How To Cook Clams on The Grill?

Grilling clams on the grill is easy and takes only a few minutes. If you’re looking for a tasty seafood dish to serve at your next summer party or family gathering, grilling clams is an excellent choice. With that said, do you know how to cook clams on the grill?

Clams are great because they are naturally tender and flavorful, so no marinating is needed for them to taste great. The meaty texture of the clam combined with the smokey flavor from cooking it over hot coals makes this recipe hard to resist!

That is why cooking clams on the grill is a great way to enjoy this popular seafood. 

I have been cooking clams on the grill for a while now and am finally ready to share my secret with you. I always make sure to get really fresh clams, of course, that is just step one. In this blog post, we will discuss how to get started with cooking clams and an easy recipe that is sure to please.

If you’ve never done this before, it’s easier than you might think! Here are some tips I’ve learned from my own experience.

What Is the Best Way to Cook Clams on the Grill? 

The following is one of the easiest and most straightforward recipes to cook clams on the grill. Just follow the instructions and get the job done without involving any hassles.

How To Cook Clams On The Grill?


  • Fresh clams
  • Cut lemons
  • Bay leaves
  • Cracked peppercorns. 

These Ingredients are very simple and easy to find in the grocery stores near you. You will also need some water and foil for steaming on your grill or stovetop if you do not have a grill at home.

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How to Cook?

  1. Rinse the clams with cold water and soak them in a separate bowl filled with clean, cool water.

Let the clams sit for about 20 to 30 minutes until they release any sand or dirt trapped within their shell. This step is very important because if you do not wash your clams properly there might be some grit left inside that will ruin your recipe completely.

  1. Cut the fresh lemons in half and place them inside a pot filled with water. 

We will use this lemon water to steam your clams instead of using plain tap water which might contain chlorine or other chemicals that harm your health. 

  1. Add bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, and a teaspoon of salt into the pot as well. 

The water should be enough to cover the clams completely. Bring it to a boil over high heat then reduce the temperature and let them simmer for about ten minutes or until all your clams are opened and cooked through.

  1. Remove any unopened ones from the pot right away because they have already gone bad at this point. 
  1. Remove bay leaves, peppercorns, and lemons from the pot as well. At this point, your clams are now ready to be eaten with some fresh French bread served on the side.


If you live near a coastal area where fresh seafood is abundant, it would definitely cost less than buying them in grocery stores far away from the ocean. Clams are best when cooked quickly, so they retain their bright color and fresh taste.

Read Also: How To Remove Rust From Grill Grates?

Grilled Clams and Garlic Butter Recipe

This grilled clam with garlic butter recipe is one of the most popular and loved recipes. It is so simple to prepare that you can have your first batch of grilled clams ready within 20 minutes.

In this recipe, we are going to start by cleaning the raw clams, then mix garlic butter sauce for grilling them on a preheated grill pan or barbecue grill over hot coals.


  • Raw clams (as many as you want to eat), 
  • Butter, 
  • Garlic cloves 
  • Parsley.

Cleaning Clams Thoroughly

Open the clams with a firm grip and discard any that have broken shells or are already open. Soak them in cold water for a few minutes to get rid of sand, then transfer them into another bowl filled with fresh water. Keep checking on the clams as they may spit out some more sand once you start cleaning them; remove them immediately if you see any sand.

Once you are satisfied that there is no more sand in the clams, empty water from their bowl and soak them again for another few minutes to get rid of excess sand or debris. 

They should be completely clean by now. Now, pour fresh water again over your clams to wash them for one last time before using them in cooking.

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Steps To Follow

  1. Slice garlic cloves finely with a knife or use an electric chopper for faster results.
  2. Mix the clams and garlic slices in a large bowl, then add butter cubes (about one tablespoon each) to it. Mix well until you have an even mixture of all ingredients without any thick chunks of butter left behind.
  3. Transfer your seasoned clams into skewers so that they are easier to handle when grilling on the stove or a barbecue grill.

If you are using the traditional way of cooking seafood over charcoal, light your briquettes and wait until they turn into hot coals before grilling. If you are using gas to cook clams on the grill, set it on medium-high heat so that the clams get cooked thoroughly without burning them from the outside.

  1. Once your grill pan or barbecue is hot enough, place skewers in the center of it and cover with a lid.
  2. Cook for about three minutes before turning them over to cook on all sides evenly. 
  3. Once done, transfer grilled clams onto a serving dish and serve immediately along with garlic butter sauce left in the bowl after marinating.

If you are planning to cook the clams on a stovetop, set your pan over medium-high heat and place skewers inside it. Cover with a lid and let them cook for about four minutes; once done, transfer into a serving dish immediately. You can also use an oven or pressure cooker if necessary. 

How Do You Know When Clams Are Done on the Grill?

Cooked clams will open when they are cooked. However, that is not the only factor that determines the timing of cooked clams. You can check the recipes discussed above for further clarification.

On the contrary, clams that do not open even after 5 to 7 minutes of grilling are not healthy to eat. They are the bad ones that need elimination as soon as the indication arises.

Read Also: 6 Tips For Grilling Fish

Do you soak clams before cooking?

Soaking is just as important as the clams themselves. It helps them get rid of any undesired substances, including debris, sand, and saltwater with the help of their shells. Without soaking in water, they will not be clean enough to cook and eat. 


Cooking clams on the grill is the easiest method to prepare this delicious seafood. You can make a batch of seasoned clams in no time and enjoy them with your family, friends, or special guests. I hope you find this article useful in mastering this simple recipe.

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