When a conversation includes the words, Jimmys, Sooks, or Sallies, you know the discussion is about Blue Crabs. – A sought-after delicacy enjoyed all over the country. Blue crab meat adds a great source of protein and low calories to your diet. With their distinct blue claws, the male blue crab will reach maturity within a year and a half and will then typically classify as a large-size blue crab.
Large-size blue crabs or the number two jimmy weigh approximately six ounces each; therefore, you need two to three crabs to make up a pound. In addition, you buy blue crabs typically by the dozen, and the approximate weight of one dozen large-size blue crabs is about four pounds.
There is no actual industry standard for grading blue crabs; therefore, the general small, medium, large, jumbo, and colossal rule applies. Typically, the male blue crabs will classify in the more significant categories, with the females occupying the small and medium podiums. So, how much do crabs weigh, and how many crabs make up a pound? Let’s get some answers and see if size does matter.
How Many Large Jimmy Blue Crabs In A Pound?
Firstly, male crabs are generally larger and best for eating as they are heavier and contain more meat. The smaller, medium crabs are usually mature females, identifiable by their red claw tips. It is illegal to catch or consume immature female crabs for apparent reasons.
Secondly, the large-size blue crabs, or jimmies, also come in number sizes with an average weight of about 0.3 pounds. Therefore, the significant number one jimmy or jumbo crabs will typically weigh about 0.5 pounds. However, the number two, jimmy, or a large-size blue crab, has an average weight of 0.4 pounds; therefore, you need about two to three large-size blue crabs to make up a pound.
In addition, Blue Crabs are usually sold by the dozen and not necessarily by weight; therefore, the estimated weight of a dozen large-size crabs is about 4 pounds. Interestingly, the edible portion of meat from a pound of crab is just over two ounces; therefore, a dozen crabs weighing approximately 4 pounds will yield only 0.5 lbs. of edible meat.
If you buy blue crabs by a bushel, you typically get about 80 large number two crabs of about 6 – inches and weighing about 40 lbs. Also, a bushel of the jumbo number one crabs will hold about 60 and could feed about ten people. Remember, these figures are estimates and may vary with location and season.
The Size And Grade Classifications Of Blue Crabs
As mentioned, crabs are graded in three grades, namely, – the number one jimmy, or jumbo size, the
number two jimmy, or large size, and the number three jimmy, which is a mix of small and medium-sized crabs. The colossal jimmy is larger than the jumbo but is rare and not typically found in markets. The larger-size crabs are primarily male, with the smaller ones being a mix between males and females.
To determine blue crab sizes, they are measured inches from the left side of the hard shell to the right side. The next step is to classify them as small, medium, large, jumbo, or colossal. The minimum harvesting width for a male blue crab is 5 – inches.
Small blue crabs measure between 5 and 5 ½ inches
Medium blue crabs measure between 5 ½ and 6 – inches
Large blue crabs measure between 6 and 6 ½ inches
Jumbo blue crabs measure between 6 ½ and 7 – inches
Colossal blue crabs measure between 7 – inches and more
How Many Blue Crabs Do You Need To Feed One Person?
On average, each crab yields only about two ounces of meat; therefore, six large-size crabs per person should be enough if you also serve other food as a side dish. So, if you want to treat about twelve guests to blue crab, you need a bushel of about 60 to 80 large-size crabs.
Buying blue crab whole is less expensive than buying already prepared crab meat. However, it would be best to compare the actual cost of the yield per pound of crab meat between the whole and prepared portions. It may be better to purchase the prepared crab unless the idea of cooking the crab yourself and the meat picking process with friends and family is the actual attraction.
How Long Before Blue Crabs Reach Maturity?
Blue crabs will reach their maturity within a year to 18 months, and by then, their size will be about five inches wide. Once the crabs reach this mature age, they will begin to mate. Therefore, it is also the legal size for harvesting blue crabs as we need to allow them to breed and multiply for sustainability.
The Differences Between Female And Male Blue Crabs
The male blue crabs are usually larger than the females, and their meat is flakier. Female blue crabs are slightly smaller with a slimmer shell width, and their meat is denser. This is where size matters, as male crabs are more prominent, and you get a more significant edible meat portion from them.
In addition, female crabs are smaller because Blue crab claws are shades of blue, but the female crab has red claw tips. Another way to identify their sex is by the abdominal flap. The male crab has an inverted T shape apron, and the female’s flap is broader.
The Differences Between Hard And Soft Shell Blue Crabs
All crabs shed their shells and will become soft shell crabs for about a day before a new cover starts to form again. Crabs that are busy molting are kept in water containers until they develop their soft shells. They are then immediately sold as a soft-shell crabs delicacy that the consumer eats whole without needing to pick.
Blue crabs are the only crab species harvested and consumed in a soft shell form and are more expensive than their hard shell buddies.
Determining how many large-size blue crabs you need for a weight of one pound is more of an estimation than a calculation. The markets typically sell crabs by the dozen in small, medium, or large sizes. The average large-size blue grab weighs about 0.4 pounds, so you can estimate that two to three larger crabs will make a pound.