Crab cakes are a delicious and popular seafood dish that are enjoyed by many people around the world. While some may prefer to purchase pre-made crab cakes from their local grocery store or seafood market, others may be interested in learning how to cook these delectable treats themselves.
Cooking store bought crab cakes is an easy process that can be done in just a few simple steps. Whether you prefer baking or frying your crab cakes, there are a few key tips and tricks that can help ensure that they come out perfectly every time.
In this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to cook store bought crab cakes in a variety of ways. We will cover everything from selecting the perfect crab cakes at the store, to preparing them for cooking, and finally, cooking them to perfection.
By the end of this guide, you will have all the information you need to whip up a delectable batch of crab cakes that are sure to impress your friends and family. So, get ready to don your apron, fire up your stove or oven, and get ready to prepare some amazing crab cakes that will tantalize your taste buds!
Understanding Store Bought Crab Cakes
Crab cakes make for a delicious and easy to prepare meal that is perfect for any occasion. However, not everyone has the time or the skills to make them from scratch. Fortunately, you can now find store-bought crab cakes that are just as tasty as homemade ones. But before you start cooking, it’s important to understand what store-bought crab cakes are all about.
What are Store Bought Crab Cakes?
Store bought crab cakes are pre-made patties made from a mixture of crab meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, mayonnaise and other seasonings like mustard or Worcestershire sauce. They come in different sizes and shapes depending on the brand and can be found in the frozen section of your local grocery store.
Benefits of Using Store Bought Crab Cakes
Using store bought crab cakes comes with several benefits. First off, they save you time since they’re already pre-made and seasoned perfectly so there’s no need for experimentation with flavors. You also get consistent results every time you cook them since they’re made using standardized recipes.
Another benefit is that they allow you to enjoy delicious restaurant quality meals at home without having to spend too much money eating out at expensive seafood restaurants.
How To Choose The Best Store Bought Crab Cakes
When choosing store bought crab cakes there are certain factors that you should consider:
- The type of crab meat used: Look for those made with lump or jumbo lump crab meat which offers better flavor than those made with smaller pieces like claw meat.
- The ingredients list: Make sure the ingredients list doesn’t contain any fillers like potatoes or vegetables.
- The texture: A good quality crabcake should have an even texture throughout without any large chunks.
- The price: While cheaper options may seem tempting its best to go for mid-range options as these offer better quality than extremely cheap ones while still being affordable.
Tips for Cooking Store Bought Crab Cakes
Cooking store bought crab cakes is easy once you understand a few tips:
- Thaw them: Make sure to thaw your crab cakes before cooking. This can be done by either leaving them in the fridge overnight or by placing them in a sealed plastic bag and soaking them in cold water for about an hour.
- Don’t overcook: Overcooking your crab cakes can make them dry and tough. Cook them until they’re golden brown on each side and heated through.
- Use the right oil: When frying your crab cakes, use an oil with a high smoke point like vegetable or canola oil to prevent burning.
- Avoid overcrowding: Cook your crab cakes in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan which will lead to uneven cooking.
Preparing Store Bought Crab Cakes
Now that you have a good understanding of what store bought crab cakes are all about, it’s time to learn how to prepare them properly. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your crab cake cooking experience.
Cooking store bought crab cakes is an easy and convenient way to enjoy a delicious seafood meal. By choosing high-quality crab cakes that contain lump or jumbo lump crab meat, thawing them before cooking, and using the right cooking techniques such as pan-frying or baking, you can achieve perfectly cooked and flavorful crab cakes every time. Experimenting with seasoning, handling the mixture with care, and adding extra crunch or pairing with complementary sides can further elevate your dining experience. Remember to choose the right pan, avoid overcooking, and use a meat thermometer to ensure optimum results.
Thawing Store Bought Crab Cakes
Before you can start cooking your store bought crab cakes, you need to make sure they’re fully thawed. Here are two methods for doing so:
- Refrigerator thawing: The easiest way to thaw frozen crab cakes is by letting them sit in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours.
- Cold water thawing: If you don’t have enough time for refrigerator thawing, place the frozen crab cakes in a sealed plastic bag and submerge them in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until they’re fully thawed.
There are several ways you can cook store bought crab cakes depending on your preferences and available equipment:
Pan frying is one of the most popular methods of preparing store bought crabcakes because it creates a crispy exterior while keeping the interior moist.
- Heat oil: Heat oil (vegetable or olive) over medium heat in a non-stick skillet.
- Cook each side: Add your defrosted crabcakes into skillet and cook for 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.
- Drain excess oil: Once done, place cooked crabcake onto paper towels or wire rack over baking sheet to remove excess grease.
Baking is another great method as it’s quick and easy with minimal clean-up required:
- Preheat oven: Preheat oven at 375°F
- Place on baking sheet : Line baking sheet with parchment paper then place defrosted crabcake patties onto pan leaving space between patties.
- Bake both sides : Bake patties for 15-18 minutes, then flip and bake another 5-8 minutes until golden brown.
For a healthier option, you can air fry your crabcakes:
- Preheat the air fryer: Set the temperature to 375°F and preheat the air fryer for at least five minutes.
- Place on tray: Place defrosted crab cake patties onto the air fryer tray leaving space between them.
- Cook each side : Cook crab cakes for 8 to 10 minutes flipping halfway through until they’re golden brown and crispy.
Store bought crab cakes can be enjoyed in many ways. Here are some serving suggestions to elevate your dining experience:
With a Salad
Serve your crabcakes alongside a fresh salad made with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and a drizzle of lemon vinaigrette.
Make delicious sandwiches by placing crabcakes on toasted brioche buns topped with lettuce leaves and tartar sauce or aioli.
With Dipping Sauce
Serve warm crabcake patties with dipping sauce such as cocktail sauce or spicy remoulade sauce
Preparing store bought crab cakes is easy if you follow these simple tips. Whether you pan-fry them or bake them in the oven or cook them using an air fryer, always remember to thaw them first before cooking. Once cooked feel free to enjoy these delicious patties on their own or as part of any meal whether it’s breakfast lunch or dinner!
Cooking Techniques for Store Bought Crab Cakes
Cooking store bought crab cakes is easy once you’ve thawed them and chosen your preferred method. However, to take your crab cake game to the next level, it’s important to understand some cooking techniques that will ensure optimal results.
Cooking store bought crab cakes is an easy and convenient way to enjoy this seafood delicacy. Choose crab cakes made with lump or jumbo lump crab meat, avoid fillers and aim for an even texture throughout. Thaw crab cakes before cooking and use high smoke point oil when frying. Serve crab cakes with coleslaw, grilled vegetables, French fries, or on a bun with tartar sauce or aioli. Preheat your oven, use a meat thermometer to ensure safety and avoid overcooking. Experiment with adding extra flavors such as spices, fresh herbs or salsa to your crab cake mixture.
Seasoning Your Crab Cakes
Even though store bought crab cakes come pre-seasoned, adding a few extra ingredients can enhance their flavor. Here are a few suggestions:
- Add fresh herbs: Mix fresh herbs like dill or parsley with the crab cake mixture before cooking.
- Sprinkle Old Bay seasoning: This classic seafood seasoning adds a spicy kick and complements the flavors in the crab cakes.
- Use lemon juice: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over your cooked crab cakes just before serving for an added burst of flavor.
The texture of your crab cakes plays a crucial role in how they taste. Here are some tips for perfecting their texture:
Don’t Overwork The Mixture
When mixing together ingredients, avoid overworking the mixture as this can create tough and dry crabcakes.
Handle With Care
When shaping and handling your crabcake patty use gentle hands as excessive handling could lead to crumbling or breaking apart of patties during cooking process.
Press Lightly on Crabcake Patties When Cooking
Press down lightly on each patty when frying or baking it so that it cooks evenly without falling apart while being flipped.
Adding Extra Crunch
Adding extra crunch is one way to elevate store bought crabcakes from good to great. Here are two ways you can add extra crunch:
Panko Bread Crumbs
Replace regular breadcrumbs with panko bread crumbs which results in crispy exterior crust while keeping moist interior .
Coat each crabcake with cornmeal before pan frying for an additional crunchy outer layer
Pairings That Complement Crab Cakes
Pairing your crabcakes with the right side dish will elevate your meal to a whole new level. Here are some suggested pairings to complement crab cakes:
- Coleslaw: This creamy and tangy salad is the perfect side dish for crab cakes.
- French fries: Serve homemade or store-bought french fries as they offer a crispy texture that complements the soft interior of the crab cake.
- Grilled Vegetables: Adding grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms can be an excellent way to add extra flavor and nutrition.
Serving Ideas for Store Bought Crab Cakes
Store bought crab cakes are a versatile and delicious meal that can be served in many different ways. Whether you’re looking for a casual lunch or an elegant dinner, here are some serving ideas to inspire you.
Store bought crab cakes are an easy and convenient way to enjoy this seafood delicacy. When selecting them, choose those made with lump or jumbo lump crab meat, and avoid those with fillers. Thaw them before cooking and fry them in oil with a high smoke point or bake them in the oven or air fryer. Perfect the texture by handling them gently and pressing them down lightly when cooking. And don’t forget to add extra crunch with panko bread crumbs or cornmeal coating. Serve them with tartar sauce, coleslaw, grilled vegetables, or french fries for a delicious meal.
With Tartar Sauce
Tartar sauce is a classic condiment that pairs well with crab cakes. Here’s how to make homemade tartar sauce:
- Mix together 1 cup of mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of sweet relish, and salt to taste.
- Serve the homemade tartar sauce alongside your store bought crab cakes.
Over a Salad
Crab cakes can also be served over salad for a light and healthy meal. Here’s how to prepare it:
- Prepare your favorite salad mix with greens like spinach or arugula.
- Add sliced cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced cucumbers and avocados.
- Top the salad with warm crabcakes just before serving.
Crab cake sandwiches are easy to prepare and make for a filling meal. Here’s how to make them:
- Toast brioche buns on both sides until lightly browned.
- Place cooked crabcake patties on top of each bun half followed by lettuce leaves or sliced tomato if desired.
- Drizzle tartar sauce or aioli over each patty then close sandwich using remaining bun half.
Coleslaw is another great side dish that complements the flavor of crab cakes perfectly. Here’s how you can serve them together:
- Mix shredded cabbage with grated carrots in bowl then add dressing made from mayonnaise mixed with apple cider vinegar , sugar , salt & pepper according to taste preference .
- Serve coleslaw alongside warm crabcakes .
With Grilled Vegetables
Grilled vegetables are not only delicious but also nutritious making them perfect for a side dish. Here’s how to prepare them:
- Cut vegetables of choice such as bell peppers, zucchini, onions and mushrooms into bite-sized pieces.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the vegetables until they’re tender and lightly charred.
- Serve the grilled vegetables alongside your warm crabcakes.
With French Fries
French fries are another classic side dish that pairs perfectly with crab cakes. Here’s how to prepare them:
- Preheat oven or air fryer according to instructions on packaging
- Arrange frozen french fries in single layer on baking sheet or air fryer basket.
- Cook fries in oven or air fryer until golden brown according to package instructions .
- Serve cooked french fries alongside warm crabcakes.
Tips and Tricks for Cooking Store Bought Crab Cakes
Cooking store bought crab cakes is an easy and convenient way to enjoy this favorite seafood delicacy. However, there are some tips and tricks you can use to make sure your crab cakes turn out perfectly every time.
Choosing the Right Pan
Choosing the right pan is important when cooking store bought crab cakes. Here are some tips:
- Use a non-stick pan: A non-stick pan will prevent your crabcakes from sticking to the bottom.
- Use a cast-iron skillet: Cast iron skillets heat evenly and retain heat well, making them ideal for cooking crabcakes.
- Avoid overcrowding: Don’t overcrowd your pan as it will lead to uneven cooking.
Adding Extra Flavors
Although store bought crab cakes come pre-seasoned, adding extra flavors can take them up a notch. Here are some ideas:
Add spices like paprika or cumin into your mixture before shaping patties for an extra kick of flavor.
Mix in Fresh Herbs
Mix fresh herbs such as parsley or dill into the crab cake mixture before cooking for additional freshness & taste .
Top with Salsa
Top cooked crabcake with homemade salsa made with tomatoes , onions , cilantro , lime juice & seasonings .
Preheating Your Oven
When baking your store bought crab cakes in oven preheating it is crucial :
- Preheat oven at 375°F before placing thawed crabcake patties on baking sheet lined with parchment paper .
- This allows consistent temperature throughout while ensuring even browning on both sides .
Using a Meat Thermometer
Using meat thermometer ensures that inner temperature of cooked crabcake reaches minimum safe temperature of 165°F preventing any risk of foodborne illness :
- Insert meat thermometer into center of thickest part of each patty during last minute or so of cooking.
- Remove from oven or skillet when thermometer reads 165°F to ensure fully cooked crabcakes.
Overcooking your crab cakes can make them dry and tough. Here are some tips to avoid overcooking:
What is the best way to prepare store bought crab cakes?
The best way to prepare store bought crab cakes is to preheat the oven at 375°F and place the crab cakes on a baking sheet. Bake them for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Alternatively, you can shallow fry the crab cakes in a pan with oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side.
Can I microwave store bought crab cakes?
Microwaving store bought crab cakes is not recommended as it can make the cakes soggy or rubbery. This can ruin the texture and flavor of the crab cake. It is best to use an oven or stovetop to cook crab cakes for the best outcome.
Should I thaw store bought crab cakes before cooking them?
Most store bought crab cakes are sold frozen, so it is recommended to thaw them in the refrigerator overnight before cooking. This helps to prevent the crab cake from falling apart while cooking. If you don’t have time to thaw them overnight, you can thaw them in the microwave or under cold water for a few minutes.
How do I know when store bought crab cakes are fully cooked?
You can tell when store bought crab cakes are cooked by checking their internal temperature; it should reach 165°F. The crust of the crab cake should be golden brown, and if you insert a toothpick or fork in the center of the cake, it should come out clean. If you notice that the crab cake is still pink or has a mushy texture, then it needs more cooking time.