Grilled Crab Cakes recipe with Spicy Lime Mayonnaise

I read somewhere that you couldn't grill crab cakes so I decided that was enough of a challenge to try it myself to see. 

After a couple dismal failures and lots of wasted crab I was about to give up and agree that it just wasn't possible.  They always seemed dry and fell apart on the grill.

My dream of creating the best grilled crab cakes recipe seemed doomed.

And then one day, as I was skimming through a new foodie magazine, I found another article on crab cakes and decided I should give this project one more try.

best grilled crab cakes recipe

I pulled together all my crab cakes recipes I could find and began picking out what I thought were the best bits from each one.

Third times a charm.  These crab cakes actually stayed together on the grill and they tasted absolutely awesome!

While I was at it I also developed this spicy lime mayonnaise to use as a crab cake sauce and also made this easy Old Bay seasoning recipe to use in the crab cakes for authentic Maryland flavor.

So yes, you can grill crab cakes and they're fantastic.  But if you don't want to grill them you can still cook these on your stove-top.

› Grilled Crab Cakes

Serves: 2 - 4

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Direct Heat: 400F - 450F

What you'll need:

  • 2 cans chunk crab meat drained (120g or 4.25 ounce each) 
  • 2 eggs beaten 
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper chopped
  • 2 green onions chopped fine (green parts only)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1 cup finely crushed butter crackers (about 20 crackers)

Tip:  serve these with this Spicy Lime crab sauce recipe here.

crushed butter crackers

Step 1:
Put the butter crackers in a resealable plastic bag and carefully crush them until there's no big chunks left.

crab cake spices

In a large bowl add the beaten eggs, chopped red pepper and green onion, Worcestershire sauce, Old Bay seasoning, lemon zest, Dijon mustard and Tabasco sauce. 

Combine these ingredients very well so the overall flavor is evenly blended throughout the crab cakes.

how to make crab cakes

Add the finely crushed butter cracker crumbs to the bowl and stir well to combine.

chunky crab cakes

Step 2:
Add the chunk crab meat to the bowl.

Add the mayonnaise to the bowl and carefully stir to combine.

best crab cakes

Form 6 crab cake patties using 1/4 cup of the mixture each.

Refrigerate at least 1 hour so they firm up.

oil grates of bbq

Step 3:
Preheat the grill to 400F - 425F.

Fold a paper towel several times and hold it with your BBQ tongs.

Dip the paper towel in cooking oil and carefully wipe the grates of the grill with the oil 5 or 6 times to coat.  

This helps prevent the crab cakes from sticking to the grill. 

grilling crab cakes

Brush the top of each crab cake with a little cooking oil, sprinkle with a little black pepper and place each crab cake oiled side down on the grill and close the lid.

After 4 minutes lift the lid and carefully lift the edge of a crab cake with your spatula to inspect the underside.

If it's showing nice grill marks, appears to be browning up and comes away from the grill easily then brush the exposed tops with a little oil (if not give them another minute)

Carefully lift the edge of each cake with one spatula and slide a second spatula underneath.

Holding the top of the cake with your fingers or a spatula carefully roll the cake over to the other side.

If they're going to break apart on you it's going to happen when flipping them so make sure they come away from the grill easily, that's why all the oil.

Sprinkle the tops with a little black pepper and close the lid for another 4 - 5 minutes.

maryland crab cakes on the grill

When cooked remove the crab cakes from the grill and serve with this Spicy Lime mayonnaise.


old bay crab cakes on the grill

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