Lobster or crab meat comparison is easy to make when you know the characteristics of both seafood species. Both lobster and crab are very crustaceans, an arthropod group among arthropods (which includes insects and mollusks). They all share many characteristics in common, such as the shown traits in the flesh, except for the displayed differences in size among these arthropods. The meat of a lobster is small and meaty, unlike the meatiness of crab meat.
In general, lobster is considered to be the least flavorful of the crustaceans. Some species are known to have slightly more flavorful meat than others. Certain species of lobsters, however, are almost tasteless when cooked, no matter how they are cooked. This has led to the common practice of cooking lobsters with the air temperature rather than vented gas or oxygen. Lobsters that are caught life can also retain some of their flavors, so they make a good candidate for boiling. When fresh, lobsters retain a fairly even cooking texture, but once they have been cooked, their texture often changes significantly.
Unlike crustaceans like shrimp and crabs, lobsters and crayfish have their claws removed in their later life stages. It is not impossible, however, to find crustaceans with their claws still attached. Many species of crayfish still retain their claws after they reach adulthood. As with most other crustaceans and mollusks, these clawless species are used as bait.
Size, of course, is a major factor in lobster vs. crab food comparison. Small crustaceans such as hermit crabs are often referred to as “peanuts”. While they lack the “footed” appendage common to land crabs and snails, they are actually quite small. When compared to their meat counterparts, they are virtually tasteless. Their size may be their biggest limitation.
The final major difference between the two main types of seafood is their taste vs. crab meat. Most people prefer seafood that tastes good to their palate, and it is not uncommon for people to develop a preference for one type over another based on the way the flavor is presented. The lobsters and crayfish do not have the distinctive flavor of their meat cousins, and they are not nearly as tasty as the more familiar species of crab. Dungeness crab legs are an excellent substitute for crab meat if you are looking for a less identifiable taste. These “dungal” legs contain a unique taste not found in regular crab meat that is difficult to describe.
Crabs and lobsters differ in other important ways, too. Lobsters have an extremely long life expectancy and will live up to 60 years in captivity. Crabs, on the other hand, have a short life span and are usually killed or lost after just a few years. This short lifespan means that both varieties of crustaceans are susceptible to being over-cooked, overcooked, or under-cooked. Overcooking both lobsters and crabs can result in mushy meat; overcooking crabs will result in poorly cooked meat.
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Lobsters and crabs also share certain characteristics in terms of their appearance. They are both very small, with the shortest tails and claws, and relatively large bodies. While these characteristics are a factor in deciding the lobster vs. crab taste between the two, there are many more factors that can affect the overall quality of the meat. Good quality meat will be firm, with a slight texture that is not tough and mushy, and should have a good balance of flavor from both meat and the seasonings used to bring out the best flavor.
If you compare lobster and crab meat though, you’ll see that they have a lot in common. Both varieties have great meat, with slightly different strengths. The lobster’s meat is slightly more firm, while crabs have a stronger chew. Overall, when it comes down to choosing a dish between lobster and crab, you can say that they both have their strong points, but that the flavors can differ. With a bit of imagination, you can create both dishes yourself and come up with a dish that has a lobster vs. crab taste that you’ll love. Whether you eat meat or eat seafood, this is one recipe that you should try.
Tina is a chef and runs her restaurant with her sister in Maine. They currently live in the house that used to be owned by their grandparents.