How Much Does Blue Crab Cost?
Blue crab is one of the many types of food you should try if you enjoy seafood. Blue crabs, or callinectes sapidus, are just as delicious as they are healthy. Basically, they have a sharp spine that goes outward on each carapace. They are very good swimmers because of the rear legs that serve as paddles. Blue crabs also have two prominent eyes. Similar to other crustaceans, these crabs shed their shell during the summer. Blue crabs make a great meal since they can be steamed and eaten whole or their meat can be used as an ingredient in other dishes.
How much does it cost?
- Live blue crab is usually purchased by the dozen. Each dozen (12) of blue crab should cost around $15 to $35. The costs can greatly vary depending on the size of the crabs since the larger the crab, the more meat it will yield.
- By the pound, plan on budgeting around $3.50 to $6 for blue crabs.
- If buying by the bushel, which is usually around three to ten dozen, the costs can range from $50 to $259 depending on the season, the seasonings, the quality, and the size.
- Females tend to be 30 to 50% cheaper due to their smaller size.
- Most crabs can be found in Chesapeake Bay area. This is according to Fishchoice.com. Unlike most other crabs produced in the United States, the blue crab should be a much better buy in summer. The price of a bushel of male crabs in New York should drop below $40 when landings peak.
- The company MarylandBlueCrabExpress.com offers a variety of blue crab choices. Here, a bushel of steam blue crabs can cost anywhere from $90 to $155 depending on the size of the crabs. In a typical bushel, there will be three to four dozen depending on the size.
What is going to be included?
- Blue crabs can be found in various sizes and shades. They are generally up to nine inches long from point to point and four inches long from head to tail according to edc.uri.edu
- The blue crab has olive green carapace and brilliant blue claws for males and red-tipped claws for females. They usually appear from early spring to late fall. They tend to live in shallow, brakish waters as well as muddy bottoms.
- The sizes can range anywhere from 4 inches to as large as 7 or more
- Purchasing live blue crabs may include costs for delivery and storage.
What are the extra costs?
- Check your supplier if they would charge extra for delivery and storage costs on top of the regular selling price of the blue crab.
- If you want to have the crabs boiled ahead of time, you will most likely be charged a “per pound” surcharge.
- If you plan to raise some blue crabs, you would need extra money for their location or shelter as well as food. Hiring someone to take care of them would also mean additional labor costs.
- Depending on how you plan to prepare the blue crabs, you may need other ingredients or even other pans and utensils to cook them properly.
- If you purchase a dozen blue crab, you will need a freezer large enough to store them if you do not cook them right away. A second freezer may be needed.
Factors that influence the cost:
- Preparation. The cost of blue crabs will depend on whether they are purchased fresh, pre-cooked, or frozen. You could also buy only the blue crab meat instead of the entire crab. If you are able to the blue crab directly from the docks, you will get the cheapest price as well as the best quality since you can cut out all the mark-ups of the middle men.
- Time of year. Blue crabs are in season from June to October, so the prices will be cheaper during this time. The rest of the year, you will probably pay more. The year also matters since sometimes the harvest is really high one year and down the next.
- Location. Cities that are nearer to the coast line will see much lower prices than the middle states. Also, the location from which you buy the blue crab, whether from a fresh seafood market, grocery store, or restaurant, will greatly affect the cost.
Tips to know:
- If you are planning to purchase fresh blue crabs take note that they are likely going to die during the transit. The crab’s shelf-life is less than seven days for most soft-shell crabs.
- Watch out for damaged crabs. If the blue crab smells bad (like ammonia), you should not attempt to cook and eat it since this can pose danger to your health.
- If buying by the bushel, the average bushel can feed up to ten people.
How can I save money?
- You can try to buy blue crabs during summer season. That way, you can potentially get the lowest price possible.
- Purchase blue crabs in bulk so that you can save more money. Some producers or suppliers of blue crab offer discounts for purchases made in large volumes.