Skip to content

How Many Crabs Do You Need Per Person?

If you are hosting a cookout or feast that involves crabs, you may be wondering how many you need to feed everyone at the party. This is an interesting question because it depends on:

  • The type of crab
  • How they will be served
  • Whether they are the main course or an appetizer
  • What kind of equipment you are working with

Blue Crabsmaryland blue crab

Blue crabs are relatively small and don’t provide a tremendous amount of meat. This means that the average person that enjoys crabs will likely eat about 2-3. It will also depend on how you are serving them, and whether or not they are the main course or an appetizer. If you are serving them as the main course, then the average person may eat about 3-4.

If you are steaming or boiling the crabs alive, then most likely you will need to be cracking open their carapace and claws. This can be tedious work and we highly recommend you provide the tools for the job.

The average person will not be able to properly remove the meat from the body or the claws using conventional utensils, so it’s best to provide tools to properly open the crab to eat it!

If you are planning ahead for a party, we highly recommend you purchase a few cracking kits. It’s too difficult to eat crabs without the proper utensils and your guests may get frustrated.
claw crackers

These seafood utensils are very cheap, so we suggest you just order them from Amazon and call it a day. They are super handy and you can get a lot of use out of them.

If someone you know is capable of cleaning live crabs, it can make it much easier to eat them as the outer shell is removed along with the guts. You will still need to crack open the claws but the inner meat can be much easier to reach. Some people like to serve crabs this way as an appetizer or with spaghetti.

If you are expecting a lot of guests, you may want to order crabs by the bushel.

Dungeness Crabsdungeness crab

Dungeness crabs are much larger than blue crabs. Therefore, the average person will generally eat about 1-2. Obviously if you have a lot of large men in the family, this could change, but for the most part given the effort they take to eat and the amount of meat you get, this should be a pretty standard guideline. You’ll find these crabs served mainly on the west coast of the United States, while blue crabs are found more on the east coast.

Snow Crabs

Snow crab legs are delicious and can be purchased almost anywhere that seafood is available. Usually, we recommended about 1 – 1/2 lbs per person, and if you have some big eaters then perhaps bump it up to 2 lbs per person. This also allows you to be a bit more prepared in case people end up eating much more than you expected. Again, we recommend buying the seafood crackers with forks so that you can more easily pull out the meat.

snow crab legs


If you really want to be prepared while impressing your guests, then you should buy a full seafood set complete with butter melters!

Pregnant women need to be careful when eating crab or other seafood.

Well, that’s it. Good luck planning your cookout and again, make sure to be prepared! You can also get these fun table mats that add life to the party but also make it easy to clean up after the mess. Enjoy!