- 3 gallons littleneck clams in shell (abt 7 pints, canned)
- Olive oil as needed
- Half-pint canning jars
- Pressure canner
- Smoker (such as a Little Chief)
- Smoking chips
Gather about 4 gallons of littleneck clams. Keep them in salt water for a couple of days, changing the water every day.
Place them on a grill or barbecue and cook until they open. This tends to make your barbecue a bit messy. Remove meat.
Or, place the clams in a large pot 1/4 full of boiling water and steam them open. Remove meat.
The mesh, or gap, on the racks of the smoker needs to be small enough that the clams can't fall through. Some people use stainless steel or aluminum screens. Others simply cover the racks with aluminum foil and punch holes through it.
Place clams fairly densely on racks. Use your favorite smoking chip (we use alder) and smoke for 1 to 2 hours. One hour gives a very light smoke flavor. The clams are already cooked, this step is simply to add flavor. Do not over smoke or the clams will dry out and become chewy.
Get out the instructions for your pressure canner. Place smoked clams in canning jars (we find 1/2-pint jars work best) and cover with a vegetable oil (we use olive oil). Place the caps on and then pressure can according to the instructions on your canner. Remove from canner and enjoy. The smoked flavor of the clams intensifies as the jars age.
These clams should be moist and smoky. They can be used as appetizers on crackers, in poultry dressings, or in soups such as split pea or clam chowder.
This recipe yields ?? servings.
Caution: Remember, Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) is always a concern whenever you eat wild harvested clams or mussels.