What is backfin crab meat?


Quick Answer

Backfin crab meat refers to the white meat of crabs; it is a combination of jumbo lump and special grade crab meat and comes from the body of the crab instead of the legs and claws. Backfin crab meat ranks third on the grade of crab meats in the United States; the top grade meat is jumbo lump, followed by super lump. Backfin meat is popular in dishes like crab cakes, dips and casseroles.

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Full Answer

Backfin crab meat appears in broken pieces; it is often served in crab-based dishes and appetizers rather than eaten alone. This meat is a popular option in Chesapeake crabs, which store extra fat during the winter. This fat translates to rich, flavorful meat.

Backfin crab meat has a mildly sweet flavor, as does jumbo lump meat. Like jumbo meat and special meat, Backfin meat has a smooth and relatively dense texture. This makes it perfect for heavy sauces and other creamy dishes. It is also used as a stuffing for chicken, vegetables and other seafood.

Several factors can influence the quality and freshness of backfin meat, like season of harvest, handling practices and habitat. Crabs must remain between 0 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit during transport or they lose flavor quickly, according to The Washington Post. Crabs that live in cold and salty waters generally have the most flavor. When purchasing crab meat, look for meat packed in 8- to 16-ounce containers, which contains the freshest meat.

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