Cleaning Clams Article -
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How to Clean Clams

Cleaning clams is a quick and easy, and important if you don't like salty, sandy clams!

1. Never select a clam that is already open or chipped, broken, or damaged in any way. Make sure to immediately unwrap them at home, so they can breathe, and store them in a cool area.

    2. Just before cooking, soak your clams for 20 minutes in fresh water. As the clams breathe they filter water. When the fresh water is filtered, the clam pushes salt water and sand out of their shells. After 20 minutes, the clams will have cleaned themselves of much of the salt and sand they have collected. Instead of pouring the clams and water into a strainer, pull the clams out of the water. Sand has sunk to the bottom of the bowl; pouring the water into a strainer will pour it back over the clams.

      3. Once the clams have been soaked, use a firm brush and scrub off any additional sand, barnacles, or other oceanic attachments. This is the same final method used when cleaning mussels.

      Now that they're clean, why not cook something delicious?

      Some top-rated clams recipes:

      Jul. 18, 2009 2:19 pm
      With regards to cleaning clams, I find that adding a bit of cornmeal to the water helps a lot.
      Nov. 29, 2010 3:21 pm
      We clean ours with salt instead of a brush. I wonder if this is just a Japanese thing.
      Jun. 7, 2011 9:56 am
      If you have the clams overnite, put some oatmeal into the water. It will replace the sand and grit as the clams "filter feed".
      Aug. 11, 2011 12:44 pm
      I get my clams from a friends beach in Shelton, Washington. I used to use the cornmeal trick but throughout the years I have come to the conclusion that the BEST way to purge clams is to keep them in the salt water they live in. After digging, rinse them well in sea water. Take them home in clean bucket, covering them with sea water, put the bucket in the refrigerator overnight. The clams will stay alive and they continue to try to feed, in the process, it clears out 99.999% of the sand (trying to keep them in fresh water will kill them). The next day they will be ready to cook, at which time, scrub their shells with a brush under cool tap water and steam clams immediately.
      David B. 
      Dec. 31, 2011 11:48 am
      To use the clams the following day after cleaning them I put them in the freezer over night. The next day run warm water over them and they open up. Pull the shell apart and drop into bowl liquor and all. Great for chowder.
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