Flavor and texture reign supreme when choosing between a snow crab and a king crab, with true crustacean aficionados pointing out even slightly distinguishing features.
King crab carries a high price, but the splurge is worth it for the thick, firm, meaty crab legs. They have a rich, sweet taste and a delicate, creamy texture similar to lobster.
Snow crab has a delicate sweetness balanced by gentle briny inflections and intricate flavor notes. The texture is more fibrous and chewy, making it a nice addition to salads.
Eating king crab typically requires a metal cracking device. You can improvise with a sanitized pair of pliers, a nutcracker, or a hammer.
Smash gently to avoid shattered pieces but hard enough to make a crack in each leg. From there, finishing with your hands is possible, just be careful of the spiky protrusions.
Snow crab legs generally don't require an external implement. Just snap the long, thin legs with your fingers, and pull out the delicate, juicy, sweet meat.
Some people venture into the crab's body, but you might have to wade through a lot of organs, cartilage, and other unappealing bits to find edible portions.