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How To Reheat Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are a delight many seafood lovers cherish. But what if you’ve made more than you can eat or have leftovers from last night’s party?

Don’t worry, as reheating crab cakes is easy if you know the right way. Dive in to learn all about the best methods to warm up those crab cakes without compromising on taste or texture.

Two crab cakes on a blue plate with lemons.

Reheating crab cakes effectively requires attention to texture and flavor. Best methods include using an oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, stovetop frying for 3-4 minutes per side, or an air fryer at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. Use microwaves sparingly to avoid sogginess.

Why Proper Reheating Matters

Crab cakes are special. Not just because of their flavor, but because of the delicate balance between the crab meat and the other ingredients.

With their delicate flavors and crispy crust, it can be tricky when it comes to reheating. Reheat them the wrong way, and you might end up with a soggy mess.

But with the right methods, you can enjoy leftover crab cakes that are just as delicious as when they were first made.

Maintain Texture

The exterior of a crab cake, when perfectly reheated, should boast a golden, crispy crust. This crispiness provides a delightful contrast to the soft interior, creating a multisensory eating experience.

Using methods that allow for even heating, like the oven or stovetop, can ensure that the exterior gets crispy without burning.

While the inside of the crab cake lies the tender mixture of crab meat and other complementary ingredients.

This softness contrasts with the exterior, offering a melt-in-the-mouth sensation. Overheating or using high heat can dry out this interior, so it’s essential to use moderate, even heat for the best results.

Preserving Flavor

Crab meat is inherently delicate with a naturally sweet taste. Excessive heat can not only alter its texture but also its flavor profile.

By reheating at the right temperature and duration, you ensure that the crab meat retains its natural sweetness and doesn’t become rubbery or bland.

They often contain a blend of ingredients like breadcrumbs, mayo, eggs, and seasonings. Together, these create a harmonious flavor profile.

When reheated correctly, these flavors remain intact and well-balanced. It’s crucial to avoid overheating as it can cause certain ingredients to overpower others, disrupting this delicate balance.

It is also important to note that it’s crucial to reheat crab cakes to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safety, as recommended by the FDA guidelines.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Reheating

Before diving into the best reheating methods, let’s explore some common mistakes you should steer clear of.

  1. Microwaving for Too Long: This can make the crab cakes soggy.
  2. Using High Heat: Too much heat can dry out the crab meat.
  3. Not Thawing Properly: If frozen, crab cakes need to be thawed correctly to avoid a texture disaster.

Best Methods To Reheat Crab Cakes

There are a few tried and true methods to bring your leftover crab cakes back to life. Whether using the oven, stove, or microwave, each method has its own set of steps and benefits.

Oven Method

The oven is a fantastic tool for evenly reheating many dishes, crab cakes included. By utilizing the oven, you can achieve a uniformly heated crab cake with a crisp exterior and a soft center, mimicking the freshly cooked experience.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Place the crab cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re hot and crispy.

Stovetop Method

If you’re looking for a quicker way to revive your crab cakes while retaining their texture, the stovetop method is your friend.

By searing them in a pan, you can recreate that delicious golden crust they originally had.

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add a small amount of oil to the skillet.
  3. Once the oil is hot, place the crab cakes in the skillet.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on the exterior.

Microwave Method

Sometimes, we’re short on time, and the microwave offers a rapid reheating solution. While it might not provide the best texture, using the microwave can be efficient.

Just be cautious and attentive to get the best results possible.

  1. Place crab cakes on a microwave-safe dish.
  2. Heat on medium power in short intervals, checking after each burst.
  3. Continue this process until the crab cakes are warmed throughout, ensuring they don’t become overly soggy.

Air Fryer Method

The air fryer, a modern kitchen marvel, combines speed with a crispy finish. Reheating crab cakes in an air fryer can mimic the crispy outer layer you crave without the hassle of firing up the oven.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Place the crab cakes in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they don’t overlap.
  3. Cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they’re hot and have a crispy exterior.

Pros And Cons Of Each Reheating Method

OvenRetains flavor and texture, evenly reheatedTakes longer
StovetopQuick, retains a crispy exteriorRequires more attention, can burn easily
MicrowaveFastest methodCan become soggy, uneven reheating
Air FryerQuick, ensures crispinessLimited by basket size, may require batches

While on the topic of crab meat, you might also be interested in How To Reheat Crab Legs or How To Reheat Crab Rangoon, or how to reheat clams!

How To Store Leftover Crab Cakes

Once you’ve mastered the art of reheating, it’s essential to know how to store crab cakes properly, ensuring they remain delicious when you’re ready to eat them again.

For Short-term Storage

  1. Cool the crab cakes completely.
  2. Place them in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper.
  3. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

For Long-term Storage

  1. Cool the crab cakes thoroughly.
  2. Wrap each crab cake individually in plastic wrap.
  3. Store in an airtight container or a freezer bag.
  4. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Check out my post on how to freeze crab as well to ensure that your crab meat stays fresh and lasts.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Reheat Crab Cakes

350°F (175°C) is the optimal temperature to reheat crab cakes in an oven, allowing them to regain their crispy texture without becoming overly dry.

Absolutely! Freeze your crab cakes individually to avoid them sticking together. When you’re ready to eat, you can either thaw them in the refrigerator and then use any reheating method or cook them directly from frozen, adding a few more minutes to the reheating time

Yes, you can, but use the microwave sparingly. It’s the quickest method but can make crab cakes soggy. Ensure you use short bursts of medium power and check often.


Reheating crab cakes doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right approach, you can enjoy those delightful bites of the sea with almost the same zest as when they were freshly made.

Remember to avoid common reheating mistakes and choose the method that works best for your needs.

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