For The Best Grilled Clams, Avoid This Fatal Mistake

clams on grill
clams on grill - X Tian/Getty Images

Clams are one of those foods you might not eat all the time but if you're a seafood fan, you're always happy to see them show up. Their versatility is one of their greatest strengths — from clams casino to clams with white wine, bacon, garlic, and parsley, there's a lot you can do with them. However, one way you might not have thought about taking your mollusks to the next level is by grilling them

The only issue you may run into when it comes to grilling this type of seafood is you really have to be careful to do it the right way. While it's not an overly complicated process since you're just putting the shells directly on the grates over the flame, the timing is very important. For the best results, you must make sure to pull them off the grill right when the shells open because otherwise the heat will go right through the outer layer and burn the clams themselves.

Read more: 13 Tips To Make Your Shrimp Taste So Much Better

Why Timing Is Everything When It Comes To Clams On The Grill

array of clams
array of clams - pisanstock/Shutterstock

This type of mollusk is delicious when cooked on the grill as it imparts a smokey flavor but taking them off the flames at the right time is crucial so they aren't ruined. When clams are closed, the moisture contained inside essentially steams them internally, keeping them from overcooking. But as soon as they open, that liquid will quickly evaporate, leaving them exposed to direct heat through the shell and burning them.

It's also important to note that the timing here isn't universal. Even though the generally advised variety of clams to use for grilling is littlenecks, different batches (and even versions within those batches) will have different sizes, meaning they'll take different amounts of time to cook. You could be looking at as little as two minutes to as long as 10. The key is to keep a close eye on your seafood and make sure you pull them as soon as they open.

Other Mistakes To Avoid While Grilling Seafood

shrimp on grill
shrimp on grill - Grandriver/Getty Images

Clams, of course, aren't the only shellfish you can grill, nor are they the only ones with major pitfalls to avoid. For starters, you should seriously avoid grilling peeled shrimp. Not only do the shells help the shrimp stay juicy and keep them from falling apart under a grill's intense heat, but the shell itself adds depth of flavor (this is also the reason shellfish soup stock is made using shells).

As for perfect grilled scallops, make sure you crank the heat. Much like pan-searing them, this method will cook the outside of the scallops, getting a nice char, without overcooking them. And when grilling lobster tails, skewers are your best friend because otherwise, they're likely to curl up, resulting in an inconsistent cook.

In general, grilling seafood is like grilling anything else, you just need to know the best way to do it to achieve the most delicious results. Whether you're dealing with clams, shrimp, scallops, or lobster, just be sure to follow these tips.

Read the original article on Daily Meal