Finding the best crab seasoning is just as much a question of location as it is about taste. Marylanders generally prefer Old Bay or J.O. on their blue crabs whereas New Orleanians will prefer a spicier blend like Zatarains or ‘Slap Ya Mama’ on their crabs and crawfish. Even Texas gets in on the action with their own sweeter BBQ blend. That’s why we compared the best selling spices on the market and came up with our list of the best blends you order online today.
- Zatarains Pre-Seasoned Crab Boil is the best value for your money.
- J.O. Crab Seasoning #2 is best for bulk crab feeds.
- OLD BAY Crab Seasoning is best for blue crab.
- Slap Ya Mama Cajun Crab Seasoning is best for spicy cajun blends.
- Bolner’s Fiesta BBQ Crab Seasoning is best for sweeter bbq blends.
Our Top Overall Pick
- OLD BAY Crab Seasoning is our top, all-around pick based on value, utility and durability.
|OLD BAY Crab Seasoning||Check Price|
|J.O. Crab Seasoning||Check Price|
|Zatarains Pre-Seasoned Crab Boil||Check Price|
|Slap Ya Mama Cajun Crab Seasoning||Check Price|
|Bolner's Fiesta BBQ Crab Seasoning||Check Price|
Top 5 Best Crab Seasonings
1. OLD BAY Crab Seasoning – Best for Blue Crab Feeds
- Size: 24 oz (1.5 lbs)
- Ingredients: Celery Salt, Red & Black Pepper, Paprika + More.
- A favorite of the Chesapeake Bay for over 75 years.
- Great for all seafood, chicken and even pasta.
- Price: Check Price
Old Bay Seasoning is a classic staple among the Chesapeake region and for good reason – it’s blend of 18 herbs and spices is absolutely delicious. While we recommend this seasoning specifically for blue crabs, it goes great with most seafood including shrimp, scallops and even salmon. It even tastes great on things like french fries and vegetables.
Keep in mind it doesn’t just come in the 1.5 lb size – there’s also the whopping 7.5 lb container or the smaller individual packets for smaller servings. Personally I prefer to go with the larger sizes since, as a spice, it’s pretty unlikely to go bad anytime soon. So long as you keep it sealed and prevent moisture from entering the bottle it’ll keep for years.
One of the biggest problems of ordering grocery products online is their price – usually online they charge more than it would cost in the grocery store. This is the exception to the rule – it’s actually cheaper to buy online than it is in your local grocery store, especially in larger sizes.
- Can be used on pretty much anything (just ask anyone from Maryland).
- Cheaper to buy online and in bulk than in your local grocery store.
- Excellent on blue crabs.
- Comes in many different sizes.
- If there’s a downside to this spice, I haven’t found it.
2. J.O. Crab Seasoning #2 – Best for Bulk Crab Feeds
- Size: 184 oz (11.5 lbs)
- Ingredients: Salt, Mustard, Red and Black Pepper, Celery, Paprika, Mace, Cinnamon, Laurel Leaves, Thyme, and Ginger.
- Family owned and operated since 1945.
- Seasoning #2
- Price: Check Price
If you’re familiar with popular crab seasonings then you’re probably not surprised to find this on our list. J.O.’s crab seasoning is a classic among Marylanders and for good reason – it’s extremely tasty. It comes in two different blends called Season #1 and Seasoning #2. The only real difference between the two is that Seasoning #2 contains coarse flake salt.
Keep in mind this container is much, much larger than the Old Bay seasoning we have on this list. This is because the smaller quantities of J.O. seasoning are almost twice the price online as they would cost in your local grocery store. The bigger containers, like this 11.5 pound one, are much more competitively priced. While you can pick up the smaller containers online we would strongly recommend against it as you’ll end up spending twice the price for the same product.
- 11.5 pounds of tasty goodness.
- Excellent for large crab feeds.
- Will keep for a very long time so long as you keep it away from moisture.
- The smaller containers are extremely overpriced, whereas the larger bulk containers are much more competitively priced.
- If you’re specifically looking for seasoning #1 then I’d recommend buying it from your grocery store as it’s very overpriced online. Keep in mind the difference between the two seasoning blends is very small though.
3. Zatarains Pre-Seasoned Crab Boil – Best for Budget Shoppers
- Size: 72 oz (4.5 lbs)
- Ingredients: Salt, Dextrose, Spices (Including Red Pepper), Paprika, Lemon Juice Concentrate and much more.
- Great on shrimp, crawfish, lobsters and crabs.
- Price: Check Price
For many people the only two crab seasonings are Old Bay and J.O. but Zatarain’s crab boil is actually quite a tasty alternative. It’s also quite a bit cheaper than the alternatives, granted you need to order a 4.5 lb jar in order to achieve those savings. Still, it’s a perfect seasoning for any type of seafood including crawfish, lobster, shrimp, oysters and more!
It’s also a bit more spicy than the alternatives on this list owing largely to it’s New Orlean’s origins. Zatarain’s also sells some liquid crab boil seasoning but this is much cheaper and just as good tasting so we won’t bother including that one as it’s more expensive and you use more of it per serving.
- The least expensive crab seasoning on this list.
- Excellent on crawfish, crabs, lobsters and pretty much all seafood.
- A bit spicier than the others.
- Smaller containers cost quite a bit more than when you purchase in bulk.
4. Slap Ya Mama Cajun Crab Seasoning – Best for Spicy Cajun Blends
- Size: 8 oz.
- Ingredients: Salt, Red Pepper, Black Pepper, Garlic and more.
- Spicier cajun blend.
- Price: Check Price
The ‘Slap Ya Mama’ crab seasoning is another favorite out of Louisiana that features a more cajun oriented blend of spices. While it’s still not particularly ‘spicy’, it’s quite a bit more so than the Old Bay and J.O. blends. It’s also a bit more expensive and comes in much smaller quantities so keep that in mind before ordering.
It’s also not specifically designed just for crabs – it goes well on just about anything from Blood Mary’s to gumbo to seafood and even chicken. There’s really no limit to what you can put this on.
- Great cajun-themed blend of seasonings.
- Perfect for a variety of dishes and beverages.
- More spicy than the others.
- A bit more expensive than the alternatives.
- Comes in much smaller quantities.
5. Bolner’s Fiesta BBQ Crab Seasoning – Best for Sweeter BBQ Blends
- Size: 14 oz.
- Ingredients: Salt, Monosodium Glutamate, Sugar, Spices, Onion, Garlic, Silicon Dioxide (Free-Flow Agent) and Dextrose.
- Based out of San Antonio, Texas.
- Price: Check Price
The last seasoning on our list is Bolner’s Fiesta crab seasoning which has been made for generations out of San Antonio, Texas. This seasoning boasts a much sweeter taste than the others with a tinge of BBQ that is sure to delight. It comes in a much smaller container than the alternatives though so if you’re a heavy user of seasoning then you might want to opt for the others on this list.
- A sweeter, BBQ-type blend of seasonings.
- Perfect size for casual use.
- More expensive than the others on the list.
The 5 crab seasonings that we’ve reviewed above are easily the cream of the crop. And of those 5 the OLD BAY Crab Seasoning is our all around choice for the best crab seasoning.
Before you decide on a crab seasoning we strongly recommend you determine which attributes it needs to have. There’s quite a bit of variety among crab seasonings so we went ahead and broke down the most important details so you can decide for yourself what’s most important before you buy it online.
When ordering crab seasoning online the most important thing to consider is the quantity. There are a lot of reasons for this – typically the smaller containers cost quite a bit more than the bulk options owing largely to the costs associated with shipping and handling. It’s also less expensive to buy the smaller quantities in your local grocery store than it is to order them online. When ordering in bulk however the price tends to drop significantly and even becomes more economical than when buying from a grocery store.
The blend of ingredients is obviously what makes each seasoning different than the others. Many of the ingredients are pretty standard like salt, black pepper, paprika and garlic. Some of the more cajun oriented blends may also include larger quantities of red pepper while the BBQ blends may include sugar to make it sweeter. As always, consult the ingredients before purchasing to make sure the blend is right for you.
Bay and J.O. seasonings while people out of Louisiana and New Orleans will probably prefer Zatarains and ‘Slap Ya Mama’ blends. Even Texas has their own BBQ crab seasoning blend made by Bolner.
Be sure to check whether or not the manufacturer offers a warranty on the item you intend to purchase. While Amazon should cover broken or defective items upon delivery, it’s up to the manufacturer as to whether they will provide a replacement after it’s been used. Compare different crab seasoning sellers to see if any of them will offer replacements in the event it breaks from normal use.
Even if everything works properly, you may discover you’ve ordered the wrong crab seasoning for your needs which may require a return. Be sure to check with the vendor before purchasing to see if they will allow a return and if so, under what circumstances.
Shipping is easily one of the most annoying costs associated with making online purchases. Be sure to compare the shipping costs to your location prior to making a purchase so you don’t end up spending more than you bargained for.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which crab seasoning is the cheapest?
If you’re shopping for the lowest priced crab seasoning you can find then we recommend the Zatarains Pre-Seasoned Crab Boil. Of all the crab seasonings we’ve reviewed, none of the others can beat it’s price.
Can I make my own crab seasoning?
Absolutely, though you’ll probably spend more on all the different seasonings than you would just buying it outright. That being said, if your kitchen cupboard is already full of spices it may be cheaper. Here’s a great video that describes the process:
What is crab seasoning made of?
The standard ingredients are (either celery or sea) salt, black and red pepper, chives, ginger, garlic, onion, paprika and some various other spices depending on your preferred blend.
Is there a difference between liquid crab boil and regular seasonings?
By taste, not really. The biggest difference is you tend to use more liquid crab boil and it’s often more expensive, whereas the regular dry seasoning is cheaper and tastes the same. I suppose it’s easier to use the liquid crab boil as you don’t need to deal with portions, but you really can’t go wrong when applying dry seasoning to crabs.
Which is the best crab seasoning?
In our opinion, Old Bay makes the best crab seasoning based on both taste and cost. Marylanders love it so much that they’ll put it on just about anything, even if it’s not seafood. People out of New Orleans on the other hand will probably prefer a more cajun blend like Zatarains makes.