How Long Can You Freeze Clams in their Shell?

How Long Can You Freeze Clams in their Shell

Clams serve a wide variety of delectable dishes that makes them really popular in the world. From eating it raw, steamed, fried, grilled, sautéed, or in a chowder, there is no doubt that everyone, especially those who really are a fan of seafood will be willing to pay just to taste this one of a kind delicacy.

Clams are definitely best served when it is fresh or just out of the ocean. However, it is not every day that you have the time and resources to eat freshly-served clam dishes. There will be a time where you can only rely on your freezer to be able to preserve its natural texture and taste.

It will not be as tasteful as out-of-the-ocean clams that are served in a restaurant or the one you just bought in a market. But with proper handling and storage, frozen clams can be considered as delicious as well.

But how long can we freeze clams in their shell? With proper handling and storage, clams can be frozen in approximately 3 months. Live clams can be stored in the freezer as long as it is in a steady temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. They will still be edible after 3 months as long as they are properly stored.

However, you need to check its quality before consuming the frozen clams. This is to make sure that they are still safe to consume.

Why Do We Need to Freeze Clams in their Shells?

There are two ways on how we can freeze shells, we can either freeze them by shucking the meat out of its shell or by freezing it together with it. Both ways are applicable and safe and the only difference is that shucked clams can result in softer meat when you are going to use it.

Keeping clams in its shell when freezing can make us easily identify if they are still alive or not by looking at their closed shells. Their ability to close their shells on their own is a signal that clams are alive and can be cooked and eat.

Related: Can You Freeze Clams?

How to Properly Freeze Clams in their Shells?

Freezing clams in their shells might be a little tricky and can take a long time because you will need to check every little piece to make sure that it is still alive.

But it will all be worth it as it serves a very delicious dish that you can eat after all these long and tricky processes. To properly freeze it in its shell, we need to:

1. Check every clams if they are still alive or dead.

Any clams that are tightly closed and can close on their own when you flick them with your finger is considered to be fresh and alive. All clams that do not close or do have a cracked and chipped on their shell should be thrown away as it is considered dead and inedible.

2. Put it in a basin and rinse it with cold water.

If clams have dirt on them, you can use a soft brush to wash off the dirt. Brush it gently and make sure that all clams are clean to avoid bacteria from spoiling it.

3. Put it in a colander and let the water drain through it.

Remove as much water as you can.  To make sure that you already removed all the excess water, gently wipe it with a tissue or soft fabric. Make sure to wipe off the water before placing it in the container or freezing bag.

4. Put in a freezer bag or a tight-sealed container.

Press it gently and make sure that there is no air in the container as much as possible. When you are going to use a container, tightly closed the container to avoid air from going in. This will help to properly freeze the clams and can avoid them from dying.

5. You can put a freezing date label in the container for you to remember how long it is being frozen.

Seal it tightly and you can put it finally in the freezer. This will help you remember the exact date when you put it in the freezer and if it still appropriate to cook it.

To avoid a shortened life span of the frozen clams, avoid opening your freezer where it is stored frequently. Closing and opening the freezer frequently where it is stored will not give it a steady temperature that will keep it fresh and alive.

How Do You Defrost Clams in Shell?

Before cooking the frozen clams, you need to thaw them properly to preserve their texture and flavor. It does not really require an excessive thawing time but there are two ways on how you can defrost it.

1. If you have enough time before your going to cook the clam, the best way to thaw it to achieve a very minimal loss in its flavor and changes in texture is to move them to the refrigerator and let them sit there for at least 6-8 hours. In this way, the ice will slowly melt while keeping it at a cold temperature.

2. However, if you are in a hurry, you can put the container or bag directly under cool running water. This will melt all the ice in a shorter period of time. You can also put the container or bag into the basin full of cold water and let the ice melt. You just have to change the water every 10 minutes for faster defrosting.

A little note when it comes to thawing frozen clams: never use hot or warm water! This will affect the flavor and the texture of the clam.

Do Clams Survive Freezing?

Freezing clams will help them last long for at least 3 months when stored at a steady temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit with proper handling and storage. Fresh clams are still alive and will survive freezing if you store them properly. Just like how they survive under the water during winter, clams will become active again after being thawed.

Can We Refreeze Clams?

I do not recommend refreezing clams. If you don’t want your clams to be mushy and to lose their natural flavor, you should not refreeze them a second or third time.

Refreezing clams can ruin their texture and taste because once it is frozen, the meat will expand a bit and after thawing, it will be soft. Doing it several times will make them very soft and mushy.

Final Thoughts

It has no doubt that clams are very famous in the field of fine delicacies. With a variety of dishes that we can do to it, a lot of people find it very pleasing and delicious.

It is also low in calories, with a lot of protein, and can serve a unique and chewy taste that made it possible to be loved by many. 

If you have leftover clams, do not worry because you can freeze them in their shells for future consumption. You just make sure that you store them properly in the freezer.