How to Host a Clambake: Top 5 Things to Remember

Another clambake season is upon us and here at Dean Supply, we couldn't be more excited!  Fresh lobster, sweet corn, and succulent shellfish are enough to make anyone's mouth water. No summer is complete without one or two of these iconic celebrations. Reading this far, you already want to host a clambake of your own - we don't blame you!  So here are a few tips to remember to start you on your seafood adventure.

1.  Fresh Seafood

This is the main event of the clambake - it needs to be done right.  As we all know, seafood does not have a long shelf life so it is very important that it is still chilled and alive and kicking when the clambake begins. Make sure to purchase your littlenecks (or soft-shell clams), lobster, and shrimp the same day or a day in advance. The fresher, the better.

2.  Pit Vs. Pot

A traditional beach clambake entails digging a pit to steam slams. This may not be legal in many locations and the preparation time is increased due to digging (approximately 36" deep and wide) and gathering nonporous rocks and wood for the fire. You would also need to layer your ingredients with seaweed in between to ensure moisture is retained. The clambake pit method also runs a higher risk of food not being cooked all the way through, so be careful. That being said, if you want to host a true New England clam bake experience take the time and plan ahead and steam clams in a pit.

The alternative method would be to use a clambake pot.  Clambake steamers contain a water bath pot on the bottom with typically two or more steamer tiers. No digging required, you save time on preparations and clean-up and, of course, it is completely legal. Checking to make sure all food is cooked through is also easier using a clambake pot rather than a pit. Start with steaming the lobsters, then add your corn and red-skinned potatoes (after about 10 minutes) followed by the smaller ingredients such as your clams and shrimp.  

For best results, serve food OUTDOORS for whichever method you choose. Use disposable clambake bowls to make clean-up easier. 

3.  Make It Yours

We all know the traditional ingredients that make a clambake.  This doesn't mean there is no room to add your own personal touch. Yes, the traditional ingredients are the staple but adding ingredients such as mussels, scallops or kielbasa can improve the experience. Include other fresh vegetables, a variety of spices or pair the seafood with a beef element to create a surf and turf. Use your creativity to make your clambake one-of-a-kind.

4.  Don't Forget The Extras!

Some people claim they cannot eat clams or lobster without a little melted butter or a splash of lemon. And what are clams or oysters without hot sauce?  Make sure these items are on hand and fully stocked. Do not leave the side dishes out either, this is a party. Just like a rockin' concert, every headliner needs an opener. Char-grilled baguettes with tomato and olive oil, green summer salads, and fruity, creamy desserts can add to your clambake experience, so once again, use your creativity.


Clambake Checklist image

5.  Tableware

You will need a few items to ensure your clambake goes off without a hitch.  Table covers, pot forks,  and tongs all should be on your list, not to mention the clam knives, butter warmersbags, and bowls.  The last thing you want is to have to run to the store multiple times while everyone is enjoying your clambake.  That's a lot to remember though, so here is a checklist to help ensure you have everything you need.

Dean Supply has all of the clambake supplies, spices, and cutlery you will need to be the next clambake hero.  I know, you can almost taste it! Stop by your one-stop clam shop today and stock up on all of your clambake essentials so you can start hosting!  Oh, and please invite us, we're hungry. 

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