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How to Cook Clams on the Grill

Have you been wondering what to do with these little clams at home and trying to figure out what to do with them? Cooking clams on the grill is a great way to enjoy seafood. Moreover, there is no mess with these clams because they are cooked on the grill.

Notably, this appetizer dish is quite popular. This meal has an amazing flavor that belies its ease of preparation. I promise you won’t be able to get enough of these clams after trying them.

Read on as I provide – in detail – an excellent guide on how to cook clams on the grill.

Tips on How to Cook Clams on the Grill

I have highlighted these tips to help you cook clams on the grill.

Selecting Good Clams – Small and special count littlenecks, about 1 ½ inches wide, are the finest for grilled clams. In addition, make sure the clams are closed up when you get them from your seafood vendor, and clams that are open when you buy them are bad and should be discarded.

Clean The Clams – Before cooking, you must soak your clams in fresh water for 20 minutes. Clams filter water while they breathe to push the saltwater and sand out of their shells.

Wrapping – Some people prefer to cook clams in a foil pan so that all of the fluids can be caught and the sauce can be made right in the pan. If you can’t use a foil, make sure you grab them as soon as they pop open, the fluids and all.

Doneness – Clams have a built-in mechanism – the shells ping open when the meat is done, the shells ping open. If you find yourself clawing at a cooked clamshell or struggling to pry it open, it’s a sign that you shouldn’t be eating what’s within cause it’s not ready.

As soon as the shells break open, you will have to remove them off the grill before they burn through. To keep them from falling apart, you can place them on a bed of rock salt and drizzle a few drops of sauce over each clam.

Cooking Clams on the Grill

Remarkably, you can cook some clams on the grill fast and easily in just a few minutes. I have highlighted a simple guide on what you should do.

Preheat the grill: If you are using a charcoal grill, ignite it and let it burn down slowly – you should avoid high flames. If you are using a gas grill, you should set the temperature to medium.

Clean the clams: Before cooking, you must scrub any sand from the clams’ shells.

Cook the clams: You can proceed to place the clams on the grill, and when they pop open, you remove them from the grill.

Note that clams can be cooked directly on the grill. You can allow them to cook over direct heat by covering the grill. After about 7 minutes, you can check the clams and remove any opened. To remove them and not spill the juices, you will need tongs to lift them out delicately.

Serve and enjoy: You can serve the clams with a sauce made with garlic, butter, and white wine if you will like that. You can combine the needed ingredients and bring the mix to a boil (you can modify the amounts even to match your preference). You can allow about 5-10 minutes of cooking before pouring into the clams and serving.


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Cooking Time for Clams on the Grill

It takes around 5 to 10 minutes to open; give the clams a few more minutes to open up wide.

When your clams have fully opened, you can carefully transfer them to a large dish; you have to be careful if you do not use a foil because you want to take all of the fluids within the shell.

Preparation Time

Cook Time

Total Time

20 minutes

10 minutes

30 minutes

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Grilled Clams with Garlic Butter (4 to 6 Servings)

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  1. You will need to start this recipe by preheating a grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Make sure you clean the clams by scrubbing and rinsing them. You can keep the clams refrigerated in the fridge until you know you are ready to use them.
  3. Get a saucepan, then melt three tablespoons of butter over low heat until it is frothy.
  4. You can add the garlic and cook – constantly stirring – for approximately 30 seconds until it is fragrant but not browning.
  5. You can now add the white wine and heavy cream, then increase the heat to medium-high for about 8 minutes.
  6. Whisk in the remaining butter until the sauce is glossy, emulsified, and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (you should add in the butter one teaspoon at a time).
  7. Turn off the heat in the pot.
  8. After adding the chives, go ahead and season the dish with salt and pepper.
  9. You can warm the sauce when you are ready to serve it.
  10. You can arrange the clams on the grill. The clams should be cooked without being turned.
  11. You can cook the clams on the grill for about 8-10 minutes. Then transfer the clams carefully with tongs to a tray of rock salt as soon as they pop open. Pry the top shells off using the tongs.
  12. You can serve immediately with one teaspoon of the sauce spooned over each clam.

Just before serving, toss in a generous amount of herbs and consume. To get the most out of the fluids, you can enjoy the clams with pasta or serve them with plenty of bread to dip them in. You can also add chorizo, sausage, or salami if you want to gild the lily.

You can watch this video recipe on cooking clams on the grill.

  • Author: Bobby