How many pounds is 1 cluster of crab legs?

Crab legs are a delicious and popular seafood item. They come from various crab species, most commonly king crab, snow crab, and Dungeness crab. Crab legs are sold by the cluster, which refers to a section of the crab’s body with attached legs. But how much does one cluster of crab legs actually weigh? The answer depends on the type and size of crab.

Quick Answer

On average, one cluster of king crab legs weighs 1 to 1.5 pounds. For snow crab legs, one cluster is typically 0.5 to 1 pound. Dungeness crab clusters tend to be smaller, weighing 0.25 to 0.5 pounds each. The weight can vary based on the size of the crab and how it was prepared.

King Crab Leg Cluster

King crab legs come from the red king crab and blue king crab species found in Alaska and the Bering Sea. Of all the crab leg varieties, king crab clusters tend to be the largest and meatiest.

A typical king crab cluster contains 4 to 6 legs attached to a portion of the body. Depending on the size of the crab, one king crab cluster can weigh between 1 and 1.5 pounds. Large king crab clusters may even weigh up to 2 pounds.

Some key facts about king crab cluster weights:

  • Small king crab clusters are around 1 pound
  • Medium clusters average 1.25 pounds
  • Large king crab clusters weigh 1.5 to 2 pounds
  • Jumbo clusters can be over 2 pounds

So if you are buying king crab legs by the cluster at the store or restaurant, you can expect each section to be around 1 to 1.5 pounds of crab meat and legs. Of course, weights vary based on the individual crab size.

Snow Crab Leg Cluster

Snow crab, also sometimes called opilio crab, are smaller crabs with thinner legs compared to king crab. Snow crab legs are harvested from crabs in the cold northern Pacific waters off Alaska and Canada.

One cluster of snow crab legs typically includes 4 to 5 legs attached to a portion of the body. On average, a snow crab cluster weighs between 0.5 and 1 pound.

Here are some common snow crab cluster weights:

  • Small snow crab cluster: 0.5 pound
  • Medium cluster: 0.75 pound
  • Large cluster: 1 pound

The snow crab’s smaller size and thinner legs mean the clusters weigh noticeably less than king crab. But snow crab legs still offer plenty of sweet, tender meat. Expect around 0.5 to 1 pound of legs and body meat per snow crab cluster.

Dungeness Crab Cluster

Dungeness crab comes from the Pacific Northwest coast. It has a sweeter and lighter flavor compared to king or snow crab. Dungeness crab clusters contain a good amount of meat, but they are typically smaller in size than other crab varieties.

A typical Dungeness crab cluster weighs between 0.25 and 0.5 pounds. Some general Dungeness crab cluster weights are:

  • Small cluster: 0.25 pound
  • Medium cluster: 0.375 pound
  • Large cluster: 0.5 pound

Since Dungeness crabs are smaller with thinner legs and body, their clusters weigh noticeably less than king or snow crab. The edible meat from one Dungeness crab cluster ranges from 4 to 8 ounces usually.

Why Cluster Weights Vary

Several factors account for the variation in weights between crab clusters:

  • Crab size – Larger crabs produce heavier clusters with more meat.
  • Leg size – Some crab species naturally have thicker, meatier legs and claws.
  • Preparation method – Frozen clusters may contain more glaze ice, increasing the weight.
  • broken legs or While they have the same amount of meat, broken parts can decrease the overall cluster weight.

Crab legs sold as individual legs generally weigh around 3 to 8 ounces each.

Estimating Your Crab Leg Needs

When shopping for crab legs, you can use these standard cluster weights to estimate how much you need.

As a general rule of thumb for portions:

  • 1-2 king crab clusters per person
  • 2-3 snow crab clusters per person
  • 3-4 Dungeness crab clusters per person

Of course, serving sizes depend on the meal occasion and your own appetite. For a starter or appetizer course, plan for 1 cluster per person. For a main entree, allow for at least 2 clusters, or 1 pound of crab legs total.

To be safe, it’s best to overestimate your crab leg needs, since you can always save leftovers. An extra cluster or two ensures you have plenty of crab to go around at your meal or gathering.

Comparing Crab Leg Cluster Pricing

Since each type of crab leg cluster has a different typical weight, their pricing is not equal. Here are some general price comparisons:

  • King crab clusters: $12-$15 per pound
  • Snow crab clusters: $6-$10 per pound
  • Dungeness crab clusters: $8-$12 per pound

King crab is the most prized and expensive variety thanks to its large size, thick legs, and rich flavor. Snow crab costs moderately less due to the smaller clusters. Dungeness can be a budget-friendly crab option for its smaller portions.

When calculating price per pound, king crab clusters end up being the most expensive, followed by Dungeness and then snow crab. However, you also get more meat per cluster with king crab.

To find the best value, compare cluster prices both by the pound and per cluster. While king crab costs more per pound, the meaty large clusters may provide you with more worthwhile crab for your dollar overall.

Crab Leg Cluster Sizes

When shopping for clusters, you will come across these general size classifications:

King Crab Clusters

  • Small: 0.75 – 1 pound
  • Medium: 1.25 – 1.5 pounds
  • Large: 1.5 – 2 pounds
  • Jumbo: Over 2 pounds

Snow Crab Clusters

  • Small: 0.5 pound
  • Medium: 0.75 pound
  • Large: 1 pound

Dungeness Crab Clusters

  • Small: 0.25 pound
  • Medium: 0.375 pound
  • Large: 0.5 pound

Larger clusters contain more meat, but small and medium clusters can be just right for a single serving. Opt for jumbo king crab clusters for a show-stopping entree at your next meal.

Ordering Crab Legs by the Pound

Instead of clusters, some seafood markets and restaurants sell crab legs priced per pound. This allows you to customize the exact amount you want.

To determine how many pounds of legs to buy, here are some serving size guidelines:

  • Appetizer: 0.5 pounds per person
  • Lighter meal: 0.75 pounds per person
  • Main course: 1 to 1.5 pounds per person

Order king and snow crab legs by the pound if you want to control the portions precisely. Since Dungeness clusters are small, clusters may be a better option than ordering by the pound.

Cooking Methods for Crab Legs

No matter which type of crab legs you buy, these preparation methods all work excellently:

  • Steaming
  • Boiling
  • Baking
  • Grilling
  • Saut??ing
  • Frying

Steaming is one of the easiest ways to cook crab legs, as is briefly boiling. Just take care not to overcook them, as the meat can become rubbery. Grilling lends an amazing smoky flavor to crab legs during warmer months.

Serving Size Per Person

How many crab legs or clusters you serve per person depends on the kind of meal:

  • Appetizer: 1 cluster or 0.5 lb legs
  • Lighter meal: 1-2 clusters or 0.75 lb legs
  • Main course: 2-3 clusters or 1-1.5 lb legs
  • For feasts: 3-4 clusters or 1.5-2 lb legs

A good rule of thumb is allowing 0.75-1.5 pounds of Alaskan king crab legs per diner. For smaller snow and Dungeness varieties, serve 2-4 clusters per person. Those eating crab as an appetizer need less, while hearty main dishes call for more.

Imitation Crab Leg Clusters

You can also find imitation crab legs made from pollock or other whitefish. These faux crab legs are shaped and flavored to resemble real crabmeat.

Imitation crab legs are sold in similar sized clusters. However, the clusters weigh significantly less than real crab:

  • Imitation king crab cluster: 0.5 pounds
  • Imitation snow crab cluster: 0.4 pounds

A 1-pound bag of imitation crab legs may contain 2 to 3 clusters. While not authentic, these mock crab legs provide budget-friendly crab flavor.

Storing Fresh and Frozen Crab Legs

Fresh crab legs from the fish market should be cooked or frozen within 2 days. To freeze fresh legs:

  • Arrange clusters or legs in a single layer on a pan
  • Freeze for 2-3 hours until completely firm
  • Transfer to freezer bags
  • Remove air, seal, and freeze for 3-4 months

Previously frozen legs can be stored for 1-2 months in the freezer before cooking.

Thaw frozen crab in the fridge overnight when ready to use. Do not refreeze thawed crab legs.

Nutrition Info Per Serving

Here is the nutrition information per 3-ounce serving of various crab leg types:

King crab:

  • Calories: 83
  • Protein: 16g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbs: 0g

Snow crab:

  • Calories: 74
  • Protein: 15g
  • Fat: 0.5g
  • Carbs: 2g

Dungeness crab:

  • Calories: 89
  • Protein: 17g
  • Fat: 1g
  • Carbs: 1g

Crab meat is low in calories and fat but very high in protein. It provides important nutrients like selenium, vitamin B12, copper, and phosphorus.

3 to 4 ounces of crab makes for a nutritious light protein meal. Crab legs are low carb and naturally gluten free as well.

Price Per Pound for Crab Legs

Expect to pay around the following per pound when buying crab legs:

  • King crab legs: $12-$15 per pound
  • Snow crab legs: $6-$10 per pound
  • Dungeness crab legs: $8-$12 per pound

King crab fetches the highest price per pound due to its large size and tender, tasty meat. Snow crab costs moderately less, while Dungeness crab legs are the most budget-friendly.

Sale prices for snow crab legs can dip to $4.99 per pound or even lower at certain times of year. Stock up when you see special deals on crab legs.

The per-pound cost of crab legs has risen over the past decade as demand increases globally. Prices also depend on factors like fishing yields each season.

Popular Dishes Using Crab Legs

There are endless options for preparing and enjoying crab legs:

  • Crab legs with melted butter – The easiest and most popular way to eat crab legs is dipping them in melted lemon butter.
  • Crab legs salad – Chilled, diced crab leg meat makes an elegant salad combined with avocado and mango.
  • Crab cakes – For an appetizer or entree, use lump crab meat from legs in classic Maryland crab cakes.
  • Crab quesadillas – Mix crab with cheeses, peppers and onion for quick Mexican-inspired crab quesadillas.
  • Crab fried rice – Stir tender crab meat into fried rice with veggies and eggs for flavorful seafood dish.
  • Crab pasta – Toss crab leg meat with linguine or angel hair pasta, garlic, olive oil and parsley.

The sweet flavor of crab legs complements both simple and fancy preparations. Use crab in everything from appetizers to main courses.


One cluster of crab legs can provide 1 to 2 or more servings of delicious crab meat. Standard weights for crab clusters are:

  • King crab – 1 to 1.5 pounds per cluster
  • Snow crab – 0.5 to 1 pound per cluster
  • Dungeness – 0.25 to 0.5 pounds per cluster

Larger king crab legs offer the most meat, but snow and Dungeness varieties provide plenty of sweet flavor at lower costs. Estimate 1 to 1.5 pounds of crab legs per serving. Adjust portions depending on your meal and the appetites at hand.

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