Smoked Mussels

Discussion in 'Non-fish Seafood' started by pescadero, Sep 4, 2007.

  1. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    We had a fairly low tied so wondered down to the surf zone and picked a batch of Mussels. The photos show me picking, the critters layed out in their shells and the finished product, after smoking.
  2. bestee

    bestee Fire Starter

    Awesome! Just plain awesome....I don't live near the sea, but you've bgiven me a great idea!
  3. salmonclubber

    salmonclubber Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    there you go skip it took you long enough to post them pics good job they look awesome hope your dive went well have a good week talk at ya later
  4. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    Thanks Huey. And thanks for the advice and suggestions over the weekend. Get your smoker warmed up and your dive gear ready. I will be headed up your way soon. [​IMG]

  5. bigarm's smokin

    bigarm's smokin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Skip, those mussels sure look good. Ya know, I LOVE clams, especially gooey ducks, but mussels seem too strong for me. How do you fix them? Terry
  6. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member


    The way I do it is pretty simple. I like the smaller to medium size mussels, so am selective when harvesting. I try to avoid the big ones, just for that reason. I think the bigger ones are a little strong. Many have barnacles attached to their shells. I usually use my pry tool to knock off all but the largest of these, while on the beach. Once home, I get some salt water boiling. I plunk the mussels into the boiling water and their shells start popping open within a couple of minutes. I let them go for 5-6 minutes total. This ensures the shells are wide open and that the mussels are fully cooked. Once cooked, I pop them into a sink of cold water. At this point many literally fall out of the shell. Some need a little coaxing with a sharp knife. This sounds like a lot of work but really it isn't. You get it down to a rythm and it goes very fast. Those larger barnacles that I left on the mussell shells, will get cooked during this process. This also loosens their grip on the shell. As I am transferring the mussels from the boiling water to the cold water sink I have the opportunity to pluck off some of the barnacles. From the backside of the barnacle shell, it is an easy task to pluck out the barnacle and have a great little snack. I know, you are probably going "yuk", but they are very good. Just an added bonus to an old "Salty Dawg".

    The Mussels have, what I refer to as a "Beard". It is actually a set of very strong, very course sea weed like stringy material coming out from their chest area. This is what attaches them to the rocks and to the other Mussels. I use a pair of scissors to cut this off. Unless going on to the next step of smoking, that is the end of the preparation. They are ready to refrigerate, to eat or to use in some great pasta recipe. [Sometimes, when I am popping a 'Frosty' and just eating them, I will use the beard as a handle. I will pick the Mussel up by it's beard, dunk it into garlic butter and then bite the Mussell off, right at the beard. Beard goes into the garbage, Mussell goes down my throat, followed closely by the 'Frosty.] [​IMG]

    This time I was going to smoke them so I had a few more steps. I rinsed them good in running water. I drained them in a drainer, then layed them out on my smoking tray and sprayed them lightly with Olive Oil. I have found that the Olive Oil helps to retain the smoke flavor and gives a better result. Since the mussels were already cooked, all I wanted to do was run a couple pans of smoke against them. I did this at the lowest possible temprature I could manage. This was about 180F and took about an hour. I used a little Apple because it is mild. I would have prefereed to go at even a lower temprature, but that is as low as my gosm will run, even after installing the needle valve in line. My 'cold smoker' isn't finished yet. If it was, I would have used that, cold smoking at 90F to 120F, just to impart the smoke to them.

    Hope that helps. Any other questions, just drop me a PM or e-mail.

  7. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Pescadero -

    They looks terrific! Clam type critters are one of the few things from shells I can actualy eat. Did you put a rub on them or somthing they look red.
  8. bigarm's smokin

    bigarm's smokin Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Skip, thanks, I learned alot today! Did you get the new valve installed in your smoker? (dang Skip, I just reread your post and saw that you did get the valve on. My friend got his GOSM down to 125 he said, thats amazing) I did on the BBQ grillware and my friend got one on his GOSM, man they work good.[​IMG] I don't know how anyone gets by without them. Terry
  9. smokin for life

    smokin for life Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Skip thank you for the idea for my next smoke. I really didn't want to do the usual, (brisket, pork butt, shoulder) I do have some ribs I have to do for my brother. Now you gave me an idea for something new to smoke. Can I also do clams that way? I also have a GOSM and I want to fill it up. Lets see, top self mussels and clams, next shelf ABT's, bottom shelf ribs.
    MMMMMMmmmmmmm yummy!!!
  10. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Hi everyone. Thanks for your responses. Seems like I am taking up more than my fare share of space lately, so I will try to answer three of you here, in this one post.

    First Debi, they look somewhat Red, because this specie is the famous Pacific Northwest 'Red' Mussel. OK, just kiddin'. [​IMG] They are actually called Blue Mussels. (Name comes from the color of their shells) When raw, their body colors do range from yellow, to peach to a dark orange. Have heard that the yellow/pink/peach ones are females, and the darker orange are males. But don't know for sure. The local fish market import and sell an Australian Mussel. Half of them are yellow/peach in color and the other half are dark ornge. The owner of one market has told me the same story so it may be true. Mine all look about the same color for a couple of reasons. First, I sprinkled a little paprika on them, just trying to give them some color. Then too, the cooking and smoking process seems to always darkened them a little. Sorry for the bad joke. I know you will get even with me. [​IMG]

    Next, Big Arm, The needle valve certainly does help a lot. I have actually gotten the gosm down to 150F, but it scares me. At that temp, the flame is so weak and puny, it looks like it could blow out at the slightest puff of breeze. My imagination tells me what could happen if it did blow out and I walked away and the tank kept pumping out propane. So I don't turn it down any farther than looks like a dependable flame. It may go lower but I just don't chance it.

    And finally, SFL, we have the question of clams. There are two different situations here. One is smoking clams until they are cooked and ready to eat. The other is not cooking, but simply applying a smoky flavor to them. Some people may be successful actually smoking clams until ready to eat. I have not. So, all I can do is tell you my experience and let you judge for yourself. I have found that each type of shellfish is a little different in their response to heat. For example you can boil a crab for 15-20 minutes and have it come out nice and tender. You can do the same with mussels and they stay tender. But clams and even oysters and many mollusks seem to be different that way. If you boil clams or oysters, to get their shells open, you usually end up with tough clams or oysters. You might get away with steaming them slightly. Sometimes that opens their shells without partially cooking them. (I frequently do this to oysters on the BBQ and it works fine) But usually, by the time you apply enough boiling water, or enough steam, to open them up, you have partially cooked them and they turn tough. Clams, and in most cases oysters, need to be shucked raw, in order to make sure they will cook up tender. So, bottom line is that I always shuck clams raw. I clean them and then coat them in a light spray of olive oil. If I am going to pan fry them, I dust them in flour and sautee them in butter, garlic, salt and pepper. If I am going to smoke them I 'cold smoke' them, just to impart the smoke flavor and then proceed to cook them however I intended. If I can't cold smoke, I will, as a last resort, hot smoke at the lowest temprature I can, for the shortest time I can, and still achieve some smoky flavor. Then I proceed to actually cook them in the standard manner. Whenever I smoked them too long, too hot or until they were completely 'cooked', they were shoe leather tough. It just did not work for me.

    Sorry to be so long winded.

  11. smokin for life

    smokin for life Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Skip thanks for your help, I guess I'll leave the clams out of the smoker and leave them in the steamer. You seem to really know your sea food. I hope you don't mind if I call upon you in the future.
  12. t-bone tim

    t-bone tim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great idea Skip...I love mussels no matter how thery're done ...gonna have to try this ,thanks for sharing [​IMG]
  13. pescadero

    pescadero Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I am very pleased that, after taking so much from this site, I have been able to give back a little.

    Cheers, Skip
  14. williamzanzinger

    williamzanzinger Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I see this thread is older but for the sake of keeping all good info in one place, my question is. If your cooking the mussels first anyway, for the sake of convienience and food cost can I buy a case of cryovac frozen mussels, defrost and smoke?
  15. jerkyaddict

    jerkyaddict Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    i see now that skip did an awesome job @ smoke imparting those mussel's
    as far as your question williamz , usually shellfish are better off to be fresh for smoking . the quick-freeze process does retain most of the flavor but you will see after thawed it sorta has changed the consistancy of the fleshy meat...i have never done pre-froze shellfish other than puttin in a sauce or soup type cooking , i say give it a try on a small batch as to not waiste any good dough on it...and post what come's of it =D
  16. navionjim

    navionjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Damn Skip!
    I don't know how I missed this post! But I'm giving you belated points for it. That wasn't Nye or Beverly beach because there aren't that many rocks on them so I'm figuring you were on the far end of South beach in the picture? I hate to admit that in all my years in Oregon I never harvested mussels. Razors were my favorite and I usually went up to to the scummy side of the ditch (Washington) at Longbeach for those. Gooyeduck too, however ya spell that.
  17. That's awesome....livin' off da' land!!
  18. As I'm Smoking Mussels this evening and found this thread very helpful, I thought it deserves a big Shout...

    The Good thing about Newbies, they bring old threads up now and again.

  19. .

    10 minutes of hot smoking turned them into a delicious Pasta meal.


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