An estimator for the error in the wave number is presented in the context of finite element approximations of the Helmholtz equation. The proposed estimate is an extension of the ideas introduced in [28]. In the previous work, the error assessment technique was developed for standard Galerkin approximations. Here, the methodology is extended to deal also with stabilized approximations of the Helmholtz equation. Thus, the accuracy of the stabilized solutions is analyzed, including also their sensitivity to the stabilization parameters depending on the mesh topology. The procedure builds up an inexpensive approximation of the exact solution, using post-processing techniques standard in error estimation analysis, from which the estimate of the error in the wave number is computed using a simple closed expression. The recovery technique used in [28] is based in a polynomial least squares fitting. Here a new recovery strategy is introduced, using exponential (in a complex setup, trigonometric) local approximations respecting the nature of the solution of the wave problem.