If you are looking for a steady source of premium Maryland seafood, we know just the place – The Crab Place. Based in Crisfield, Maryland, this popular seafood delivery service was launched way back in 1997. It promises to bring vivacious crustaceans, gorgeous oysters, fresh fish, and other treasures of the sea straight from its dock to your kitchen.
Operating out of America’s seafood capital, The Crab Place can guarantee the optimal freshness of its products. It cooperates with local watermen who catch beautiful specimens on a daily basis. If you are a seafood lover, be sure to stick around and learn more about what this service has to offer in our The Crab Place review.
How The Crab Place Works
With The Crab Place, there are no subscriptions, no minimum orders, and no commitments of any kind. You can shop whenever you please and the whole process is perfectly simple. The watermen catch the seafood and the service provides an overview of the available products on its website. You decide what you want, how you want it, and how much of it you need. Then you choose the desired delivery date, place your order, and wait for the food to arrive.
The Crab Place offers crabs in many forms, along with clams, crawfish, lobsters, oysters, scallops, shrimps, and fresh fish. Depending on product type, you can opt for live, fresh, steamed, pasteurized or frozen items.
Understandably, the range of products on offer depends on the season. During the winter months, your choice may be rather limited in comparison to other seasons. To avoid unpleasant surprises, the company does its best to remove all unavailable products from its website as soon as possible.
While you can order as much or as little food as you want, there is one important limitation you should keep in mind. A single order of hard crabs cannot be larger than 1 bushel. If you want to order more than 1 bushel, you can place multiple orders.
What Makes The Crab Place Different
The Crab Place gives seafood lovers across the nation the unique opportunity to enjoy fresh seafood whenever they crave it. Like a trusted fisherman, it ships the same day’s catch – so you can enjoy the best crabs available. While specializing in crabs, the company offers other prized catches, like live Maine lobster and premium dry scallops.
If you have ordered live seafood before, you know that the products you receive are highly sensitive and disappointments are not rare. Fortunately, The Crab Place offers a satisfaction guarantee on its products and claims that more than 99% of its deliveries arrive issue-free. Still, you should keep in mind that mortality rates may be higher than expected. If you do not want to risk getting too many dead crabs, it is wise to opt for steamed products instead.
If you order from The Crab Place, enjoy your order, and decide to order regularly, you may want to consider joining the company’s VIP club to save cash on shipping. As a member, you get free ground shipping on all orders or $20 off every FedEx express air delivery. New members are charged a $59 fee for the first annual subscription and renewals cost $49 per year. Subscriptions expire on March 31 each year and they are automatically renewed on April 1 unless canceled.
In addition to seafood, the company offers interesting extras that you can get for yourself or give to a fellow seafood lover as a gift. You can opt for cookbooks, kitchen tools, seasonings, sauces, and gift cards.
The Crab Place Products
In the previous sections of this The Crab Place review, we mentioned some of the top products this service offers. Now we will explore its selection more thoroughly and discover the range of options you have at your disposal.
If you are interested in crabs, you can get hard crabs, soft crabs, crab cakes, crab meat, crabs for soup, king crab legs, and snow crab legs. Package sizes range from half a dozen to 1 bushel.
Maryland blue hard crabs come in two variations, including live and steamed. If you opt for steamed crabs, you can decide on the spice level and opt for heavy, medium, light or zero seasoning. You can purchase standard, select, premium, and colossal male hard crabs as well as small, large, and jumbo female hard crabs.
Unlike hard crabs, Maryland soft crabs arrive cleaned and frozen. In terms of size, you can choose between hotels, primes, jumbos, and whales and order packages including half a dozen, a dozen or two dozen crabs.
The company’s famous crab cakes were voted the best online crab cakes of 2006 by the Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. You can pick the size that works for you, ranging from 2-ounce to 8-ounce pieces, and order just half a dozen or as many cakes as you wish.
In case you are looking for easy-prep products, you can opt for pre-cooked, fresh or pasteurized Maryland blue crab meat. The options include jumbo lump, claw, claw cocktail, and backfin meat. The products are sold in 1-pound and 12-ounce containers.
For fans of crab soup, the service offers soup crabs that are delivered cleaned and frozen. The specimens in question are Maryland female hard crabs with their roe intact. The smallest package available includes 6 crabs.
Finally, you can get Alaskan king crab and snow crab legs, harvested from icy waters and delivered fully cooked for your convenience. A single package of crab legs can weigh anywhere between 1 pound and 10 pounds.
The Crab Place lobster products come in 2 variations. You can opt for live Maine lobsters or frozen lobster tails. Live lobsters weigh between 1 and 5 pounds and you can order 2, 4 or 6 packages of the size of your choice. Lobster tails come in 10 sizes, including standard, medium, select, large, extra-large, jumbo, extra-jumbo, colossal, huge, and giant tails. Just like with live lobsters, you can order 2, 4 or 6 packages.
You should know that if you want to get live Maine lobsters, it is wise to order at least 4 days before the desired delivery date, due to limited availability.
When it comes to fresh fish, it comes straight from the Chesapeake Bay. The options include rockfish, salmon, red snapper, and flounder fillets as well as tuna and swordfish loins. Fresh fish normally comes in 5-pound packages.
The selection of clams is limited and you can opt for littleneck and middleneck clams. They both come fresh from the Chesapeake Bay and you can purchase a dozen clams or opt for 50-count and 100-count bags.
Depending on your preferences, you can opt for fresh Chesapeake oysters in the shell or get shucked oysters in jars. Oysters in the shell are sold by the dozen, by the 50 count, and by the 100 count while shucked oysters come in 1-pint, 3-pint, and 1-gallon packages.
If you are craving some fresh, premium-quality scallops with no water added, The Crab Place can satisfy your appetite with its large, jumbo, and colossal sea scallops. The smallest package weighs 1 pound and there is no limit on how much you can order.
The company’s selection of wild-caught shrimps includes jumbo gulf shrimp, big momma shrimp, and mega monster shrimp. You can opt for 1-pound, 3-pound, and 5-pound packages.
Finally, the crawfish section of the company’s online store features fresh Louisiana crawfish, wild-caught, fully cooked and seasoned, and delivered frozen. You can order 3-pound, 6-pound, 9-pound, 15-pound or 30-pound packages.
At The Crab Place, all the items are individually priced. They are not necessarily budget-friendly due to their high quality, but the company frequently offers discounts. To help you determine whether the prices suit your expectations, we will now list the starting prices for all product types.
Female hard crabs start at about $25 per dozen while male hard crabs start at $33 per dozen. Soft crabs cost $65+ per dozen. Crab cakes are at about $4.80 apiece and crab meat costs $24+ per pound. The price of soup crabs is $75+ per dozen while crab legs start at $28 per pound.
The lowest price you can pay for live lobsters is approximately $30 per pound (if you opt for a large pack). Standard lobster tails start at about $15.75 per pack.
The most affordable fresh fish is salmon, with a price of $18 per pound. In contrast, the prized rockfish costs about $28 per pound.
Clams cost $1+ apiece, oysters cost $1.6+ per piece, and scallops start at about $27 per pound. Finally, shrimps cost $22.80+ per pound and crawfish starts at $8.40 per pound.
As we mentioned earlier in this The Crab Place review, if you are a member of the company’s VIP club, ground shipping comes free of charge. Otherwise, you can expect to pay $19.95 to $86.95 per delivery, depending on the value of your order and the shipping method you choose. Alaska and Hawaii shipments come with an additional $10 fee. If you want your seafood to be delivered on Saturday, there is a $15 surcharge.
The Crab Place delivers to all 50 US states. Due to customs restrictions, it is currently unable to ship outside the US. All food orders are shipped via FedEx. Gift cards are shipped for free via USPS.
There are 4 shipping options available, including ground (reserved for local and regional shipments), 2-day air, standard overnight, and priority overnight shipping. Overnight packages are delivered Tuesday through Saturday while 2-day shipments are delivered Wednesday through Saturday.
The company uses a proprietary fresh pack system that keeps the food cool for up to 48 hours. Bearing in mind the nature of the products and the average transit duration, you should not let your box sit on your doorstep for too long.
The Crab Place Pros & Cons
To make sure The Crab Place meets all your standards and expectations, it is important to know its biggest advantages and disadvantages. With a short overview of its pros and cons, you can easily decide if The Crab Place is the right company for you.
- Freshly caught seafood
- Crabs, lobsters, oysters, scallops, shrimps, and more
- Decide on everything from quantity to spice level
- No commitments or minimums
- Satisfaction guarantee
- Available throughout the US
- Significant variations in live crab mortality rate
- Free ground shipping reserved for VIP members