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Oct 30, 2008 03:08 PM

help with steamers

I will be making Steamers on Sunday 11/1. I have two large pots, what is your advice?

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  1. Rince them in cold water, 1 beer per pot, cover, steam on hi until they open. Cup of clam juice for swishing and melted butter. French bread for dipping, you got it!

    5 Replies
    1. re: joss2

      is the clam juice the left over water, or do you recommend that I purchase the juice?

      1. re: normalheightsfoodie

        The juice is from the pot and you may want to scoop it carefully to leave the sandy remains in the pan.

        1. re: BostonZest

          A few hours soaking in salted water with corn meal or ground pepper helps expel sand before cooking

          1. re: johnnydj

            I agree w/a few hours in salted water w/cornmeal to expel the sand.

            If you want really flavorful ones, put some evoo in a stockpot, and saute some garlic & red pepper flakes. Then throw in some onion wedges, some chunks of chorizo or linguica, dry white wine and some water. Add the clams to the pot, and steam 'til they open, probably 8 mins or so. Discard any that don't open. You can sop up the juices w/bread.

            1. re: JaneRI

              I would agree with (JaneRI & krisishere)....or a version/combination of both.

              The only difference in my recipe is I use beer and I add sliced carrots, celery and onion to make the broth.

              Last and most not overcook.

    2. What type of clams are you planning to use? Are you going to get what is sold here as "steamer" clams? The razor clam? If so, be prepared for them to be very gritty. Even when rinsing, they still maintain a huge amount of sand.

      I would suggest little neck clams, they tend to be cleaner, and I find that they taste better.

      As far as cooking them, I prefer white wine, garlic, some basil and butter to steam them in. You want to keep a close eye on them as you want them JUST at the point of opened. The steaming liquid can be used for dipping them in, or just plain drawn butter.


      1 Reply
      1. re: aholsber

        Can't agree on the littlenecks. Littlenecks are great for many dishes, but for steamed clams, stick with soft shell "steamers". Put them in slated water with some corn meal as others suggested, but make sure to change the water every hour or so. Do this for 3 or so hours and they will expell most of the sand. Sometimes you'll get a batch that may be gritty, but most steamers will hardly have any sand at all. What there is, is washed off when you eat them. Just dip them in the clam broth before you dip in butter. Yum!

      2. Rinse/scrub the steamers, soak in flour and water for 15 minutes. Saute shallots in olive oil, dump in steamers, pour in about 2" of water and steam until they're all open. Serve with broth and melted butter. I always take the "sock" off, dip in broth and then in butter. It is a family tradition to sip the broth after all of the steamers have been consumed. Enjoy!

        4 Replies
        1. re: krisrishere

          I never know what to call it, but I completely agree with removing the "sock" while eating. The vast majority of the sand is in this syphon. I don't even bother to soak ahead of time, because, if you remove this while eating, and dip in the broth, you should get absolutely no grit. You won't miss out on anything by discarding this part, as it has little flavor, and the texture is off from the rest of the clam.
          It's a little past the right time of year for it, but nothing goes better with the broth than grilled bread.

          1. re: danieljdwyer

            is there anyone who doesn't remove "the sock" when eating steamers??

            1. re: JaneRI

              I, personally, have seen people eat it and it grossed me out! If that happens, it gives me the chance to teach them the RIGHT way to eat a steamer...that goes for lobster too (I can't stand waste).

              1. re: JaneRI

                I've gotten some funny looks for removing it, even from waitstaff in highly recommended seafood joints all up and down the New England coast. I grew up thinking you were supposed to eat it, but I was also a teenager the first time I saw anyone actually bother to peel their peel and eat shrimp. This led me to believe I was being picky by removing the syphon covering (or in peeling my shrimp), but I guess it's more likely that my early steamer eating experiences were skewed by spending too much time as a child hanging around marinas with old, gnarly sailors and fishermen.

          2. My mouth is watering....there is a reason steamers are known as such - steam them in a wonderful broth - all or any of the above sounds great. They are a sweet clam, so tender. Littnecks are great as well but for this aplication the steamer is appropriatley named. They are unavailable here. I miss them terribly. littlenecks are great for pasta, soups....or steaming when you don't have sweet steamers.

            1. Thanks for the help and advice everyone. They were great. I reduced a broth with onions, shallots, celery, carots, garlic and basil. Once reduced I removed vegis and then steamed the steamers for 10 minutes, they were perfect and the broth was tasty.