mike07gsxr

Opening clams

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Two basic ways: knife through the front. Need a thin but relatively sharp blade. Other way, but I was never good at, is going through the part that joins the two shells. 

 

Tips:

  1.  use a folded over towel in the hand holding the clam to keep from slicing or stabbing yourself whichever method you use. 
  2. Watch a YouTube video
  3. not a game, not a game.... practice. We talkin about practice. 

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4 hours ago, reelfire said:

Keep them really cold. Don't handle them a lot before you are ready to open them.

Seconding the above.  Also forget what you know about opening an oyster, clams are a totally different game. 

 

I became friendly with a clammer some years ago and ended up doing some events with him.  His clams were exquisite, opened as if never touched by a knife and with lightening speed.  He insisted on several key things:

 

-Keep the clams very cold

-For at least 30 minutes before opening the clams, don't move them at all

-Make sure you have lots of light

-Use a very sharp knife

 

"Clams have only one defense mechanism" John said told me.  They close their shells tight.  Don't scare your clams by jostling them around.  Pick up the clam gently so you don't scare it and under good light look carefully for the best part of the seam between the top and bottom shells.  Don't touch the seam with your sharp knife until you are ready to make your attack  If you tap the clam, or set your blade on the seam it will clench shut.  Once you decide to make your move you have to go for it 100%.  If you do everything right, your knife should slide right through the seam and the clam will never see it coming.

 

Once the knife has penetrated the shell, lever the shell open and sever the muscles that attach the clam to the shell-there are two on top and two on the bottom-without molesting the clam itself. 

 

The clam liquor is nectar of the gods so I try to lose as little of it as possible.  

 

Good luck. 

 

 

Edited by cookandcatch

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4 hours ago, reelfire said:

Keep them really cold. Don't handle them a lot before you are ready to open them.

 

22 mins ago, deep diver said:

put them in the freezer for 15min, then open

You're both right but don't let them freeze.  One other thing is to wash them off before chilling.  The last thing you want is sand or mud in with the clam meat and juice.

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Don't jostle them around before you try to open them. Let them sit for a few hours, on ice, and then try to open them.

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7 mins ago, Wire For Fire said:

I always found tequila used to work when I was single 

Enough tequila and you dont need clams

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A number of you have suggested using a sharp knife.  I have never met a sharp clam knife.  Most clam knives that I have seen and used are sturdy with a blunt edge.  They could hardly cut water.

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2 mins ago, Mono said:

A number of you have suggested using a sharp knife.  I have never met a sharp clam knife.  Most clam knives that I have seen and used are sturdy with a blunt edge.  They could hardly cut water.

True.  The one shown in the video is a clam knife.  Rounded end and not sharp.  

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7 hours ago, Wire For Fire said:

I always found tequila used to work when I was single 

Amateur

 

Scotch works much better

 

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I use a clam knife. I go for the front on the little necks to cherry stones. The big ones, if they are clamped down, I rock the knife along the hinge in the back and they pop. 

 

I heard a sharpened scallop knife is the best. Haven't gotten around to trying it, but seen it work really well (by a very skilled shucker). 

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