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Crispy Again: Foolproof Ways to Reheat Crab Cakes to Perfection


Crab cakes are a delicious treat that are best when freshly made. However, leftover crab cakes can lose their crispness and flavor when refrigerated or frozen. Fortunately, there are several easy methods to reheat crab cakes and restore them to their original taste and texture.

Reheating Crab Cakes in the Oven

The oven is the best way to reheat crab cakes to get them crispy on the outside while heating the interior. Follow these simple steps:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  • Place crab cakes on the prepared baking sheet without overcrowding. Leave at least 1 inch between cakes.
  • Brush the tops lightly with butter or olive oil to enhance browning.
  • Bake for 8-12 minutes until hot and crispy. The time will vary based on the size of the crab cakes.
  • For added crispiness, turn on the broiler for 1-2 minutes after baking to brown the tops. Watch closely to avoid burning.
  • Leftover baked crab cakes can be kept warm in a 200°F oven until ready to serve.

Baking is ideal for both homemade and store-bought crab cakes. The hot dry heat from the oven will recrisp the exterior while heating through.

Reheating Crab Cakes in the Air Fryer

An air fryer is a great way to quickly reheat crab cakes with crispy edges and tender interiors. Here’s how:

  • Pre-heat air fryer to 370°F.
  • Place crab cakes in air fryer basket in a single layer, without overcrowding.
  • Cook for 5-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.Cooking time may vary based on thickness.
  • Brush tops lightly with oil or butter halfway through for added browning and crispness.
  • Cook until heated through and outer coating is crispy.

The circulating hot air in an air fryer mimics deep frying for delicious crispy results without the oil. The high heat helps recreate the crispy texture.

Reheating Crab Cakes in the Microwave

The microwave can be used to quickly reheat crab cakes without drying them out. Follow these steps:

  • Place crab cakes on a microwave-safe plate lined with a paper towel. Do not cover.
  • Microwave on HIGH in 30 second intervals until heated through, flipping once. Time will depend on quantity.
  • Allow to sit for 1 minute before serving.
  • If needed, transfer to a skillet greased with butter or oil and sauté 1-2 minutes per side to recrisp crust.

When microwaving, the steam created will start to soften the exterior. A quick sauté afterward makes them crispy again.

Tips for Reheating Crab Cakes

  • Always reheat fully cooked crab cakes to an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Do not overcrowd crab cakes when reheating. Too close proximity will steam rather than crisp.
  • Brush crab cakes with oil or melted butter before reheating for enhanced browning and flavor.
  • For a quick microwave method, wrap in a paper towel and microwave in 30 second increments.
  • Allow crab cakes to rest for 1-2 minutes after reheating before serving.
  • Refrigerate cooked crab cakes within 2 hours and reheat within 3-4 days for best quality.
  • Reheating previously frozen crab cakes? Defrost first in fridge overnight before reheating.

Properly reheating crab cakes brings back their signature texture and taste. Follow these guidelines for crab cakes that look and taste freshly made.

Frequently Asked Questions About Reheating Crab Cakes

How do you know when crab cakes are done reheating?

Crab cakes are fully reheated when they reach an internal temperature of 165°F. They should be hot throughout and have a crispy golden exterior.

Can you reheat crab cakes in an air fryer?

Yes, an air fryer is great for reheating crab cakes until crispy. Cook at 370°F for 5-8 minutes, flipping halfway. Brush with oil for extra crispiness.

Is it better to reheat crab cakes in the oven or microwave?

The oven is best for reheating crab cakes as it recrisps the exterior. The microwave can steam and soften the outside, so sautéing after may be needed to re-crisp.

Should you wrap crab cakes in foil when reheating?

No, wrapping in foil when reheating will cause crab cakes to steam rather than crisp up. Leaving them uncovered is best.

Can you reheat frozen crab cakes?

Yes, fully cook frozen crab cakes first. Then defrost overnight in the fridge before reheating to crispy perfection.

How long do leftover crab cakes last in the fridge?

Cooked crab cakes will last 3-4 days refrigerated. Reheat within this time for the best quality and taste. Discard if they smell off or have mold.

Recipes for Reheating Crab Cakes

1. Air Fryer Reheated Crab Cakes


  • 6 leftover crab cakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Pre-heat air fryer to 370°F.
  2. Brush crab cakes lightly with olive oil.
  3. Cook crab cakes in air fryer for 6-8 minutes until heated through and crispy. Flip halfway.
  4. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

2. Oven-Baked Crab Cakes


  • 8 refrigerated crab cakes
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Arrange crab cakes on baking sheet. Brush tops with melted butter.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes until crab cakes are heated through.
  4. Broil for 2 minutes to crisp tops.
  5. Serve warm with lemon wedges.

3. Microwave-Sautéed Crab Cakes


  • 4 leftover crab cakes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Microwave crab cakes on HIGH for 1 minute. Turn and microwave 30 seconds more.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add crab cakes and sauté 2 minutes per side.
  3. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Product Recommendation

Air Fryers

  • Philips Premium Airfryer XXL
  • Ninja Air Fryer AF101
  • Cosori Air Fryer Max XL
  • Instant Vortex Air Fryer
  • Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer


  • GE JT5000SFSS 30″ Electric Double Wall Oven
  • Bosch 800 Series Electric Wall Oven
  • LG LDE4415ST Double Electric Wall Oven
  • Frigidaire 30″ Electric Double Wall Oven
  • Whirlpool WOD77EC0HZ Double Wall Oven


  • Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN966S
  • Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven
  • Breville Quick Touch BMO735XL 1800W Microwave
  • GE Profile Countertop Microwave Oven
  • Sharp SMC1449FS 1.4 cu. ft. Microwave Oven


  • All-Clad D3 Stainless Steel Fry Pan
  • Calphalon Signature Hard-Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan
  • Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Nonstick Skillet
  • OXO Good Grips Frying Pan
  • Tramontina Professional Aluminum Restaurant Fry Pan

Reheating crab cakes allows you to enjoy leftover crab cakes with the same fresh taste and zesty crunch. Follow these reheating methods for hot and crisp crab cakes every time.

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