Traeger Smoked Crab Cakes – Recipe and Cooking Guide

Hey Smokers, and welcome to my post where we will run through my Traeger Smoked Crab Cakes – recipe and cooking guide. As you may or may not know, this site is all about cooking on my Traeger Pro Series 22 Pellet Smoker and seeing where we can take things.

Traeger Smoked Crab Cakes - Header

Now, I loooovvveee crab cakes, however they are not really something that I never really thought about for a smoker. But as is usual in my life, I found myself with some fresh mud crab which I turned into crab cakes. So why not give em a smoke and see what happens!

Traeger Smoked Crab Cakes: What You’ll Need

Ok, so below is what I used to cook me some smoke crab cakes my Traeger pellet smoker:


  • 1 lb lump crab meat, carefully picked over for shells
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs or crushed crackers (for binding)
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I didn’t have any so I used Spring onions/Scallions)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or melted butter, for brushing (I used olive oil myself)

If you are light on crab meat, add some mashed potato as well to make them go a little further if need be.


Wood Pellets:

  • In general, Apple or cherry wood pellets are ideal as they provide a mild, slightly sweet smoke that complements seafood well.

I will add here that the method I used below only entails smoking the crab cakes for a very limited amount of time. I used the Traeger Signature blend (hickory, maple, cherry) and found that I probably could have left them in for a little longer – so I would say that if you have stronger pellets in, then maybe just control it by time instead.

The Cooking Process

For my cook, I took the same approach as reverse seared steak in that I wanted to smoke them first, and then finish them off on the hot plate. So this is what I did and when:


First, we have to make the crab cakes of course:

  1. Prepare the Crab Mixture:
    • If the crab is fresh, cook it, clean it and extract the meat!
    • In a large bowl, combine the ingredients above (or anything else you like such) and gently mix until everything is just combined, being careful not to break up the crab meat too much.
  2. Form the Crab Cakes:
    • Shape the mixture into patties, about 1/2 inch thick. This recipe should make about 6-8 crab cakes, depending on the size.
  3. Chill:
    • Place the formed crab cakes on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to help them set. This step is crucial to prevent the crab cakes from falling apart during smoking (mine were a little wet so I added some more breadcrumbs here).
  4. Preheat the Smoker:
    • Preheat your pellet smoker to 225°F (107°C). This low temperature allows the crab cakes to cook through gently without drying out.

If you are cooking your crab, finish time will obviously depend on the size. Generally, boil in salt water until the shell goes bright orange and it floats. Then place immediately in cold water with a little ice.

Traeger Smoked Crab Cakes - crab cakes


  1. Prepare for Smoking:
    • Lay out a piece of aluminum foil, parchment paper or a fine grill mat on the smoker grates. This will prevent the crab cakes from falling through the grates and make it easier to handle them.
    • Preheat your pellet smoker to 225°F (107°C).
  2. Smoke the Crab Cakes:
    • Brush each crab cake lightly with olive oil or melted butter. Place them on the prepared parchment or grill mat in the smoker.
    • Close the lid and smoke the crab cakes for about 15-20 minutes or until they are firm and slightly golden.

As above, I left mine of for 15 minutes which warmed then nicely and put a slight smoke taste into them – however it was only subtle. Next time then, I will leave them a little longer just to get a little more flavor into them before I grill.


  1. Preheat the grill
  2. Whilst still in the smoker, brush the top of each crab cake with some more olive oil or butter and then move them to the grill.
  3. Grill for a few minutes then brush the top and flip.
  4. Continue until golden brown on both sides.
Traeger Smoked Crab Cakes - crab cakes to grill


  • Serve the smoked crab cakes hot, with lemon wedges and a side of tartar sauce or a creamy remoulade.

My Results

So, as an outline of the above, I smoked mine for about 15 minutes (which was probably around 10 mins too short) and then grilled off on the hot plate.

Loved them, loved them, loved them. The smoke adds a small subtly to the flavor and I mean, they are crab cakes, so how can they be bad.

If you like crab cakes, and smoked foods, then give this a shot!


  • Handling: Handle the crab cakes gently at all stages of preparation to maintain their shape.
  • Smoking: Crab meat is delicate, so be careful with smoke times if you don’t want the flavor to be too strong.


So there you have it, my recipe and cooking guide for some Traeger smoked crab cakes. I hope it has been of assistance but as usual, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out by commenting below. I would also love to hear of your own experiences, preferences or suggestions here as well.

Are there any other products you have been looking at but want to know more about? If so, please comment below and I will do my best to get some details for you.

Until next time

Have fun and get smoking!


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