Best Crab Meat for Crab Cakes

Best Crab Meat for Crab Cakes in 2022 | Top 10 Picks Reviewed

Did someone just say crab cakes? Who doesn't love that dish next to some shrimp cocktail at a party? Just imagine taking a morsel of the flesh with coleslaw on the side!

Taste is everything when it comes to this meat. However, it's the quality that's deemed to serve the purpose of top selection.

So how do you choose the best crab meat for crab cakes that goes splendidly well with homemade cocktail sauce?

Sometimes the simplicity of canned products can deceive you, but they aren't all that bad. Next time, as you walk by the canned crab meat aisle, check if one of the mentioned brands is staring back at you – waiting to be picked.

I've done the hard part of selecting ten among hundreds. Let's follow up with the rest!



Editor's Rating


Chicken of the Sea Lump Crab

5 out of 5

Crown Prince White Crab

5 out of 5

Geisha Wild Fancy Crabmeat

4.5 out of 5

Crown Prince Pink Crab

4 out of 5

Ocean Legacy Lump Crab Meat

Ocean Legacy Lump Crabmeat

4.5 out of 5

Our Selected Top 10 Best Crab Meat for Crab Cakes Reviews in 2022

Most of these are lump crabmeats that are sensibly economical for the family. Continue reading to find their strong and weak points to find the suitable one!

1. Chicken of Sea Lump Crab for Crabcake & Stuffed Muchrooms

This brand manufactures versatile meat (tuna, shrimp, salmon, etc.) types without facing any issues. Clearly, I had to check its authenticity regarding crabs.

To my surprise, the flavor, the overall nutrition content, and the quality never disappointed me. You can utilize several cans of this for crab cake to other salad/stuffing purposes.

It has no harmful preservatives or bleaching chemicals to whitewash the crab meat. This Non-GMO canned meat is highly rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and calcium.

Plus, the taste is quite true to the oceanic essence – a little sweet as you take a bite from the home-cooked crab cakes. Of course, you can create a greater variety of other dishes using the same lump crab meat.

The brand ensures no overfishing during the crab catching in the wild process to allow sustenance to the ocean. This is why I highly rely on this product; it is one of my favorites among the best crab meat for crab cakes options.

I recommend this to anybody willing to make a difference in canned crab meat recipes. Give it a try!

Highlighted Features:

  • Caught alive and responsibly
  • Excellent nutrients source in a single can
  • Superior grade lump crab meat
  • Low calorie for health-conscious consumers
  • NFI crab council certified

2. Crown Prince White Lump Crab Meat

Do you know what makes canned crab meat the best overall? It's when you find no shells, no foul smell, or bland taste.

The ratio to finding such a high-quality product without spending a fortune is almost nonexistent. Thankfully, Crown Prince white lump crab meat is for those seeking luxurious taste with little to spend.

Each can consists of only 40 calories! While it's a superb source of nutrients to many, you can make plenty of crab cakes without deviating from your dietary routine.

You can expect a preservative-free 6 oz white lump with no carbs, trans fat, additives, or MSG. Natural is what you get; that too at a reasonable price.

Some may find the slightly salty flavor undesirable to their palate. However, once you use the meat in various dishes (crab cakes, salads, sautés, etc.), you'll forget all the fuss.

There's one minor drawback to the product, though. The crab meat delivers a somewhat mushy texture, which is hardly noticeable. But I suggest being extra gentle during folding with other ingredients.

Highlighted Features:

  • Suitable for low carb diets
  • High in nutrition
  • Zero preservatives and bleaching
  • Tastes fresh; offers better chunks
  • No shells to pick

3. Geisha Wild Caught Fancy Crab Meat

If you haven't heard about Geisha canned crab meat yet, now is the time to discuss its nutrients. The fancy crab meat mostly consists of white and claw meat, which are greatly appreciated for versatile dishes.

I love to make crab soup out of a single can. It might taste less sweet than most top-grade lump crab meat products. On the contrary, have you tried stir-fried crab meat when it's too tricky for crab cakes?

If you're up to the mission, there are many ways to get around a can of Geisha fancy crab meat.

Now, the product is packed with calcium, iron, vitamin C, and other nutrients. With only 35 calories and fat-free advantages, this is a great choice for those hoping to cut some weight.

Furthermore, each crab is wild-caught, allowing the crabs to grow in their natural habitat without forceful feeding for plump outcomes.

Before you mistake this for lump crab, let me tell you that the meat here is in smaller chunks. Some had trouble shaping them into crab cakes despite the bread crumbs and other additional ingredients.

It can take some time, but you can achieve the soft and tender inside with crusty crab cakes. Don't worry about the several attempts; we all begin from somewhere. The meat is healthy and appetizing when added appropriately to other food items.

One last bit, don't forget to pick the shells out before cooking them.

Highlighted Features:

  • Affordable
  • Ideal for consumers with a weight loss plan in mind
  • Packed with various nutrients; soft textured
  • Includes leg meat alongside white and claw meat
  • Ready to eat; fat-free

4. Pink Crab Meat by Crown Prince

Is there a party in the house and the theme is seafood? Then crab cakes are one of the staple dishes for the dinner table.

I must tell you that these cans by the Crown Prince don't contain lumpy crab meat. Then how do you make crab cakes! Well, have you ever tried creating a dish using shredded crab meat?

Yes, that's what you'll see here. Trust me when I tell you, these meats will blend and fold well with the other ingredients to form a doughy texture. The only problem to face is while shaping them into patties.

A too soft mixture might lead to extra bread crumbs to the overall content. However, if you add everything with a measured mind, expect some delicious crab cakes in no time.

So far, no one has complained of finding any shells. It puts the product in the top five of the list because to bite into a shell piece when trying to savor the meat is a colossal failure, in my opinion.

On the other hand, you can make fantastic crab balls if making patties seem to advance at the moment! You can switch to casseroles, soups, dips, and salads if even crab balls sound difficult.

The Non-GMO meat is pinkish tinge while containing a greater source of omega-3, calcium, protein, and iron. In short, the 70 calories per serving cans are perfectly suitable when a gathering is about to happen.

Highlighted Features:

  • Includes twelve cans; a total of 72-ounce
  • Wild-caught
  • A superb source of plenty of nutrients
  • Ideal for versatile use aside from crab cakes
  • Shredded texture

5. Ocean Legacy Fat Free Lump Crab Meat

Lump Crab Meat

When I first heard of Ocean Legacy, I had been experimenting with a different brand. Still, I had to check this out for all the popular demands at the time.

The entire eight oz. lump crab meat has only 45 calories. Can you believe it? Plus, it is pasteurized to ensure no microorganisms grow or live inside to spoil the meat during shelf life.

It's gluten and fat-free, consisting of protein, calcium, and other nutritional content for healthy recipes. So, are you on a diet? Are you skipping the fatty meal to cut back on weight, but crab meat is your weakness?

Then opt for this product and never regret the choice. There are no preservatives to worry about. Every crab is responsibly wild-caught to enrich meat quality while maintaining regulations for sustainable ocean life.

You can practically taste the difference between this brand's genuineness and the crab-flavored imitations. The lump crab is excellent for cooking crab cakes without altering the taste.

It's often chosen for wonton fillings as well. Trust me; they taste so savory! The slightly sweet flavor with freshness makes all the worldly flavors to make versatile dishes.

Besides, you can obtain it at a reasonable price too. This is a highly recommended crab meat product by many consumers.

Highlighted Features:

  • Rich in multiple nutrient elements
  • Excellent flavor with a hint of sweetness; meaty texture
  • Preserves freshness; ready to eat
  • Pasteurized to extend shelf life when unopened
  • Gluten and fat-free

6. Bumble Bee 6oz. White Crabmeat

The Bumble Bee crab meat product is one of the most affordable among the reliable ones. Each can contains only 40 calories, leaving no room for complaint when you're on a diet.

Besides, the 0.5g of fat is hardly noticeable, but it's good to keep that in mind before buying. The fancy white premium select offers shredded meat quality suitable for crab cakes that require extra bread crumbs.

With this product, you can also lean on the salads, casseroles, or soups/dips options. You must know what you're getting before a purchase. If you seek a large lump of meat to bite, this isn't the right choice.

Nevertheless, this canned crab meat is one of the few best sellers. I suggest going for the dips or soups with this kind due to the flaky and softer texture.

This is your pick if you have a tight budget but wish to delight your family and guests with your signature crab cakes/balls during a gathering.

The meat tastes fresh, so don't forget to serve it with some complimentary sauce. Admittedly, it might not suit everyone's taste buds, but it's better to start from somewhere.

Highlighted Features:

  • White crab meat is from the crab body
  • Ideal for dips, crab balls, etc.
  • It comes with a shredded and flaky texture
  • Smells fresh upon opening
  • Suitable for low carb diets

7. Phillips Foods Super Lump Crab Meat

Do you need super lumps to yield several crab cakes? You've landed right on track if the mushy or shredded meat doesn't appeal to you.

This premium-grade product may be an occasional choice due to a three-digit price tag, but the quality is equally superior. You can easily rely on its chunky, large meaty pieces to make the perfect crab cakes for the family.

There're six cans that deliver one pound of lump crab meat. They are filled with nutrient content to ensure you don't miss out on your dietary routine. It means the meats are rich in protein in addition to being low on fat and calories.

This combo is a rare sight for crab lovers, so add it to your shopping cart before it runs out.

Thanks to Phillips Foods, even if you don't live near the shallow water areas, you can always opt for tender and savory crab cakes. And the best part is there're no shells to pick; you can eat it right out of the can.

To be honest, these big lumpy crab meats are very satisfying to cook, no matter where you add them. Consider the product recommended with several stars in the heart.

Highlighted Features:

  • Excellent for crab cakes
  • It contains large meat lumps for various recipes
  • High-end quality
  • Fresh and clean; ready to eat from the can
  • Rich in nutrients
  • Minimal fat and calories content

8. Chicken of the Sea White Crab

I've returned to Chicken of the Sea, for it never ceases to disappoint me. But keep in mind that this white crab meat isn't lumpy or chunky.

It's more like the shredded canned tuna we see in the market. So prepare yourself in advance. This type of white crab meat requires more attention than the jumbo lump.

As a result, double the amount of bread crumbs and other ingredients if you wish to attain flavorful crab cakes with a crabby aroma. It's a little tricky to achieve that perfection with this type of meat.

However, I believe you can do it when you include all twelve cans after draining the water.

There's no fat to perk your stress, though the calories count to 60 per can. It may be a little higher than the other products, but the overall taste will divert your mind from it.

Also, the mild and sweet-tasting crab flavor will fill your mouth once you take a bite out of a crab cake or crab ball. The meat delivers enriching omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

Now the question remains, how were they caught? Rest assured that the wild-caught system applies here too. It indicates the crabs caught by the people follow strict rules to preserve the ocean's sustainability.

Highlighted Features:

  • Low calories per serving
  • No fat
  • High in nutrients to improve health
  • Great for diet-conscious consumers
  • MSC certified

9. Majestic Blue Jumbo Lump Crab Meat

Sometimes appearances matter when it comes to crab cocktails or cakes with huge chunks of crab meat. But what canned product really offers such a great deal.

Besides, the price is also a factor here. Thankfully, Phillips Foods has come to rescue your image and presentation. Imagine showing off your crusty and tender crab cakes and cocktails, fresh and flavorful as if you just got them from shallow saltwater.

Without question, 6 pounds of the jumbo lump will be expensive, which you can overlook to obtain richer taste, aroma, and quality. The packaging should offer one pound per serving with a total of six.

You can practically mistake them for chicken meat pieces!

Clearly, the giant crab meats have excellent protein and other nutrients that we wish to obtain by versatile means. Sometimes crab meat is the solution to a dull dietary intake, just an inward opinion.

Just make sure to get this product only when you have large quantities of crab cakes and cocktails to make. It has a short shelf life of two weeks starting from the receipt date.

Highlighted Features:

  • High in protein and other nutritional aspects
  • Jumbo lump meat crab with a chunky and meaty texture
  • Perfect for versatile uses
  • Non-returnable
  • No shells, rich in flavor and quality

10. Natural Red King Crab Meat by Putina

 Natural Red King Crab Meat

The final product offers superior meat chunks from the king of crabs, known as Kamchatka, the red king crabs. They're native to the distant northern Pacific Ocean.

This pack of three cans is a wonderful treat from Russia that compliments various recipes effortlessly. Whether you plan to make crab cakes, melt sandwiches, or artichoke, the meaty flesh will not let you down.

From nutrients to flavor, it contains everything. You can taste the juicy and tender meat the moment you grab a bite from the crab cakes made by this brand.

The bottom line is that despite its foreign outlook, the product is surprisingly high in quality. This crab meat is ideal for any snack or meal you decide to make for the day.

It delivers a sweet and aromatic taste that asks you for more. I highly recommend it!

Highlighted Features:

  • Crabmeat comes from red king crab
  • Medium lumpy, juicy meat chunks
  • Sweet flavor with a succulent texture
  • Wild-caught
  • Suitable for versatile recipes

Crab Meat for Crab Cakes Buying Guide

Crab Meat for Crab Cakes

Since you'll rely on the canned crab meat, for the time being, knowing what's ideal for your health is a must-learn. So, what should you expect? Take a glance below.

Meat Type

There are four primary types of crabmeats – Jumbo lump, White, Claw, and Backfin.

a. Jumbo Lump

Consider it the top-grade meat type that can also be comparatively costly than the rest. This part is from the connecting muscles of swimming legs in a crab.

Each crab comprises only two of these muscles. You can see why a can filled with jumbo lumps is high-end and expensive.

b. White 

Next, white crabmeat is pretty common for canned products. It contains flaked meat, consisting of a jumbo lump and claw meat combination. Many consumers prefer it for being budget-friendly and its distinct sweet flavor.

c. Claw

This meat type isn't pricy at all. It also doesn't disappoint you with cheap taste. Since the meat comes from the claws, you'll find the color darker and with a strong flavor. But the meat lacks sweetness.

d. Backfin

Think of this type as the secondary substitution for the jumbo lump that costs low. It offers a mixture of jumbo lumps and other meat types from the body. Its inexpensiveness is due to the unintended shell pieces found in the meat. 

Farm-Raised or Wild-Caught? 

This is totally your choice. Do you want crabmeats that have been caught from the ocean? Go for the wild-caught option. It's also reassuring that these crabs have been in their usual habitat with better meat and muscle quality.

Opt for farm-raised canned crab meat if you're against overfishing; that can lead to a constant threat to the ocean. It's convenient, and you're preventing overexploitation. This also means giving up on the most natural sought flavor.    


Here, let me break down the quality inspection in five basic terms.

First, inhale and determine the moment you crack open the can/tub. The scent should be fresh despite the crabmeat being canned. If it's fishy or smells bad, you've been tricked.

Second, focus on the meat color once the flavorful scent satisfies your nose. Pure white means bleach was used. So, that's usually a big 'No' even with the white sparkle. The perfect color is classic ivory. It indicates high-grade meat quality.

Third, notice the texture and the meat piece's integrity. Now, it can vary due to meat type and size. Just keep in mind the canned crabmeat shouldn't be mushy or pureed substance.

Next, check for shells. One or two isn't the issue but crabmeat canned with too many shells for making crab cakes isn't good at all.

Finally, if you have found nothing to raise alert bells, the final test is tasting the meat. There should be a hint of flavor that makes up for everything!  


Always look into the nutrition fact label. Crabmeats contain various proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It's super healthy, but it doesn't mean you should ignore the fat content. Some brands offer higher fat content than others.  

How to Make Crab Cakes with Canned Crab?

How to Make Crab Cakes with Canned Crab

This is where you'll learn how to make the perfect crab cakes. What's the difficulty level? If I tell you that right at the beginning, you'll miss out on all the fun!

Type of Crab

Here's a little quiz – which meat type (as mentioned in the buying guide) do you believe is ideal for this recipe?

Honestly, I'd choose the leading crab meat for crab cakes, no matter the variety. What matters is your passion for making something out of several ingredients – crab meat being the essential key to taste.

Okay, enough dilly-dallying, I say, go for the jumbo lump or white crab meat as they deliver excellent crispy crust with tender fill. Even if it's your first time handling canned crab meat, you'll do great with this simple recipe.

Moreover, you can always aim for inexpensive options if a jumbo lump seems extravagant. 

1. Classic Crab Cake Recipe! 

Classic Crab Cake Recipe

While there're many experts on crab cakes, this recipe is fully detailed for the novices. I'll use jumbo lump crab meat because I love the crab meat-loaded cakes!

Ingredients to Gather 

Most items are readily obtainable from the market or pretty much available in your kitchen already. This recipe will take about 30 min, including chill time. 

  • Jumbo Lump crab meat – 1 pound
  • Mayonnaise – ½ cup
  • Dijon Mustard – 1 tbs.
  • Worcestershire Sauce – 1 tsp.
  • Hot Sauce (Preferably Tabasco) – 1 tsp.
  • Large egg – 1 (Slightly beaten)
  • Lemon Zest (Fresh) – 1 tsp.
  • Ground Pepper – 1/8 tsp.
  • Chopped Parsley (Fresh) – 2 tbs.
  • Panko Bread Crumbs – ¼ cup
  • Olive Oil/Butter – 1 tbs.

Instructions with Steps

You'll start by taking out a medium and a small bowl. Let's begin with the former.

Step 1: Remove the crab meats from the can and transfer them to the medium bowl.

Step 2: Look for shells by picking over the meat. Discard them if found.

Step 3: Set aside the medium bowl.

Step 4: Get the small bowl and prep for the mayonnaise blend.

Step 5: Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, Dijon, mayonnaise, egg, lemon zest, pepper, and parsley.

Step 6: Mix and stir them thoroughly. A liquid batter-like mixture will form.

Step 7: Bring in the medium bowl; add the breadcrumbs.

Step 8: Pour the mayonnaise mixture into the crab meat and breadcrumbs.

Step 9: Fold everything gently to avoid breaking the meat.

Step 10: Slowly shape the meat combination into 6 round patties.

Step 11: Place them on a tray with a baking sheet.

Step 12: Refrigerate the patties for about 30 min. to chill. This step is optional, though it helps the patties firm up and is easy to handle.

Step 13: Take out a skillet or frying pan; place it on the stove over medium heat.

Step 14: Melt butter or use olive oil. Place the crab cake patties once the oil is heated.

Step 15: Wait till the bottom is golden brown. Then flip and cook till the other side delivers similar crispy color.

Step 16: Now, move them to a platter. You can serve them with lemon!

2. Crab Cakes with Canned White Crab Meat

White Crab Meat

Some newbies might find the white crab meat a little challenging to work with. This raises plenty of questions about making better patties that hold.

This is why I thought of a special crab cake recipe to make your day!

Ingredients to Gather 

You might take a second glance at some of the ingredients here and wonder, Will that taste right? Yes, it'll yield a changed flavor, something entirely different and honestly quite craving enough to return for seconds!

  • White Crab Meat – 2 cans (6 oz. per can)
  • Seasoned Bread Crumbs – 1 cup (Divided)
  • Green Onions – 2 (Finely chopped)
  • Sweet Red Pepper – ¼ cup (Finely chopped)
  • Large egg – 1 (Slightly beaten)
  • Reduced-Fat mayonnaise – ¼ cup
  • Lemon Juice – 1 tbs.
  • Garlic Powder – ½ tsp.
  • Cayenne Pepper – 1/8 tsp.
  • Butter – 1tbs.

Instructions with Steps

This time you'll require a large and a shallow bowl. Let's find out why.

Step 1: Take out a big bowl and add 1/3 cup of bread crumbs.

Step 2: Add red pepper, green onions, garlic powder, cayenne, egg, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Then combine.

Step 3: Include the crab meats. Make sure the meats are flaked and drained with cartilage removed.

Step 4: Now, fold the mixture gently so that the meat remains chunky.

Step 5: Add the leftover bread crumbs to a shallow bowl. You'll use it for coating.  

Step 6: Slowly divide the mixture in the large bowl into eight equal portions. Take each in hand and shape it into a ½ in. thick patty.

Step 7: Every time you shape a patty, place it in the bread crumbs and coat properly.

Step 8: Take a nonstick skillet/frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter and gradually place the patties. 

Step 9: Cook for about 3-4 min. or until golden brown. Then flip to attain similar color on the other side.

Step 10: You can serve them on a platter with tartar sauce and lemon juice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of crab meat is ideal for crab cakes? 

Lump or jumbo lump is pretty fancy and delivers an impressive appearance if that's what you seek as a host.

You can also go for canned white crab meat that offers amazing taste and flavor after cooking.

Is canned crab meat healthy? 

Of course, you can achieve significant protein, vitamins, and mineral content so long you choose a reliable brand.

Is white or pink crab meat better?

In terms of taste and flavor, claw meat is mostly preferred. It has reddish-brown flesh instead of white.

What's the difference between the lump and jumbo lump crab meat?

Lump crab meat is large and usually intact. They're ideal for making crab cakes.

Jumbo lump crab meat is larger and also intact. However, they are costlier and often used for sautés or cocktails. 

What kind of crab meat is in canned crab?

The most common option is the white crab meat, including a claw and jumbo lump mixture. Some brands even contain leg meat in addition. This is why white meat results in flakier and stringier.

Final Words

This is the point where you have the knowledge and facts to determine the best crab meat for crab cakes for your culinary palates.

I couldn't help but feel a little nudge can help you decide further. Therefore, I have picked two options among the ten based on many crab cake experiences.

My first choice is Chicken of the Sea Lump Crab, 6oz Cans (Pack of 12) that's highly nutritious and meaty! Such quality crab meat in a can is hard to believe unless you try them.

There's always the Majestic Blue Jumbo Lump Crab Meat, 1 Pound (6 per case) if you want to show off your crab cake talent. It's filled with giant crab meat pieces with balanced fat and nutrition!

Anyhow, feel free to choose among the ten and experiment with your seafood cooking skills with easygoing canned crab meat. Good luck in advance!

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