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How to Reheat Crab Cakes: Everything You Need to Know to Get it Right

How to Reheat Crab Cakes: Everything You Need to Know to Get it Right

The 1930’s New York World’s Fair offered a Utopian vision of economic progress and scientific advancement.

Fairgoers were delighted with visions of modern highways, suburban communities, nylon stockings, and air conditioning.

More importantly, it was the birthplace of the Crab Cake.

A Crab Cake combines sweet crab meat with bread crumbs, mayo and mustard, egg, and a variety of seasonings.

Once molded into a cake, it can be sauteed, baked, grilled, deep-fried, or broiled.

They are delicious on their own, in sandwiches, atop salads, and many versatile preparations.

However you serve them:

You want to make sure the rich, sweet flavor of the crab is the star ingredient.

In the unlikely event that you don’t devour these delectable morsels in one sitting, you may wonder how to reheat crab cakes?

Should I reheat crab cakes in the microwave?

I wonder how long to reheat crab cakes?

What are the best methods for reheating them?

Crab cakes need a starchy binder to hold them together.

Use too little, and your crab cakes will fall apart, use too much, and the texture will be unpleasant.

Get it right, they’ll be perfect, and the lovely crab flavor will shine through.

Since reheating is our focus, the main concern is how to heat them without them falling apart.

They’re delicate and won’t stand up to rough treatment, so you’ll learn how to handle them with care.

We’ll show you how long to reheat crab cakes, and which methods are best. Should you reheat crab cakes in the microwave?

We’ll go over the pluses and minuses of each technique.

Ready to learn how to make crab cakes? Here we go!

Are Crab Cakes Even Reheatable?

crab cakes reheatable

Yes! Crab cakes will reheat well and taste fresh when reheated the next day.

You don’t want to go more than a day since seafood doesn’t keep well.

They also have mayonnaise in them, and egg, both of which can be problematic.

In the interest of food safety, don’t go past the day after they’re first cooked.

As long as they’re refrigerated promptly after you serve them the first day, there shouldn’t be any concerns.

Since these are delicate:

We’re going to focus on methods that will get them uniformly hot without a lot of handling.

We want them to be slightly crisp and hot, not mushy. It’s similar to reheating something like quiche.

We need to use methods where they retain their shape.

Some methods are a natural fit, whereas others you might think are a good idea, but they’re not.

Some heating methods are not even an option, so it’s essential to understand the pluses and minuses before we get started.

Here are the different methods, which ones are best, and which ones you should avoid.

How to Reheat Crab Cakes: Best Tools and Methods to Reheat Crab Cakes

How to Reheat Crab Cakes – Microwave

The food police are shouting into the megaphone, ordering you to slowly step away from the microwave and put your hands in the air.

The crab will turn rubbery and tough if you microwave it.

Don’t do it.

Crab is expensive and time consuming to prepare. If you ruin it in the microwave, you’re going to be so mad at yourself and disappointed in the results.

I know it’s tempting to use the microwave since it’s fast and you think it’s going to be ok. It’s not going to be ok.

I use the microwave for heating liquids, but not much else.

Microwaving changes the texture of many reheated foods, and not in a good way.

Let’s look at better alternatives for reheating crab cakes than the microwave.

Bottom line: How to reheat crab cakes in the microwave? Don’t.

How to Reheat Crab Cakes – Oven/Toaster Oven


bake crab cake in oven

If you’re going to use your oven or a toaster oven, start with the cakes at room temperature.

One of the significant issues is the dry heat might dry them out.

You can add a pan of water on another rack to create a moist environment without getting the cakes wet.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and lay them on a foil-covered baking sheet to prevent sticking.

Give each cake room, so they’re not crowded — heat for 10-15 minutes.

You can add a skinny layer of butter on top of the crab cake to keep it moist during reheating and add flavor.

Use salted butter.

You can heat them on a baking sheet, but I’d probably play it safe and use a covered pan in the oven, so they don’t dry out.

You can use something like a dutch oven or even a baking pan covered with aluminum foil.

Benefits: Even heating, will dry up any excess moisture, doesn’t change the texture of food.

Drawbacks: Can dry the food out.


Broiling will work too. Start at room temperature and add a thin layer of salted butter as described above.

The butter will melt and create a lovely brown crust.

Don’t use the top rack like you’re broiling a steak, put the pan one level down.

You don’t want them to burn. Broil for 5 minutes and keep a close eye on them.

You can use tongs to turn them and broil for another 5 minutes.

Benefits: Effective heating, will dry up any excess moisture, doesn’t change the texture of food.

Drawbacks: Can dry food out, risk of burning the food.

Instant Pot

reheat crab cakes in instant pot

The Instant Pot has a keep warm option that would be perfect for reheating crab cakes.

You wouldn’t use it as a pressure cooker, just as a warmer.

This versatile appliance has won me over with its wide range of capabilities.

I recently ordered my first Instant pot, and I’m a convert!

The keep-warm function is perfect since it’s a super gentle method of reheating.

Use some cooking spray to prevent sticking. Use tongs to get them in and out without breaking them apart.

Benefits: Effective and very gentle heating, doesn’t change the texture, no burning risk

Drawbacks: Instant pot required


A method I like is to start your skillet with a small amount of oil in the bottom or a generous amount of cooking spray.

Bring it to heat, add a small amount of water, then add the crab cakes and cover with a well-fitting lid.

This method will ensure they’re heated evenly. You want to trap the steam.

If you have a skillet with a glass lid, that would be ideal.

This is a quick and easy method, but keep an eye on it as the water evaporates.

You can also add a thin layer of salted butter on top of each cake and let it melt through.

Another method is you can refry them in oil. Get your oil hot first and put them in at room temperature, not directly from the refrigerator.

This method will give you the crispiest results.

Benefits: Effective heating, doesn’t change the texture.

Drawbacks: Risk of burning food.


steaming crab cake

Steaming is not an option for crab cake reheating because it’s too moist, and they will fall apart.

The other methods use some steam for reheating, but they also have a direct heat source.

You still want a nice crust on the crab cake. Steaming will make them too wet, and they’ll disintegrate. You will be sad.

Bottom line: Not a viable option

Reheating Crab Cakes with Other Ingredients

Crab cakes make an excellent side dish. But, if you don’t want to serve your remaining crab cakes on their own, what can you do? You can incorporate them into other dishes where they’ll be delicious and happily get in your belly.

Fettuccine Alfredo with Crab Cakes

Alfredo is a great dish to make with leftover crab cakes.

The flavors are perfect together, the crab will be mixed in with the alfredo sauce, and you’ll get amazing flavors in every bite.

We’ve heard of great sauces for crab cakes, but this one takes the “cake” when it comes to leftovers!

You can choose either fettuccine or linguine for this dish.

I prefer linguine because it’s thinner and has a more delicate taste to match the delicacy of the crab.

The shape and size of pasta shouldn’t affect its taste, but I’d swear I can taste the difference.

Use whatever you like best.

The alfredo sauce is surprisingly easy to make, so go ahead and give this recipe a try and give your day old crab cakes a new lease on life.

Crab Sliders

crab slider

These adorable mini sandwiches are just the thing. You can make slider buns out of any single-serving roll, but I like the potato rolls best.

This version brings the spice with Chipotle mayo, and they’d be great served with a crunchy slaw.

The addition of a crunchy vinegar-based coleslaw would be a great addition to these sliders.

See the link in the next section for lots of creative ideas.

Try these excellent sliders from Stay Snatched, and you won’t be sorry!

Crab and Coleslaw Salad

This is a smart low-carb alternative to keep you looking good!

These are traditionally served with fish tacos, but they’ll work just as well with crab cakes.

It doesn’t matter if the crab cakes fall apart now, you don’t have to worry about them staying together!

These slaw choices go beyond the ordinary, incorporating so many innovative ingredients!

Top these salads with your crab cakes, or crumble them over the top.

These are such a healthy, crunchy, fresh alternative to gooey mayonnaise-based coleslaw.

When you can get flavorful, fresh ingredients and combine them in new ways, it’s so exciting.

Crab Salad Sandwiches

Crab Salad Sandwich|The Cooking Corner

This crunchy salad will be delicious served on croissants or the soft bread or roll of your choice.

You can also mix this with fresh imitation crab if you don’t have enough crab cakes to use.

This salad gets its crunch from celery and onions, and the addition of sharp cheddar makes it doubly delicious.

Crab Omelet

Here’s a great way to use your leftover crab cakes the next morning for breakfast!

The crab, the cheese, the eggs, the cream, what could be better to wake up to?

Toast a couple of slices of sourdough or whole-wheat toast, make yourself a strong coffee, and you’re ready to face the day!

How to Reheat Crab Cakes: The Verdict

From the 1930’s world’s fair to our modern-day world, crab cakes are as delicious now as they were then.

Crab cakes are delicate, and they need to be handled with care, so they don’t break apart.

We’ve shown you how to reheat Crab Cakes and the benefits and drawbacks of each method.

We’ve also helped you understand which methods to avoid completely.

There are so many new serving ideas for this classic dish, both on the first day you make them, and what to do with leftovers the next day.

We’ve shown you pasta, sandwiches, salads, and an omelet, which are all fantastic options.

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