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Can You Freeze Crab Cakes? – The Complete Guide

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Crab cakes are so much fun. They are a delightful dish that can be used for meals or even appetizers and you can do a number of things with them. If you’re a fan of crab, then you are bound to be a fan of crab cakes. 

If you aren’t a huge fan of crab, you might find that you still love crab cakes. They are far more than just crab. They can be made any number of ways and they are coated in a breading that helps bring everything together. 

Crab cakes are delicious and versatile. But can you store them in the freezer?

Can you freeze crab cakes? Yes, you can freeze crab cakes. They are freezable both cooked and uncooked, although we recommend freezing them raw or uncooked for the best results.

In this guide, we will share with you everything you should know about how to freeze crab cakes. We will walk you through all of the details including the process leading up to freezing and what to expect after you’ve frozen them. 

Stay tuned to learn the process for freezing crab cakes and so much more. 

The Complete Guide to Freezing Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are a seafood delight that is very popular near the coast of the United States. In fact, if you look for crab cake recipes online you will most likely find a lot of crab cakes called Maryland crab cakes. 

Crab cakes became popular in bay areas surrounding Maryland and Virginia but since that time they have grown in popularity throughout the USA and even are made in other countries at times as well. 

Crab cakes are made with crab meat that is mixed with a variety of other ingredients.

These ingredients could vary but some of the most common things you might find in a crab cake include eggs, seasoning, bread crumbs, mustard, mayonnaise. They might have onions, other spice, or even additional vegetables as well. 

Crab cakes are rounded into patties and then seared in a pan to perfection. They are often served with various sauces, particularly tartar sauce.

It is also quite common to give them a squeeze of lemon juice right off the stovetop as well. 

Making Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are not complicated to make at all. The hardest part is acquiring good crab meat to make them with. If you live in a coastal area where fresh crab is readily available, that is your best option.

Of course, if you’re not in that area you simply have to improvise with what is available to you. 

The point of crab cakes is to enjoy the crab meat in them but also to have the crab meat mixed with additional ingredients that will help to bring out the flavor but also individualize the dish if you’re not a huge crab fan. 

Crab cakes are uniquely made and you can use as little or as much crab meat as you want to make the flavors your own. Additionally, you can also personalize your crab cakes with your own seasonings and other additions to the crab cake as well. 

Here is a simple recipe to give you an idea of how crab cakes are made. Remember this is not the only recipe out there. There are hundreds of ways you can make crab cakes. We simply provide this as an example of the process. 

  1. You will need crab meat, mayonnaise, beaten eggs, Dijon or ground mustard, seasonings of your choice, bread crumbs, fresh parsley, lemon zest, and oil. 
  2. Start by mixing your seasonings, eggs, mayonnaise, and mustard together. Do not add the crab yet to avoid overworking it. 
  3. Once the initial base is mixed, stir in crab meat, bread crumbs, parsley, and lemon zest. Fold the mixture gently until well combined. 
  4. Shape the mixture into small patties, using about ½ cup of the mixture for each one. Set them on a plate or a baking sheet. 
  5. Refrigerate prepared crab cakes for 1 hour to set them so they will hold together as you cook them. 
  6. Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. 
  7. Cook crab cakes until they begin to lightly brown. This will take 3-5 minutes. You can add more oil to the pan as necessary. 
  8. Flip the crab cakes and brown the other side another 3-5 minutes. 
  9. Squeeze lemon juice on the crab cakes, serve and enjoy. 

As you can see, the process of making crab cakes is relatively simple. It does take a bit of time simply because it is best if you are able to refrigerate or freeze them prior to cooking. This just helps hold them together during the cooking process. 

Freezing and Storage of Crab Cakes

There are two approaches to freezing your crab cakes. You can either prepare them ahead of time and freeze them raw or you can freeze them after they have been cooked.

If you are able to, we recommend freezing them raw but either method will work and we will cover them both here. 

Freezing Raw Crab Cakes

  1. We recommend a pre-freezing approach to keep the crab cakes from falling apart. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the cakes out in a single layer. Freeze for 2 hours uncovered. 
  2. Remove from freezer and wrap each cake individually in plastic wrap. You can then place individually wrapped crab cakes into an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. 
  3. Label, date, and seal all packaging. 
  4. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months like this. 
  5. When ready to use, defrost the crab cakes overnight in the refrigerator prior to cooking and serving. 

Freezing Cooked Crab Cakes

  1. Allow crab cakes to cool to room temperature. Do not leave them sitting out for more than 1 hour. 
  2. Wrap crab cakes individually in either plastic wrap or foil. Foil is great because when you reheat them, you can leave them in the foil. 
  3. Place crab cakes into a heavy-duty freezer bag or an airtight container to keep them together. 
  4. Label, date, and seal all packaging for crab cakes. 
  5. Freeze cooked crab cakes for up to 3 months. 
  6. When ready to use, you can take them directly from the freezer to the oven or you can defrost them overnight in the fridge. 

Using Crab Cakes After Freezing

If you froze your crab cakes uncooked, you can simply thaw them overnight in the fridge and then proceed to sear them in a pan, much like in the recipe we shared above. This is the best way to heat your uncooked crab cakes after freezing them. 

If you froze cooked crab cakes, we recommend that you bake them to reheat them. This will work the best to preserve their quality and character and to have delicious reheated crab cakes. 

To reheat cooked crab cakes, follow these simple instructions. 

  1. Wrap crab cakes in foil if you did not wrap them in foil at the time of freezing them. 
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  3. Lay foil-wrapped crab cakes out in a single layer on a baking sheet. 
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the center is fully heated. 
  5. Unwrap, serve, and enjoy! 

Related Questions

We hope that you have found this guide to freezing crab cakes to be a valuable resource for all of your crab cake processes. Crab cakes are quite easy to make and work with and you can approach freezing them in more than one way. 

We invite you to take a look at the following question and answer section to see if there might be some additional information that could be useful for you. 

How Long Can Cooked Crab Cakes Be Stored in the Fridge?

If you anticipate eating your leftover crab cakes within 3-5 days, the fridge is an ideal storage option. Just be sure to wrap them and seal them well while they are stored in the fridge. You can then reheat in the oven for the best results. 

Can You Eat Crab Cakes Cold?

Crab cakes can be delicious both hot and cold. It is not uncommon to serve them chilled. The key to serving chilled crab cakes is to ensure they are properly cooked prior to being chilled. Apart from that, they can be served fresh from the pan or chilled and both ways are delightful in their own way. 

What Can You Serve With Crab Cakes?

Crab cakes are often served with tartar sauce for dipping. If you are looking for a suitable side dish, here are several options for you to consider. 

  • Salad
  • Soup (chowder or bisque is great)
  • Coleslaw or veggie slaw of some sort
  • Mixed vegetable dishes
  • Quinoa or rice
  • Asparagus
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Garlic and herb mashed potatoes
  • Macaroni and cheese

You can safely serve any side dish you like with your crab cakes. These are just a few of the most popular recommendations to serve.

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