How Long to Cook Frozen Crab Cakes in Air Fryer

Frozen crab cakes are a convenient and delicious option for a quick meal, but knowing the right way to cook them can make all the difference in achieving that perfect crispy exterior and moist, flavorful interior.

An air fryer is an excellent tool for this task, offering a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods by using significantly less oil. In this article, we’ll explore the optimal cooking time and temperature for frozen crab cakes in an air fryer, providing tips and tricks from my years of experience in healthy nutrition.

We’ll also address common questions and offer variations to help you get the most out of this versatile kitchen appliance.

Understanding Frozen Crab Cakes

Frozen crab cakes are pre-made, breaded patties typically containing crab meat, bread crumbs, and various seasonings. They are a popular choice for a quick and easy meal, as they are usually fully cooked or partially cooked before freezing. This means they require less cooking time than raw crab cakes and are safe to cook directly from frozen.

Frozen crab cakes offer several benefits, including convenience, long shelf life, and consistent quality. They are perfect for those who want to enjoy the taste of seafood without the hassle of making crab cakes from scratch.

Preparing Frozen Crab Cakes for Air Frying

To prepare frozen crab cakes for air frying, there is generally no need to thaw them. Cooking them directly from frozen helps maintain their shape and texture. Here are some preparation tips:

  1. Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheating ensures that the crab cakes cook evenly and develop a crispy exterior. Set your air fryer to 375°F (190°C) and let it preheat for about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Arrange the Crab Cakes: Place the frozen crab cakes in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Avoid overcrowding to ensure even cooking.
  3. Light Oil Spray: For extra crispiness, lightly spray the crab cakes with cooking oil. This step is optional but recommended for the best texture.

Air Fryer Settings and Preparation

The best air fryer settings for frozen crab cakes generally involve a moderate temperature and sufficient cooking time to ensure they are heated through and crispy on the outside. Here’s a simple recipe to follow:

  1. Temperature: Set the air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cooking Time: Cook the crab cakes for 12-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time. This helps achieve an even, golden-brown crust on both sides.

Cooking Frozen Crab Cakes in an Air Fryer

When cooking frozen crab cakes in an air fryer, the key is to monitor the cooking process to avoid overcooking or undercooking. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Preheat: As mentioned, preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Place the Crab Cakes: Arrange the frozen crab cakes in a single layer in the basket.
  3. Cook: Cook for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Check for doneness by ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) and the exterior is crispy and golden.

Specific Air Fryer Models

Different air fryer models may have slight variations in cooking times and temperatures. For example, the Ninja air fryer may cook slightly faster due to its efficient design. Always refer to your specific model’s instructions and adjust the cooking time as needed.

Ensuring Perfectly Cooked Crab Cakes

To ensure your crab cakes are perfectly cooked:

  1. Check for Doneness: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, which should be at least 165°F (74°C).
  2. Visual Cues: The crab cakes should be golden-brown and crispy on the outside.
  3. Texture: The interior should be moist and flavorful, not dry or rubbery.

Common mistakes include overcrowding the basket, which can lead to uneven cooking, and not flipping the crab cakes, resulting in one side being less crispy.

Variations and Recipes

For those looking to experiment, consider these variations:

  1. Spicy Crab Cakes: Add a dash of cayenne pepper or hot sauce before cooking.
  2. Herb-Infused Crab Cakes: Sprinkle fresh herbs like parsley or dill on top before air frying.
  3. Garlic Butter: Brush with melted garlic butter for an extra layer of flavor.

These variations can enhance the taste while keeping the preparation straightforward.

Troubleshooting and FAQs

Here are some common questions and issues:

  1. Why are my crab cakes not crispy?
    • Ensure you preheat the air fryer and avoid overcrowding.
    • Lightly spray with oil for better crispiness.
  2. Can I cook crab cakes without preheating?
    • Preheating is recommended for even cooking and optimal texture.
  3. What if my crab cakes are still cold inside?
    • Increase the cooking time by a few minutes and check the internal temperature again.


Cooking frozen crab cakes in an air fryer is a quick, convenient, and healthy way to enjoy this delicious seafood dish. By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can achieve perfectly cooked crab cakes with a crispy exterior and moist interior. Remember to experiment with different recipes and settings to find what works best for your taste and air fryer model.

Additional Resources

  • Air fryer user manuals
  • Cooking guides and recipe books
  • Online forums and community tips for air frying enthusiasts

By incorporating these tips and techniques, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of cooking frozen crab cakes in an air fryer.

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Samuel Asabor
Samuel Asabor

Hi there! I'm Samuel Asabor, and I'm passionate about everything blender-related. Whether it's discussing the latest blender models, sharing maintenance tips, or offering recommendations for specific blending needs, I'm your go-to blender enthusiast. Let's blend, maintain, and create together!