Scallop Size Chart
Scallops have long been cherished by chefs and home cooks alike for their sweet flavor and pillowy texture. As you shop for scallops, you may notice that there are a variety of sizes to choose from. The sizes of scallops can impact the optimal cooking methods for your recipe. For example, larger scallops are an ideal size for grilling or searing and make great entrées, while smaller scallops shine when rapidly sautéed or used in pasta dishes.
How Are Scallops Sized?
Scallop sizes are measured by the number of shucked scallops per pound. You will typically see a range indicating the minimum and maximum count, just as shown in the scallop size chart above. For instance, “10-20” means there are between 10 and 20 scallops in a pound. The lower the number range, the larger the individual scallops since fewer are needed to make up a pound.
Sea Scallops and Bay Scallops Sizes
A key difference in scallop sizes is between petite bay scallops, found in shallower Northeastern bays, and larger sea scallops, fished deeper offshore. Bay scallops tend to weigh in at 60-120+ in a pound, boasting a slightly sweeter taste with tender meat about ½ to 1 inch in diameter. Sea scallops have a pleasantly briny yet sweet and chewier texture at 1 to 2 ¾ inches across, averaging under 8 to 30 in a pound.
Although there are no industry standards for scallop sizes, here is how we at Fulton Fish Market refer to our scallop sizes.
Super Colossal Scallops (U-8, U-10, U-12)
Serving size: 2-4 scallops make a 3oz portion.
The "U" stands for “under,” denoting that these are the largest scallops available, with under 8, 10, or 12 per pound. With so few per serving, super colossal scallops offer the fullest ocean flavor and a substantial, tender bite when properly prepared. Their large surface areas allow easy grilling or searing that gives these scallops a perfect crust.
For a quick stovetop preparation, we recommend heating oil or butter over medium-high heat, sprinkling salt and pepper (to taste) over the scallops, and searing them for 2 minutes per side or until they achieve that perfect, golden crust. On the grill, these scallops cook perfectly on high heat for 4 minutes, flipping them halfway.
You can also cook these super colossal scallops using our Seared Dry Scallops with Chimichurri recipe for succulent, perfectly seared scallops topped with a fresh, vibrant chimichurri sauce bursting with herbaceous garlic and vinegar notes.
Colossal (10-20) and Jumbo (20-30) Scallops
Serving sizes: 2-4 colossal scallops or 4-6 jumbo scallops make a 3oz portion.
Ranging from 10 to 30 scallops per pound, these plump mollusks are prized for their buttery texture and balance of sweet brininess. Colossal and jumbo scallops offer a substantial bite with rich ocean essence.
For quick stovetop cooking, we recommend heating oil or butter over medium-high heat, seasoning the scallops with salt and pepper (to taste), then searing for 1-2 minutes per side until a golden crust forms. You can achieve great results on the grill by cooking them for 1-2 minutes per side over medium-high heat as well.
Large Scallops (30-40)
Serving size: 6-8 large scallops make a 3oz portion.
While smaller than jumbo and colossal scallops, large scallops still deliver a tender and creamy texture when cooked properly, along with a subtle sweetness. With 30-40 in a pound, you can enjoy several of these large scallops as a featured protein in your meal or pair just a few per serving with complementary proteins like shrimp or bacon.
Because scallops shrink when cooking, large scallops may become difficult to manage on a grill. Because of this, we recommend pan-searing them for about 1 minute per side in an oiled pan over medium-high heat as a quick preparation method.
If you are seeking a show-stopping scallop appetizer, we can’t recommend our Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Pesto recipe enough! For a main entrée, our Shrimp Scallop Pasta in Wine Sauce recipe serves up a perfectly light and savory seafood pairing in just 30 minutes.
Medium Scallops (40-60)
Serving size: 8-11 medium scallops make a 3oz portion.
With 40-60 in a pound and up to 11 in a single serving, these medium scallops provide a sweet, delicate bite that’s perfect for enjoying whole. Medium scallops can be seared, broiled, stir-fried, or skewered for kabobs.
For quick cooking, we recommend sautéing medium scallops over medium-high heat with oil or butter for 1-1 ½ minutes per side until just opaque throughout. You can also broil them on your top oven rack for 4-5 minutes, flipping them halfway to achieve a lightly golden crust.
Small (60-120) and Extra Small/Petite (120+) Scallops
Serving sizes: 11-23 small scallops or 23-35 extra small/petite scallops make a 3oz portion.
Reaching just over an inch in diameter, these tiny bay scallops are considered the sweetest of all. Typically grown in the shallow, cold bays of the Atlantic, small and extra-small scallops excel in raw preparations like ceviches that cure the meat while preserving their texture. Small and extra small bay scallops are also a hit in pastas, stir-fries, and soups.
For quick cooking, we recommend sautéing small and petite scallops briefly in hot oil or butter over high heat just until opaque throughout, just under 1 minute per side. Avoid overcooking, as their petite size makes them quick to prepare.
For an elegant no-cook dish, add small or petite scallops to our Fulton Fresh Ceviche recipe, replacing fluke fillets with whole scallops. These scallops also pair beautifully with shrimp and crabmeat in these decadent Steamed Seafood Dumplings.
Conclusion on Scallop Sizes
Now that you understand the nuances of scallop sizes, you can confidently choose the right scallops for any recipe and cooking method. Whether you opt for mild, petite bay scallops or succulent super colossal sea scallops, you are equipped with the knowledge to make memorable meals with one of our favorite mollusks!
For more information about scallops, check out our Essential Guide To Scallops.