recipes.

For instance, special crab meat is typically smaller and comes from broken or less perfect parts of the crab.

It can be used in a variety of dishes such as dips and spreads.

On the other hand, lump crab meat comes from larger pieces of the body and has a sweeter taste.

It works well in more delicate dishes like salads or deviled crabs.

Understanding the differences between special and lump crab meat can help elevate your culinary skills and impress guests at your next dinner party.

Where to Buy Crab Meat and How to Store It?

Crab meat is a delicacy that can be enjoyed in various dishes, but it’s essential to buy and store it properly to ensure its freshness.

To start, finding a reputable seller for crab meat is vital.

Check local markets or online seafood vendors that provide fresh options to choose from.

It’s also best to buy live crabs and extract the meat yourself if possible.

When storing crab meat, keeping it chilled is crucial.

Use a sealed container or plastic bag filled with ice and place the crab meat on top.

Keep it in the coldest part of your fridge and consume within two days for optimal freshness.

Other tips include checking if the crab meat has any unpleasant smells or discoloration before purchasing, and avoiding any previously frozen options as they may not retain their original texture and taste.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy delicious crab meat dishes without compromising its quality.


Overall, it’s important to understand the difference between special crab meat and lump crab meat.

Special crab meat is a great option for making delicious dishes as it blends well with other ingredients.

It consists mostly of finely chopped pieces of king or blue crab and has an intense flavor.

On the other hand, lump crab meat tends to be more expensive but it is still worth the taste.

Its delicate sweetness makes it ideal for garnishing appetizers, topping salads, and preparing gourmet entrees.

Both types of crabmeat offer various culinary possibilities limited only by our imaginations.

The choice between special or lump comes down to preference and personal budget.

No matter which type you choose, you can be confident that your guests will be delighted by its flavor.

Special Crab Meat vs Lump Crab Meat: Which is a Better Option?

Planning a seafood feast? When it comes to crab meat, choosing between special and lump crab meat can impact the texture and taste of your dishes. Explore the differences in meat size and applications to select the option that elevates your crab-based recipes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Special Crab Meat
  • Lump Crab Meat


  • Choose between two items based on your preference and availability.
  • Follow the cooking directions for your chosen option, using the appropriate ratio of ingredients.
  • Prepare it according to your desired recipes.
  • Incorporate them into your dish, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience and experiment with different dishes to explore their versatility.
Keyword Special Crab Meat vs Lump Crab Meat
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