What Is Dungeness Crab? When Is Dungeness Crab Season?

What Is Dungeness Crab? When Is Dungeness Crab Season?

Seafood can create very high-class and unique dishes, so can sea crabs. One of the most popular crabs is Dungeness. Have you ever eaten Dungeness crab? What special features does this crab have and how does it live? There are many questions that you would like answers to. In this article, Fisherman's Net will share with you all you need to know what is Dungeness Crab?

what is dungeness crab

Page Contents

  1. What Is A Dungeness Crab?
  2. When Is Dungeness Crab Season?
  3. What Part Of Dungeness Crab Is Edible?
  4. How To Keep Dungeness Crabs Alive?
  5. Where To Buy Fresh Dungeness Crab?
  6. Conclusion

What Is A Dungeness Crab?

Dungeness crabs are large-bodied crustaceans. They have a very high nutritional and economic value, so many people love them.


There are many types of crabs in the world, but Dungeness is a unique crab species. They usually live on sandy beaches.

Dungeness is the most famous crab on the western Pacific coasts, the Pacific Northwest of the United States, to be exact. The name 'Dungeness' also comes from humans' finding this crab at Dungeness Spit in Washington state. Nowadays, this crab has become a big part of supporting local economic development.


Dungeness is a crab with a rather special appearance; it can weigh up to 2 pounds when fully grown. The legs of this crab are usually shorter than some other sea crabs, and the first pair of claws are not too large.

Its average size is about 10 feet, 4 pairs of small claws for movement and 1 pair of giant claws for food and defense. They are usually dark green when cooked. They will have a beautiful orange-red color.

Each Dungeness crab, when it comes to a certain time, will have to molt to have a larger shell for size development. Therefore, the hunting of this crab will be conducted according to the time of year.

Meat flavor

what is a dungeness crab

Dungeness crab is considered a crab with a lot of meat inside. With a crab of this type weighing 2 pounds, you can get 1.5 pounds of meat.

Indeed many people will feel worried about what is Dungeness crab legs. Do their legs have a lot of meat? The answer is yes. You can find quite a bit of crab meat inside the claws, including the small ones. Even the meat here is firmer than other places.

You may be assured of the quality of the meat of this crab. The meat is very sweet and firm, safe to eat. Inside the crab, meat also contains a lot of nutrients such as protein and B12 to help increase the body's immunity.

Thanks to the delicious meat, there are many dishes you can make from Dungeness. However, you should not use raw Dungeness crab meat. Eating raw crab meat will easily cause digestive disorders or poisoning. 

Read more: What is the difference between Dungeness crab vs Snow crab?

When Is Dungeness Crab Season?

Dungeness crabs will also have their own molting time and season like other crustaceans. However, the Dungeness season is not summer but usually winter, from mid-November to early December.

A Dungeness crab season can last until July, but people usually only hunt it for the first few months.

In California, there is also a recreational activity during the Dungeness crab season. This activity usually starts on the first Saturday of November. Each participant can catch up to 10 Dungeness crabs per day. However, you can only catch fish at least 5x3/4 inches wide.

Dungeness crab catchers often use crab traps that are cages instead of nets. In some fishing locations, this is also the rule.

What Part Of Dungeness Crab Is Edible?

Most parts of Dungeness Crab can give you meat. But the meat will mainly come from the claws and body of the crab, especially the big legs.


Many people believe that Dungeness crab claws will contain the most delicious and firm meat. The claws will be smaller than the other parts, but they can be heavy since Dungeness uses them to move. The flesh inside the claw will be substantial and sweet.

what is dungeness crab legs

You just need to use specialized crab tongs to break the hard shell. Then, slowly peel off the skin and enjoy the firm meat.


Dungeness crab legs are the part of the body that contains a lot of meat. The meat in crab legs often contains many nutrients, especially protein. The amount of fat in crab leg meat is also meager.

Dungeness crab body

The Dungeness body is where a lot of meat is stored. This meat has a particular flavor, sweet and firm, with a bit of fat.

It may take some time to separate the crab meat, but it's totally worth it.

Dungeness crab Cluster

What is a Dungeness crab cluster? Crab clusters are clones that attach claws. Each of these clusters will consist of four claws and a body part. It contains a lot of meat. If you find it difficult to remove the flesh when leaving the whole cluster, you can separate and eat each claw separately.

To enjoy all this section of Dungeness Crab, please see our guide on how to eat Dungeness Crab in the right way.

How To Keep Dungeness Crabs Alive?

Fresh Dungeness crab will bring out the best flavor to the dish. Its flesh will also be sweeter and more decadent than a dead crab.

We all know that. Maybe you bought or caught a few Dungeness crabs but don't know how to keep them alive. Honestly, there are many ways to keep Dungeness alive, but we will give you the best and simplest way.

Leave Dungeness crabs in a cool and humid environment

Like other crabs, after you've caught a Dungeness crab, you can leave it in a cool, humid environment. This cool and moist environment can live for 24 hours and does not need water.

Leave them in their habitat

This is simple. A Dungeness crab will be able to live for 1 to 2 days if you create a perfect fake habitat for it.

Put your Dungeness crabs in a large box or pot. Then pour salt water inside and prepare to bubble up to add oxygen.

Use the refrigerator compartment

If you want to keep the Dungeness crabs fresher, you can take advantage of the refrigerator compartment in the house. Put the crab in the refrigerator at a moderate temperature. The temperature is a little lower than room temperature.

If you do not want to put the crab in the refrigerator or the refrigerator compartment does not have enough space. Prepare styrofoam or cooler. Put ice and saltwater inside, then put in the crab. The low heat of the brine and ice will help you keep your Dungeness crab meat fresh for longer. The crab meat will still be firm a few hours after the crab has died.

Where To Buy Fresh Dungeness Crab?

Dungeness crabs are sold in many places, especially seafood markets. However, if you want to buy Dungeness crab at any store, you should call them back to confirm.

There are many people who love Dungeness crabs, so the store can sell out very quickly. Tell the shopkeeper to leave the crab for you if you want it for today's meal.

Live Dungeness Crab will be your first and best choice. Raw crabs will give you more meat. The fibers are firmer and fresher.

When choosing live Dungeness crabs, choose agile crabs. Slow-looking crabs are usually unhealthy crabs. Maybe it is sick or dying that will affect crab meat quality.

Suppose you want to buy cooked Dungeness. Choose crabs with as tight claws as possible. That proves that crab was cooked when fresh. The loose claws are a sign you shouldn't buy it.

Dungeness Crabs Canada

Regular price: $299.99 | Sale price: $249.99


Fishermen's Net is a great store that can provide you with the freshest and most delicious Dungeness crabs. The quality of our crab meat is top-notch. The fast, safe delivery method can bring the freshest crabs to you in the shortest time.


Dungeness is a sea crab with the sweetest meat and the best taste. Surely it will be a great ingredient for your and your family's meals. Above is all our sharing about Dungeness crab. Hopefully, this information is helpful to you.

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