How long are crab cakes good for?

Crab cakes are a popular seafood dish enjoyed by many for their delectable taste and delicate texture. They can be served as appetizers, main courses, or even sides, making them versatile and suitable for various occasions. But what happens when you have leftover crab cakes? Proper storage is important to ensure your crab cakes remain safe to eat and retain their mouthwatering flavor. Cooked crab cakes can last for 3 to 5 days in the fridge when stored correctly. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of storing cooked crab cakes in the fridge, helping you keep them fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

Importance of Proper Food Storage

When it comes to seafood dishes like crab cakes, food storage is super important because it can spoil quickly. By following the best food storage practices, you can keep your crab cakes fresh while protecting yourself and your family from any potential health risks.

How do you reheat leftover crab cakes?

Reheating crab cakes the proper way helps to keep their taste and tender texture just as good as the first time you made them. First, preheat your oven to 375°F. Next step, place the crab cakes on a lined baking sheet. Once the oven’s hot, pop them in for 10 to 15 minutes until they’re heated through and reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside. Use a thermometer to make sure they’re perfectly warmed.

After they have been properly reheated, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a minute or two before serving them with your favorite cocktail sauce, homemade tartar sauce,  or garnishing with lemon wedges.

How long can crab cakes sit out at room temperature?

The maximum amount of time you should leave seafood out at room temperature is 2 hours.

What is in a crab cake mixture?

When making my favorite Maryland-style crab cakes, using blue crabs, I use the following ingredients: 

  • Jumbo lump crabmeat
  • Mustard seeds or Dijon mustard
  • Whole eggs
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Plain bread crumbs or Panko breadcrumbs, to hold the crab mixture together
  • Old bay seasoning

How to cook homemade crab cakes

Using a recipe for traditional crab cakes as a guide, lightly blend together all the ingredients. Form the crab mixture into patties about 4″ in diameter, being careful not to break apart the jumbo lump crab meat.

To bake Maryland crab cakes, place them on a baking tray using parchment paper or aluminum foil as a liner. Using a preheated oven set at 375°F, bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Some people prefer to make air fryer crab cakes. But, if I’m being honest, my results using this technique have been mixed. 

It really depends on your taste buds, as to which is the best way to 

Does a crab cake recipe use raw crab meat?

No. When making crab cakes, the crab meat has already been cooked. If you are using fresh crab meat, this means live crabs have been recently steamed and the meat has been picked from the whole crab. You can also make cake cakes using canned crab meat if it is not crab season or your access to fresh crabmeat is limited. You can also use fake crab meat or imitation crab meat (which is fish, by the way), if you like.

The bottom line is, whatever type of crab meat you use, it should never be raw.

How to reheat frozen crab cakes?

You can reheat them in a snap while keeping their yummy taste and texture. First, preheat your oven to 375°F, and place the frozen crab cakes (no thawing needed) on a lined baking sheet sprayed with olive oil or vegetable oil. Pop them in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes of cooking time or until they’re heated through and hit 165°F inside—using a thermometer ensures they’re safe and perfectly cooked. After that, let them cool for a couple of minutes before serving them with cocktail sauce or lemon wedges.

Should leftover crab cakes be slimy?

If leftover crab cakes have a slimy texture, it’s likely a sign of spoilage. Spoilage can result from improper storage or keeping the crab cakes in the refrigerator for too long. Consuming spoiled crab cakes can lead to foodborne illnesses, so it’s best to discard them if you notice any sliminess, odors, or mold. To avoid spoilage, store crab cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator and consume them within 3 to 5 days.

Fresh vs Frozen Crab Meat

Fresh crab meat produces a more vibrant flavor and succulent texture. However, it is more perishable and should be used as soon as possible to ensure freshness. Frozen crab meat, on the other hand, is a good option for people who don’t have access to fresh crab meat. But, it can have a slightly different texture, with proper defrosting it can still yield tasty crab cakes. 

Regardless of whether you choose fresh or frozen crab meat, the key to safe-to-eat crab cakes depends on proper storage and eating them in a timely fashion.

How to Keep Your Crab Cakes Fresh

It is important to select the proper size container when storing your crab cakes. Make sure it is airtight and large enough to store them without crushing them. Before you place crab cakes in a container, make sure they have cooled to room temperature. This will prevent a moist environment from forming inside the container, which can lead to sogginess or mold growth.  

How to tell if your crab cakes are bad

You can identify bad or spoiled crab cakes by looking for a combination of telltale signs. Here are some different ways that your crab cakes might have gone bad:

  1. Odor: Spoiled crab cakes often give off a strong, unpleasant, or sour smell. Fresh crab cakes should have a mild, slightly briny aroma.
  2. Texture: If the crab cakes feel slimy or excessively mushy, it could be a sign of spoilage due to bacterial growth.
  3. Color: Discoloration, such as darkening or the appearance of mold, suggests that crab cakes are no longer safe to eat.
  4. Taste: If you’ve already taken a bite and notice a sour, bitter, or off-taste, it’s best to discard the crab cakes.

When in doubt, it’s safer to throw away any suspect crab cakes rather than risk consuming spoiled food that could lead to foodborne illnesses. To minimize the chances of spoilage, store your cooked crab cakes properly in the refrigerator and consume them within 3 to 5 days.

What to do with leftover crab cakes

Use your leftover crab cakes to make a variety of menu options. Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Make a salad: Flake apart crab cakes and toss them with your favorite greens, veggies, and dressing for a satisfying and flavorful salad.
  • Create a seafood sandwich: Create a tasty sandwich by placing a reheated crab cake between slices of bread or in a burger bun, along with lettuce, tomato, and your choice of sauce.
  • Prepare tacos: Crumble your crab cakes and use them as a filling for tacos. Add in avocado, salsa, shredded cabbage, and a squeeze of lime.
  • Toss with pasta: Break up the crab cakes and toss them with cooked pasta, garlic, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil for a quick and tasty meal.
  • Add to an omelet or frittata: Add flaked crab cake into an omelet or frittata along with your favorite veggies and cheese for a protein-packed breakfast.

Can you eat cold crab cakes?

Yes, you can eat cold crab cakes, provided they have been properly cooked and stored. A cooked crab cake can be served and consumed cold or at room temperature, making them a convenient option for picnics or potlucks. However, if you prefer a warm dish or if the crab cakes have been refrigerated, you might want to reheat them in the oven or on the stovetop for a more enjoyable eating experience.

How to reheat crab cakes using a microwave?

Reheating crab cakes in a microwave is a convenient method, but it may not yield the same crispy texture as reheating in an oven or on the stovetop. To reheat crab cakes using a microwave, follow these steps:

  1. Place the crab cakes on a microwave-safe plate for even heating
  2. Cover the crab cakes with a microwave-safe lid to prevent them from drying out. You can also place a damp paper towel over the crab cakes to help keep them moist
  3. Microwave for 1-2 minutes at half power to avoid overcooking them
  4. Check the crab cakes for warmth after the initial heating time. If they are not heated through, continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until they are properly warmed. 
  5. Carefully remove the plate from the microwave and use a spatula to transfer the crab cakes to a serving plate

Keep in mind that microwaving may cause the crab cakes to become a bit soggy.