Specially Selected Wild Caught Snow Crab Clusters

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I love crab legs. Growing up, my family would sometimes get them for special occasions, and I’ve had the privilege of sampling different kinds of crab legs in different parts of the coastal United States. They’re not at all cheap, and they can also be a bit of work, but I find they’re sometimes worth the expense and effort.

King crab is a personal favorite, thanks to its generous hunks of meat. The problem is that king crab is expensive even as far as crab legs go. For that reason, in many places snow crab, which is usually less expensive, is the more popular option.

Recent years have not been kind to snow crab populations. Because of a steep drop in Alaskan snow crab populations that scientists have attributed to rising ocean temperature, crab harvesting has been cancelled in Alaska for two years, and it may take years after that for the population to recover. Despite that, prices on snow crab have fallen in recent years and are expected to stay relatively low in 2024.

I always get a little excited when Aldi brings snow crab into its stores. Aldi prices are often worth celebrating, and that’s something that is especially true with a more expensive purchase like crab legs. My one apprehension was: would they be any good? In the past, the answer has been yes, but I also know things can change.

I decided to find out.

Specially Selected Wild Caught Snow Crab Clusters

Specially Selected Wild Caught Snow Crab Clusters are an Aldi Seasonal Item. They’re in stores for a window of time, with restocked inventory during that time. However, at a certain point the item is discontinued for the season, only returning during the same time frame the following year, if at all. These crab legs appear to be a winter holiday item, appearing during the Christmas season, or thereabouts, before vanishing after the New Year.

At the time of this post, the crab legs came in a 24-ounce box and cost $16.99. That comes out to 70 cents an ounce or $11.32 a pound. For comparison, my local Walmart is selling an identically sized Sam’s Choice box of snow crab for $19.96, or $13.30 a pound, while my local regional grocer is selling snow crab clusters for $9.99 a pound. Aldi isn’t my cheapest crab leg option, but the Aldi crab isn’t a bad price.

According to the box, the crab is a product of Canada. It is wild caught, using pots and traps, and the catch area is FAO 21, the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. The box says that the crab is certified sustainable seafood by the Marine Stewardship Council.

When you open the Aldi box, you’ll find the clusters frozen in a bag. The box indicates that the crab is fully cooked and is stored frozen. The instructions explain how to defrost the crab legs, either by 1) placing them in a refrigerator overnight for 5-8 hours, or for a quick thaw by running the crab under cold running water until thawed. The instructions say that, to preserve quality, you should avoid thawing by heating.

The box then offers three ways to cook the crab legs: steam, broil, or bake. You can also simply thaw the crab and eat it cold if that’s your preference.

To steam, add 1-2 inches of water in a large pot, bringing the water to a boil. Then place the crab in a steam basket and place the steam basket over the pot, steaming for 4-6 minutes or until the crab is thoroughly heated.

To broil, set the oven to broil, then add crab clusters to a baking sheet and broil for 4-5 minutes. You can optionally brush with a garlic butter before placing in the oven for extra flavor.

To bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Loosely wrap the crab in aluminum foil and bake for 5-8 minutes until thoroughly heated.

The box cautions to use within 24-48 hours of thawing, and to not refreeze.

Specially Selected Wild Caught Snow Crab Clusters

Nutrition information and ingredients. (Click to enlarge.)

Traditionally, I prefer to boil crab from frozen by adding water and some salt to a pot and bringing it to a boil and then boiling the crab for about 5 minutes. That’s what I did in this case.

Specially Selected Wild Caught Snow Crab Clusters

I can never predict how crab will come out, even when using the same brand or source, since different batches can come out differently. I can say that this batch we got from Aldi was excellent. The crab meat had terrific flavor, especially when dipped in melted salted butter, and while the meat wasn’t big — this is snow crab, after all — it was about as meaty and easy to get out of the shell as other snow crab we’ve had. The crab lasted a single meal in our home.

The Verdict:

Aldi’s Specially Selected Wild Caught Snow Crab Clusters are a legitimate option for snow crab. While our local grocer had clusters for a little less, Aldi’s price is mostly competitive compared to other options, including Walmart. Just as importantly, we thought highly of the snow crab’s quality once we heated it. We wouldn’t be opposed to getting Aldi crab again.

About Joshua

Joshua is the Co-founder of Aldi Reviewer. He is also a writer and novelist. You can learn more about him at joshuaajohnston.com.

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