Shucking Raw ClamsWhile most clams you buy in the store have already been cleaned to some degree, there is usually some residual sand or salt. Cleaning your clams properly may take a few extra minutes, but the end result will be more than worth the effort.
- Discard any clams that remain open when tapped with fingers. To clean clams, scrub with stiff brush under cold running water. Soak clams in mixture of 1/3 cup salt to 1 gallon water for 20 minutes. Drain water; repeat 2 more times.
Scrub the clams with a stiff brush under running water.
- Place clams on tray and refrigerate 1 hour to help clams relax.
- Shuck clams. Take pointed clam knife in one hand and thick towel or glove in the other. With towel, grip shell in palm of hand. Keeping clam level with knife, insert the tip of knife between the shell halves next to hinge; twist to pry shell apart until you hear a snap. (Use knife as leverage; do not force.)
Use a towel or glove to secure the clam in your hand.
- Twist to open shell, keeping clam level at all times to save juice. Cut the muscle from shell and discard top shell.
- Tip shell over strainer in bowl to catch clams. Cut clams out of shells with utility knife; discard bottom shell.
Carefully cut the clam out of the bottom half of the shell.
Want more information? Try these:
- Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.
- Cooking Seafood: Get your feet wet by exploring the best ways to prepare seafood.
- Shellfish: From shrimp and lobster to clams, mussels, and more, you'll find valuable information on shellfish at HowStuffWorks.
- Shellfish Recipes: Dive into the many amazing shellfish recipes featured in this article.
- Oysters: Oysters are often eaten raw, so it's best to know to properly clean and shuck them. Learn how at HowStuffWorks.