How to Steam a Quahog

by Joshua McCarron

Quahog clams have hard outer shells.

Amy Riley/iStock/Getty Images

A quahog is a type of clam found off the Atlantic coast from Canada to Florida, but is most common between Cape Cod and New Jersey. Quahogs are known as “hard clams” or “hard-shelled clams” in most of the country. Quahogs are mollusks like soft-shell clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. Some quahog eaters prefer them raw, but you can also steam quahogs to serve in the half shell or in soups and stews.

Rinse the clams under running water to clean away any sand. Throw away any clams that don't close when touched.

Add 1 to 2 inches of water to a pot and place it on your burner under high heat.

Add your quahogs to a steamer basket and set it on top of the pot once the water has begun to boil. If you do not have a steamer basket, you can place the quahogs directly in the water in the pot -- do not fully cover them with water.

Place a lid on top of the steamer basket and steam the clams for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the shells have just popped open. Don't overcook, or the meat will toughen.

Discard any clams that haven't opened, and serve as desired.


  • Serve with drawn butter for dipping. Add flavor to the steaming liquid with herbs, seasonings or white wine. Store fresh quahogs in the fridge for up to one week; keep them moist by wrapping them in damp newspaper.

Photo Credits

  • Amy Riley/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005 and in that position has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English.