Each Clam in its Own Time
When cooking hard-shell clams in the test kitchen, we’ve noticed that there can be as much as a five-minute difference between when the first clam opens and the last clam opens (indicating doneness). Clams can easily overcook once opened, leaving them chewy and shriveled. To ensure perfectly cooked clams, remove each clam as it opens and hold them in a plate-covered bowl, where they’ll stay warm while the rest of the clams finish cooking. This method becomes unwieldy when cooking loads of clams, but if it’s just a dozen or two, we’ve found that it’s well worth the extra effort to guarantee the best texture.