Snapper Vs Grouper (With Nutrient Values)

You may have come across snapper or grouper at a restaurant or the grocery store and wondered which one was the better choice. Choose either one and you won’t be disappointed. There are some differences but these fish are close competitors when it comes to price, taste, and nutrition.

There are many species of snapper. The most popular among anglers and diners is the red snapper. Red snapper is found along the mid-Atlantic coast near the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Groupers also prefer the warm waters of the mid-Atlantic. Like snappers, groupers are also popular among anglers.

Snapper can be made in a variety of ways, such as fillets or even steaks. Red snapper can be broiled, grilled, steamed, deep-fried, or pan-fried. Grouper is also a very versatile fish that is easy to cook. These fish can be grilled, baked, made into fish tacos, blackened, fried, and smoked.

Love other kinds of fish too? Check out Cod Vs Tilapia

Snapper Vs Grouper

Snapper is amazing, flaky, and white when cooked. Snapper is more abundant than grouper when fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

Over ten types of grouper are caught and served regularly and just as many snappers. Grouper is better eating if caught fresh and not too big. Black grouper is better than red grouper but scamp or Warsaw is the best.

Other types of snapper include mangrove and lane snapper, but red snapper is the best, save for maybe one, mutton snapper. Snapper is slightly more delicate than grouper with a more profound and sweet flavor when grilled.

Snapper and Grouper Comparisons

SnapperGrouper
Snapper is more common and for many commercial fishermen, it’s their primary source of profit.Grouper is not as common as snapper and their availability can be somewhat seasonal.
The typical red snapper grows up to two feet long but can grow up to 39 inches in length.Black grouper can reach up to 100 pounds and be four feet in length.
While there are many different kinds of snapper they are all somewhat close in sizeGrouper range from large to small depending on species. The average Scamp grouper averages 5 pounds while the goliath grouper can reach up to 800 pounds.
Snapper is slightly sweeter and more delicate than grouper. Great for grilling.Grouper is milder with a flavor that is more subtle. This quality makes it a good choice to use with marinades. The heads make for a great stock base.

Snapper Vs Grouper Taste

Grouper has a mild, subtle flavor, that appeals to almost everyone. It is a lean, firm, white-fleshed fish that is available in many fish markets. Fillets are meaty with large flakes and contain no intramuscular bones.

Grouper is cooked using a variety of methods. Often, this fish is breaded and fried then served on a bun with lettuce, sliced tomato, and tartar sauce. 

Grouper is a lean fish and some basting may be necessary when broiling or baking to keep the flesh moist. The heads produce a rich stock base, that can be used with other dishes. Try this fish broiled or grilled with lime-butter and season salt.

American red snapper has a slightly sweet, mild flavor, with a delicate texture and moist white flesh. This fish is versatile and easy to prepare. Snapper is great cooked in a variety of ways. 

Try this fish baked or poached with lemon, melted butter, and herbs. For the best nutrition, do not add high-fat ingredients, and instead use a low-fat cooking method like poaching, steaming, baking, broiling, or sauteing.

Whether you’re talking about snapper or grouper, fresh fish should always be stored in the refrigerator and used within two days. Frozen, these fish should be used within six months and thawed in the refrigerator. Source.

Is Snapper or Grouper Better For You?

Health experts agree that eating fish has many nutritional benefits. Fish, as well as other sea creatures, are a good source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high-quality protein, and metabolism-boosting selenium.

Both of these fish offer nutritional value, especially when it comes to protein. Lean protein, like the kind found in snapper and grouper, helps to build muscle, boosts your metabolism, and helps you feel full so that you can eat less.

The main difference between these two is the level of mercury found in the parts per billion. Snapper is the best choice as far as this is concerned, with 230 parts per billion, while grouper has 417.

Example of red snapper.

Snapper and Grouper Nutritional Chart

Snapper and grouper are both highly nutritious, lean fish, that are high in protein and low in fat. 

4 oz (114g) RawSnapperGrouper
Total Calories113 104
Calories from Fat1020
Total Fat1.52g2g
Saturated Fat.323g0g
Cholesterol42mg55mg
Sodium73mg65mg
Total Carbohydrates0g0g
Protein23.24g23g
Calcium36mg                 31mg
Iron0.2mg               1.01mg
Potassium473mg547mg
Vitamin D12mcg25% Source.
Vitamin A36.29mcg49mcg
Omega-3 Fatty Acid.43g.26g

Snapper Vs Grouper Price

Depending on your location and the time of year, you can find wild-caught, fresh grouper fillets for around $30.50 a pound. Grouper is often a target for substitution because of its relatively high price.

Finding grouper at a fish market with a suspiciously low price should be cause for concern. Mislabeling seafood products is against the law, but that doesn’t stop it from happening. 

The best way to not get cheated is to know what you’re looking for. When shopping for fresh, whole grouper, look for fish that have a shiny surface with tightly adhering scales. 

The gills should be deep red or pink and you should find a clean belly cavity with no cuts or protruding bones. Fillets should be firm and translucent-looking with no discoloration.

Wild-caught red snapper fillets are going to cost you an average of $31.59 a pound. Very similar to grouper, whole fish at the market should have a shiny surface with tightly adhering scales, gills that are deep red or pink, and a clean shiny belly cavity with no cuts or protruding bones.

Steaks, fillets, and loins should have a translucent look. In addition, they should have flesh that is firm and not separating, no discoloration, and a mild odor, similar to the ocean.

Example of grouper.

Buying Snapper Vs Grouper

When purchasing grouper, how much is needed per serving? Let’s break it down. You will want to buy ¾ to 1 pound per serving of whole or drawn fish. For dressed or cleaned fish you’ll want to purchase ½ pound per serving. And, when buying fillets or steaks you will need ¼ to ⅓ pounds per serving.

Snapper is the same pounds per serving respectively. Acceptable substitutes for Snapper are grouper, swordfish, tilefish, and amberjack. Likewise, when grouper is not available, acceptable substitutes will be amberjack, snapper, mahi-mahi, and tilefish. Source.

See our article Salmon Vs. Tilapia

See article Catfish Vs Tilapia

Related Questions

Is grouper or snapper more fishy?

Both grouper and snapper are mild in flavor when they are handled and cooked correctly. It’s why these fish are so popular. Grouper is often fried and eaten in a sandwich because of its mild flavor.

Is grouper the best tasting fish?

Grouper is versatile and great cooked in a number of ways. It is a popularly eaten fish, very mild in flavor. The meat is white with large flakes, making it great when fried and cooked in other ways.