Why My All-Jumbo Lump Crabcake is Expensive and Solutions to Lower Costs

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In mid-July, a 4-ounce all-fresh jumbo lump crab meat (Venz) cost $4.12 to serve in seafood restaurants. Today, that cost has surged to $7.50 (calculated as $29.95 divided by 16, multiplied by 4 = $7.50). As we approach the end of the season, the Venz crab meat supply diminishes, causing a pasteurized Indonesian jumbo lump crab cake to have a plate cost nearing $9. Seeking a cost-effective seafood solution? Consider mixing with less expensive, yet more flavorful hand-picked superclaw crabmeat, priced at $10 per pound. Adjusting the mix to 1 lb of claw and 3 lbs of jumbo in a 4 lb batch reduces your cost to $6.25 per cake. A ratio of 2 lbs of claw to 3 lbs of jumbo in a 5 lb batch can further decrease it to $5.50 per crab cake. Leveraging Venz lump crab at 75 cents an ounce is another strategic way to manage expenses.

Come early September, as Venezuelan crab meat supplies deplete, alternatives arise. Fresh Maryland lump crab should hover in the low 20s price range, and local jumbo crab might touch the mid 30s. Carolina crab meat might be slightly cheaper, while fresh Mexican variants should align with Carolina pricing. For those exploring pasteurized crab meat options, expected prices include: Jumbo lump – mid 30s, Superlump – low 20s, Lump – upper teens, and Past claw around $11.

The crab conservation season is brief, lasting just 8 weeks. By late October, anticipate the return of Venz crab meat, with prices dropping below $20 soon after.

Prices are subject to change.