Clams on the Grill

with Garlic-Herb Butter and Grilled Lemons

This is one of the simplest and most satisfying appetizers for the grill. Tender littleneck clams are simply cooked right over a medium fire on the grill grates until they open. They then can be basted with a little flavorful butter and the juice of grilled lemons. Warning: have plenty of clams as they are sure to go fast. It wouldn’t be unheard of to have at least 25 per person, since there isn’t a whole lot to today’s littlenecks.


  • 1/2 lb. Butter, salted
  • 6 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. Parsley, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Chives, fresh, thinly sliced
  • 2 Lemons, halved widthwise
  • 50-100 Littleneck Clams, impeccably fresh, any already open discarded, scrubbed well, kept over ice but NOT covered with plastic or a lid, until ready to cook


  1. Prepare a medium-hot grill.
  2. Place a small sauce pot on the grill and add 1/4 of the butter. Cook until the butter has melted and is beginning to sizzle. Add the garlic and cook until the garlic is slightly golden in color. Add the remaining butter and move the pan to a cooler area of the grill. When the butter is fully melted, add the herbs.
  3.  Meanwhile, place the lemon halves onto the grill and cook until the bottoms are soft and slightly blackened. Squeeze the juice from one of the lemon halves into the butter. The rest can be squeezed over the clams when open.
  4.  Place the clams on the grill and cook until they just open. Brush on some of the herb butter, and squeeze on some of the reserved lemon juice.

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