Steamed Garlic Butter Clams

How to Cook Clams: Garlic Butter Steamed

Steaming clams is undeniably the best way to cook them. Keeping the flavor while properly cooking the raw clam meet, there are a plethora of ways to ‘steam’ anything but when it comes to cook clams, fresh in their shell, there’s only one-way deckhand bob loves them…

“Among my absolute favorite shellfish dishes lay the perfect Garlic Butter Steamed Clams. So long as these aren’t overcooked you can expect to experience one of the most delicious dining experiences ever. Even more important than not overcooking these delights is making sure you acquire truly fresh clams. The fresher they are the better they taste.”
– Deckhand Bob

What you’ll need:

  • Bag of Fresh Clams (we used a bag of 50)
  • Single-cup of white wine
  • LemonTwo tbsp of butter / chee butter to make it dairy-free
  • Garlic clove


Mince your garlic clove. Really only need a few tables spoons worth.
Rinse your clams under cool water. Want to make sure the shells don’t have sand or debris on them.
Chop a few lemon wedges.

Step 1:

Flavor prep

Toss the butter onto your skillet at medium heat. Let the butter melt, then toss in those garlic gloves. For our dish today, we added a seasoning mix of herbs including parsley and a little chili pepper. Add a decent amount of your favorite seasoning to ramp up the flavor on this dish.

Now turn up the heat just a bit and add a solid squeeze from a lemon wedge. Moving it around a bit, this shouldn’t take long at all, less than a minute to work in.

Step 2:


Next, add that cup of white wine and bring the pan to a boil. Don’t let this boil for long before adding your clams though.

Step 3:

Add Clams

Now the most important part, adding the clams and babysitting. Add your clams to the mix, and then cover the skillet.

Be sure to shake/toss your pan after about 2 minutes of cooking to assure all clams that want to open can open.

When to remove the clams is up to debate in some southern areas. Many will say you need to make sure all the clams are fully cooked by leaving them in for at least seven minutes OR one full minute after the first clamshell opens. Others would say to simply watch the clams, and once they are all open you are good to go. However, keep in mind that it’s possible not all clams open. If the clam is bad from the get-go, it’ll never open. This happens when clams are dead before harvesting.

My take: Once the clams are mostly open, I remove them from the heat. Reason being: I’d personally rather have a few slightly undercooked clams than risk overcooking the lot of em’. Important to note, however, eating raw seafood of any kind does come with foodborne illness risks.

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