Clams are a delicious and nutritious seafood that can be prepared in many different ways. Learning how to properly cook clams ensures you get the best flavor and texture out of these briny bivalves. In this article, I will answer some frequently asked questions when cooking clams and instruct you how to cook clams properly at home.

1. FAQs When Cooking Clams

1.1. What is the Best Way To Cook Clams?

The best and easiest way to cook fresh clams is to steam them. Steaming gently cooks the clams while keeping them tender and juicy inside. It also creates a flavorful steaming liquid that perfectly accompanies the clams.

1.2. Do I Need To Soak Clams in Salt Water Before Cooking?

Yes, soaking clams in salt water is an essential step to remove any sand or grit they may contain. Begin by dissolving a generous amount of salt in a bowl of water. Gently place the clams in the water and let them soak for at least 30 minutes to an hour. This process encourages the clams to expel any sand they may have ingested, ensuring a clean and delightful dining experience.

1.3. How To Check For Dead Clams?

It’s important to check clams for freshness before cooking. Discard any clams with cracked or broken shells. Live clams will close up when tapped on a hard surface. Dead clams will stay open. You can also hold clams up to your ear and listen for “spitting” sounds, which indicates they are still alive.

2. How To Cook Clams


  • 2 pounds fresh clams in the shell, scrubbed
  • 1 cup white wine or broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Lemon wedges for serving
  • Fresh parsley or basil for garnish


Scrub clams under cold running water to clean shells. Discard any clams with cracked shells or that won’t close when handled.

Fill a large skillet with about 1⁄2 inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add clams and cover with a tight fitting lid.

Steam for 5-8 minutes until clams open up. Discard any unopened clams.

Remove clams from skillet and set aside. Reserve steaming liquid in skillet.

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Add white wine or broth and the reserved clam steaming liquid. Increase heat to high and boil for 2-3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and add cooked clams back in. Cover and let sit 1-2 minutes to absorb flavors.

Transfer clams to a serving bowl. Pour steaming sauce over clams. Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley. Enjoy immediately while hot.

3. What To Eat With Steamed Clams?

Steamed clams are a versatile dish that pairs wonderfully with a variety of accompaniments. Here are some delightful options:

Crusty Bread – Slices of crusty bread are perfect for soaking up the flavorful juices from the clams.

Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce – Melted garlic butter adds a rich and indulgent element to the dish, enhancing the overall flavor.

Fresh Herbs – Chopped parsley, cilantro, or basil sprinkled over the clams just before serving provides a burst of freshness and color.

By following these simple steps in this article. Now, you know how to cook clams perfectly at home. With the right accompaniments, you’ll create a meal that’s sure to impress even the most discerning of palates.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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