New England Clambake

Discover three different ways to get all the flavors of a New England clambake: fire pit, stovetop, or stovetop/grill combo. Plus party tips!

Three Ways to Throw a Clambake

1) Fire Pit

For a traditional clambake, the food is cooked in a fire pit lined with hot stones and layered with seaweed. Find a beach that permits open pit cooking and start digging. All the directions are right in the recipe below!

New England Clambake

New England Clambake | Photo by Meredith

2) Stovetop

No beach? No problem! Steam everything on the stovetop, and your clambake is ready in just one hour. Try this recipe:

Clam Bake

Clam Bake | Photo by Allrecipes

3) Stovetop + Grill Combo

This method combines stovetop and grill — a great solution if you don’t have a pot big enough to hold everything for a stovetop clambake.

Stovetop: Steam the clams and chorizo together; add mussels if you like.

Stovetop or grill: Your choice for the lobsters.

Grill: Corn and potatoes.


Related: Choosing and Using Shellfish


Complete Your Clambake Menu

Lots of clambakes start off with a hearty bowl of chowder.

New England Clam Chowder

New England Clam Chowder | Photo by Meredith

Drinks are easy. Cold beer, white wine, or a big jug of lemonade will go nicely.

How about a scrumptious berry pie for dessert?

Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie | Photo by lutzflcat

Clambake Party Tips

  • Send invitations decorated with fishing or sailing motifs.
  • Cover tables with newspaper or a red and white checked tablecloth.
  • Scatter nautical items like seashells, fishnet, heavy rope, bleached starfish, and lanterns across tables.
  • Pick up napkins, cups, disposable plates, etc. in beachy colors.
  • Use plastic beach pails for discarded shells.
  • Set up a volleyball net and bring colorful beach balls for kicking around.
  • Stock extra sunblock and towels for guests if you’re at the beach or poolside.

Check out more top-rated Seafood Recipes.


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