How to clean a razor clam with pictures and 4 steps.

There is a lot of bad information out there about how to remove sand from clams.I hope I can set the record straight.You need to know what to get out of your clams.

Most of the clams, mussels and oysters you buy in the market have already been removed.If you buy clams at a supermarket, you won’t need to purge them.The exception is if you buy from a small store.

They should always be thrown out.Different clams need different times to purge.It is easier to purge clams in clean sand than it is in open-shelled clams.The Western bent-nosed clam, which lives in dense mud and can take days to purge, is the worst of them all.

Adding corn meal to the water does nothing.I said it there.For a moment, think about the biology of a clam.The clams are filter feeders.They are buried in sand or mud so they have sand in them.The sand or mud gets in through the clams’ shells, which are partially open.Chunks of sand or corn meal are not filters of tiny particles.Clams do not have gizzards.They don’t need to work hard.Being a clam has an effect on your shell.

The myth is that corn meal causes a clam to cough up more grit than it normally would, or that the clam eats it and spits it out.I did an experiment to see if that was true.

Some clams would get inside them the way sand does in the wild if you were to bury them in cornmeal.Why bother?

Seawater is the most important ingredient in your purge.If you are getting your own clams, this is not hard to get.As you leave the clamming grounds, bring a 5-gallon bucket and fill it with seawater.You can purge virtually any clam with this.It’s not possible to purge a clam in fresh water.clams are killed by fresh water.Dead clams are not good to eat.

Why is it important to bring seawater home?clams live at different levelsThe average amount of salt in the ocean is 35 parts salt per 1000, but in some clam beds it is much higher.The clams are near an estuary which lowers the salinity in other beds.You don’t need to guess how salty your soaking water should be if you bring seawater from where you dug the clams.

If you forgot to bring back the seawater, you can recreate it by remembering the 35 parts per thousand ratio.If you buy sea salt, it should be dissolved into 1000 grams of non-chlorinated water, which is about 1 liter.You will need enough to submerge your clams.

You can use a hydrometer to measure water density.In Tomales Bay, where I do a lot of clamming, the average salinity is 1.024).A half-gallon of non-chlorinated water equates to 1/3 cup finely cut sea salt.Chlorine isn’t good for living things.What is your area’s normal salinity?Look it up on the internet.I bet a scientist has measured the salinity of the clams you dig.

The temperature matters.clams are killed by shockclams will die if they are put in the fridge with 75F water.The reverse is also true.

If you carry your clams home, they will be fine.As you drive home, they will get used to the change in temperature.If the temperature is hot or cold, put everything in a cooler.clams are capable of filter feeding at temperatures as low as 34.5F and as high as 78 F, which is as warm as you will get in a normal indoor room.

If you clam in winter, you should purge your clams from the fridge.If it is summer, keep your clams in a place that is a bit cooler.

How long?An hour will help.As long as there is oxygen in the water, you can purge your clams.If you leave your clams too long, they will suffocate and die.I usually limit myself to a 50-clam limit of Western littlenecks and 4 to 10 horseneck or Washington clams.clams spit water so you don’t want them sprinkling the inside of your fridge or basement, so I submerge them by about 1 1/2 to 3 inches of seawater and cover the container they’re in.

Hey, I’m here.The internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods is Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.I am a chef, author, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook.You can follow me on social media.

I bought 75 clams that were frozen and put them in salted water to purge, but they won’t close, so I’m having a clam bake today!Please help?

They are dead.clams are killed by freezingIf you bought them, they should have been thrown out.I have never heard of anyone selling frozen clams in the shell.

We are clamming in Long Island.Is it possible to leave clams in the basket overnight?They can be secured to a float.Thanks!Keary.

Read your comments about using ocean sea water.Follow your instructions.The cherrystones should be covered with the water and placed in the ref for 6 hours.I moved to Phoenix from Rhode Island.There are clams at Whole Foods.They are from Long Island.You could see the clams when I removed them from the ref.They were clean when opened.I have only one question, there was slim everywhere.What is that?Many thanks!

I used fresh tap water to make the water salt mixture.I put the water in the fridge after the clams arrived.I haven’t seen them suck yet.I added more water after dumping out the overnight water.It has been 24 hours.I don’t know if I should take them out of the fridge.Is it cold?Thanks for the great site.

I have been adding an air pump to my fish tank for years and they keep it cool.You can have a mess if you don’t pay attention to a few things.You should check these things out the first thing in the morning, because when the clams squirt it doesn’t soak the floor or empty the bucket.Sand and mud have never been found in my clams.I don’t know how long you can leave them with the air in the bucket, but I have kept them alive for up to 5 days.You only have to worry about the amount of air needed for the quantity of clams at this point.

I usually keep live crab in an ice chest because it holds more water.The air supply will be cut if you don’t keep the lid open.They were dead when I went out to cook in the morning because the air supply was cut off.I only had 3 left and it pissed me off.

It was helpful to have the cornmeal method dispelled.There are places in northern Canada where I fish for Northern pike and Smallmouth Bass where there are large amounts of freshwater mussels.I don’t know anyone who eats these.Suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks for the information, Hank.I foraged some clams from the beach and have been changing the seawater daily.I noticed that a couple of clams died overnight, not sure if it was the temperature of water or room, or if I had too many in the bowl.Is the rest of the clams safe to eat or would the dead clams have contaminated the water?It was difficult to tell if those that had shell closed were alive.

The rest of the clams should be good.Get them out of the water.There are two days.You can cook them within a day.If need be, they can hang out in a plastic bin with the lid off.

I live in bodega and just got a bunch of clams and I am wondering if I should hang them off my dock in a mesh bag and leave them there for a while.

Leon thinks it might work.You have to think about the water quality at your dock as well as getting your clams.You could get sick if the water around the dock is compromised.

If you are by the ocean, that is how we did it at the oyster farm.They will stay for weeks.I have a problem now that I live inland.It was lolol.

Do you have any places for clamming for littlenecks in Tomales or Bodega Bay?I went to Lawson’s Landing today after reading online about it.I should be looking at the pebbly/rocky soil.The silt was exposed for 1.5 hours and only 4 keepers were found.

Did you ever hear of a meme that said to put the clams in an aluminum pot, cover with sea water, then toss in a couple of galvanized nails?The galvanic action is supposed to cause them to purge.

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Hank Shaw is my name.I am a James Beard Award-winning author and chef who focuses on wild foods: Foraging, fishing, hunting.I also do a show on the website and write cookbooks.If it is wild game, fish, or mushrooms, you will find it here.Hope you enjoy the site!