How To Keep Razor Clams Alive?

To keep razor clams alive, be sure that they are alive all over the place when you purchase them, they are packed correctly with a little bit of paper, and they are not sealed up in plastic bags because they will choke. The best way to keep razor clams fresh is to put them in a cooler with a wet towel on top, making sure that there is lots of drainages. You could cover the saltwater barrel with a damp towel, but that is unnecessary unless it is going to be longer than 4 or 6 hours until you are ready to harvest Pacific razor clams.

Some recommend carrying your clams in a bucket of saltwater, with an air pump to keep the water oxygenated. Once home, put your razor clams into a container — a bowl or something — and put a damp towel on top and store in a refrigerator, rather than ice, because you can drown them as the water melts. To harvest razor clams, you will need boots, a clam shooter or shovel, a clam licensing permit, a headlamp – many of the lower tides are after nightfall – and a mesh bag or bucket to hold them.

Harvesting razors in the intertidal zone might not involve diving equipment, but the clams are harvested hand-to-hand as well. Razors are harvested during the hours immediately preceding the low tide when receding waters leave soft sand, and those tiny divots mentioned earlier, or the shown, are present wherever a clam has been dug down. After 20 minutes, the clams will have cleared most of the salt and sand that they collected.

Start with just one clam at a time, then work up to doing more once you figure out how: Use a tong to hold each clam down in boiling water until it breaks open. Place a clam shooter on top of the clam display, with the display slightly offset, so that more of the shooter is between the clams and the water. Then you can aim the clam gun to one side, and pull your thumb off of the opening at the top, which allows the air back in, allowing sand out.

Until I started sucking the water out of the sand using my friends’ clam guns, and dispersing water somewhere else. I make notes, and I begin to beat down on the sand with either my shovel or my clam gun, whatever equipment I had available to me at that moment, as others were doing the same. The razor clams are alive when Andy and I bring them home and begin cleaning them, at least those with no cracked shells.
A Northwest Pacific resident brags about razor clams: the large, long ones that you dig out of the sandy beach with a shovel or gun, then clean rapidly, and (if you are like most clambers) cover in breadcrumbs and fry, then serve with lemon-tartar sauce. The side-by-side tests I conducted, comparing frozen razor clams with the fresh ones I caught myself, convinced me these frozen clams — at least, the brands I bought (I purchased from Alaska-based Custom Seafoods) — are on par with the fresh ones for taste and quality. I am probably biased, but I believe that razors are some of the most delicious clams out there, with tender, chewy parts making for more interesting textures. We also heard that adding cornmeal or black pepper to the cold tap water encourages clams to cough up more grit.

If you have too many clams to fit all in one strainer or steamer basket, then you may want to break them up into batches to clean. I recommend trying to keep counts in your head, since it is difficult to sift through a bag of 15 clams to count them, making sure that you are not counting twice and counting every single one.

Ideally, you are going to cook your clams on the day that you buy them, but with some careful storing, you can definitely make it one day in advance. Transfer the frozen clams from your freezer into your fridge the night before you intend on using the clams, allowing them to defrost overnight. We typically save clams we are going to use that night in the refrigerator, then proceed immediately with freezing the rest.

The freezing times shown are only for good quality — clams kept frozen steadily at 0degF will stay safely frozen for an eternity. Properly stored, the clams will maintain the best quality for approximately 2 to 3 months, but they will stay safe past this point. Put in one layer of clams, cover that with another layer of the saturated swab, one more layer of clams, etc. The upper layers should be the swab.

If you do not want a clam purse cinching up your pants, consider using straps to create a sling for securing a clam purse. Permit a shovel or clam shooter for each person–can share a net or bucket for each person Rubber boots or rain boots (add a gaiter to keep the water out) Gloves–I use my kayaking gloves, which are waterproof and still keeps my hands warm. If you are a taller person, you might like the higher-end models which are taller – they will have you bending down less – something you will appreciate after digging some clams.

Occasionally the Jeep would speed up onto the beach; heads would rise up for the view, then fall down again, scanning left and right for telltale, doughnut-shaped quarter-sized divots in the sand, indicating that razor clams were lurking below the surface.

Leave a Comment