Clams are delicious and can be used in many dishes, from pasta to chowder. So naturally, you only want the freshest clams for the best-tasting dishes when you buy clams. However, if you cannot use the clams immediately, you might wonder how long fresh clams will last on ice?
If you only keep your clams on ice, they will last for 24 to 48 hours. However, they can last up to a week in the refrigerator. Don’t cover your clams with ice as the freshwater will kill them. For the best tasting dish, it is recommended that you use the fresh clams on the same day you buy them.
When storing your clams on ice, there are specific guidelines to follow. In this article, we will discover how long clams last on ice. We will also discuss several ways of storing clams and how to ensure your clams are still fresh when you are ready to use them.
How Long Can You Keep Fresh Clams On Ice?
If you are lucky enough to get fresh clams, you should ideally cook them on the same day as getting them. This will ensure the clams are fresh and delicious once cooked. However, suppose you cannot cook them immediately. In that case, you must store them properly, as spoiled seafood can make you fatally ill.
There are a few ways of storing fresh clams, but many people store them on ice. When stored this way, fresh clams will last one to two days. If you keep the fresh clams on ice and place them in the refrigerator, they can last up to seven days. However, we strongly recommend you use them as soon as possible.
When storing your clams on ice, there are a few things to remember. The best way to keep the clams fresh is to keep them alive. To keep the clams alive, you must ensure they have access to airflow and aren’t exposed to fresh water. So, how do you store clams on ice?
The clams will likely be packed in a plastic bag when you buy them. Open the bag to allow the clams to breathe, or they will suffocate and die. We recommend you keep the clams in a cooler box with ice when transporting them.
Remove them from the plastic bag once you are back home or wherever you intend to cook the clams. Don’t submerge them in water! The clams will die in freshwater. Therefore, you should only scrub the shells right before cooking them.
When you want to store the clams, place a damp paper towel over them and put them in a clean glass bowl. Place this glass bowl in another, bigger glass bowl filled with ice. This will help ensure the clams don’t sit in freshwater as the ice melts.
If you intend to use the clams immediately, you can leave them in a cool, shaded area while you prepare the rest of the meal. However, if you don’t intend to use the clams right away, place them in the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Fresh clams can last for up to seven days in the coldest part of the refrigerator. However, we strongly urge you to use them as soon as possible to ensure they are still fresh and delicious. Before using the clams, check that they are still fresh and discard them if you sense that they might be dead or rotten.
How To Determine If Clams Are Still Fresh
If you’ve stored the clams for a few days, you must check to see if they are still fresh before cooking them. Spoilt clams can make you gravely ill. Therefore, never cook or eat clams if you suspect they have started to go bad. This is how you determine if clams are still fresh:
1. Smell The Clams
Fresh clams smell like the ocean. They have a salty and fresh smell. If the clams start to smell pungent or bad, take it as a sign that they are no longer fresh and throw them away. Fishy-smelling clams are not fresh, and you shouldn’t eat them.
2. Squeeze The Clams
If the clams still smell fresh, give them a slight squeeze, and see how they react. Fresh clams are still alive and will try to close their shells when you handle them. If they do, it is an excellent sign that the clams are still alive and fresh.
However, if the clams don’t react when you squeeze them, or if the shells fall open, the clams are dead. In this case, throw the clams away as you cannot be sure they aren’t spoilt. Also, throw away any clams with broken or cracked shells, as these clams are also dead.
3. Cook The Clams
If the clams close by themselves and smell fresh, the final test to see if they are still good to eat is to cook them. Once cooked, the clams should open fully, and you can easily separate the shells. Remove any clams that didn’t open when they were cooked, as these clams are likely dead and not safe to eat.
These are the tips for checking if clams are still fresh. You can also use these tips to select the freshest clams when buying them. Look for clams that smell like the ocean, close when you squeeze them and have whole, uncracked shells.
How Long Can You Keep Clams In The Freezer?
If you don’t intend on using the clams within a few days, you should freeze them. Frozen clams can last for up to three months. In this case, the clams will no longer be alive, but they are still safe to eat. In addition, you can freeze clams in their shells.
Place them in an airtight freezer bag and press out the excess air. Then, place them in the freezer for up to three months. When you are ready to cook them, remove the clams from the fridge and let them thaw slowly. Ideally, you want to thaw the clams in the refrigerator. This prevents the meat from drying out when it is cooked.
Once thawed, rinse the clams under cold water and cook them. When cooked, toss unopened clams because they aren’t safe to eat.
Fresh clams on ice can last for one or two days. When you place them in the refrigerator, they can last up to seven days. However, we recommend using the clams as soon as possible to ensure they are fresh and delicious. To see if the clams are fresh, smell them, squeeze them, and toss any unopened clams once they are cooked.
You can also freeze the clams in their shells for up to three months. However, for the freshest tasting clams, use them on the same day as buying them. There are many delicious dishes you can make using clams.