DECIDE WHAT SIZE OF CLAM YOU WILL BE COOKING
Hardshell clams are the most commonly sought after clam on the East Coast but they come in different sizes. Choosing which size you would like to cook will depend on what recipe or dish you are using them for.
• LITTLENECK CLAMS are small and therefore the most tender as they take the least amount of time to cook. Most people choose these to be served in pastas, soups, or for clambakes.
• CHERRYSTONE CLAMS are sought after for being the largest of the clams we offer. These are typically steamed, grilled, or stuffed as they provide the largest amount of meat per clam. They are also commonly shucked to be used in soups, chowders, and pastas, as their meat is large enough to be chopped or diced easily.
Grab a pot large enough to fit the amount of clams you have comfortably. Packing them too tight will restict them from opening. Use a steaming rack if available so that the clams can cook more evenly. You’ll need to add around 2 inches of water to the pot and then bring it to a simmer. Add the clams to the pot and cover with a lid to allow them to steam. After about 10 to 12 minutes check the clams. If all the clams are opened, then they are finished cooking and are ready to be served. If any clams are still closed, they need to be cooked longer.
BAKING OR GRILLING CLAMS
Preheat your over to 425° or your grill to a medium high heat. Using a baking sheet in the oven or foil on the grill, add your clams to the heat. Once they are fully opened (at least a 45 degree angle), about 12 to 15 minutes into cooking, they are ready to be served. If any are still closed, they need to be cooked longer. As long as they are kept moist they are difficult to overcook.