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How to Cook Clams in the Shell

author image Kimberleo
In 2001, Kay Miranda had her second screenplay purchased, then started writing a weekly column in "The Messenger," with work appearing in "Xquisite" and "Valley Scene Magazine." Miranda earned a Bachelor of Arts in bio-psychology from the University of Colorado. Fortunate to play collegiate tennis, Miranda has extensive travel and coaching experience.
How to Cook Clams in the Shell
A bowl of cooked clams. Photo Credit gontabunta/iStock/Getty Images

Fresh clams are eaten as appetizers on their own or as part of other seafood dishes. Getting the clams cooked and out of the shell can intimidate those unfamiliar with cooking this shellfish. Steam or grill clams in the shell to ensure the muscle is cooked safely. When the clam is completely cooked, the shell should open, exposing the tender meat inside. In some cases the shell won’t open. You can discard these clams or shuck them open with a butter knife.


Step 1

Pour 1 inch of water into a large pot.

Step 2

Place the pot on the stove top on high heat, and bring the water to a boil.

Step 3

Set the clams in a steaming basket, and position the basket in the pot above the water.

Step 4

Cover the pot with a lid, and allow the clams to steam for 12 to 18 minutes.

Step 5

Remove the clams from the basket, and serve them with garlic butter or use them in favorite chowder recipe.


Step 1

Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Step 2

Lay the clams on the gril grate.

Step 3

Turn the clams with tongs after two minutes.

Step 4

Grill another two minutes or until the clamshells open.

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