Charcoal-Grilled Clams, Mussels, or Oysters
Many cleaning methods recommended for these shellfish wash away most of their lingering sand—and all of their flavor. Is there a way to minimize their grit without sacrificing their pure, meaty taste?
Why This Recipe Works
Over the course of testing our charcoal grilled clams, mussels, or oysters recipe, we learned that careful shopping plays the most important role in minimizing your kitchen work and ensuring that your shellfish are free of grit. Hard-neck clams (that is, littlenecks or cherrystones) are worth the extra money because they remain tightly closed when harvested, keeping the meat inside free of sand. We recommend purchasing rope-cultured mussels for the same reason. In general, we prefer oysters from cold northern waters, because they tend to be briny and have a flavor that’s more crisp than that of oysters from warmer southern waters. And always look for tightly closed clams, mussels, and oysters (avoid any that are gaping; they may be dying or dead).