What Is the Difference Between Crab and Lobster?

Crab and lobster are two of the most popular seafood choices, often featured in gourmet dishes around the world. Both are delicious and nutritious, but they have distinct differences that set them apart. Understanding the difference between crab and lobster can enhance your appreciation for these marine delicacies and help you choose the right one for your culinary needs.

Physical Characteristics

The most noticeable difference between crab and lobster lies in their physical appearance. Crabs typically have a broad, flat body covered by a hard exoskeleton and are known for their sideways walking motion.

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They have ten legs, with the front two being claws, which are often used for defense and catching prey.

Lobsters, on the other hand, have a long, cylindrical body with a muscular tail. They also have ten legs, but their front claws are much more prominent and powerful compared to those of crabs. Lobsters are equipped with a hard shell that they periodically molt as they grow. Their appearance is more elongated compared to the compact structure of crabs.


Another significant difference between crab and lobster is their preferred habitats. Crabs are generally more versatile and can be found in various environments, including oceans, freshwater rivers, and even on land. Different species of crabs inhabit different zones, from shallow coastal areas to deep-sea floors.

Lobsters, conversely, are primarily found in saltwater environments. They thrive in colder waters, such as those in the North Atlantic Ocean. Lobsters are typically found in rocky crevices and burrows on the ocean floor, where they can hide from predators and hunt for food.

Taste and Texture

The taste and texture of crab and lobster are distinct, making each suitable for different culinary applications. The meat of a crab is usually sweet, tender, and flaky. It is often found in dishes such as crab cakes, crab salads, and various types of sushi. The delicate texture of crab meat makes it a favorite for light, refreshing dishes.

Lobster meat, particularly from the tail, is firmer and more robust compared to crab meat. It has a slightly sweet flavor but is richer and denser. Lobster is often served as the centerpiece of a meal, whether boiled, grilled, or incorporated into dishes like lobster bisque or lobster rolls. The firm texture allows it to hold up well in various cooking methods, providing a satisfying bite.

Nutritional Value

Both crab and lobster are nutritious options, but there are some differences in their nutritional profiles. Crabs are generally lower in calories and fat compared to lobsters. They are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin B12, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Lobsters are also rich in protein and essential nutrients, such as copper, zinc, and phosphorus. However, they tend to have a higher cholesterol content compared to crabs. Both seafood options are beneficial for a healthy diet, but those monitoring their cholesterol intake might prefer crab over lobster.

Cost and Availability

The cost and availability of crab and lobster can vary significantly depending on the region and season. Generally, lobsters are more expensive than crabs due to their more intensive harvesting process and the colder, more specific waters they inhabit. Lobsters are often considered a luxury item in many cuisines, while crabs can be more accessible and affordable.

Culinary Uses

The culinary uses of crab and lobster also highlight their differences. Crab meat is versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes, from simple salads to intricate gourmet recipes. It pairs well with various flavors and can be served hot or cold.

Lobster is often showcased as a main course, celebrated for its rich and indulgent taste. It is commonly served with melted butter or incorporated into sophisticated dishes that emphasize its luxurious quality.

The difference between crab and lobster encompasses physical characteristics, habitat, taste, texture, nutritional value, cost, and culinary uses. Both are delightful seafood options that offer unique flavors and experiences. By understanding these differences, you can better appreciate each crustacean and make informed choices when selecting seafood for your next meal. Head to the Angry Crab Shack in Peoria, AZ today!


Both crab and lobster are nutritious options.

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