Helpful tips for Clambake this weekend?

It will still be great. You’ll probably need less seaweed and can cut your time down considerably. Which aren’t bad things on vacation.

I do find Dungeness crabs fairly challenging to pick through - much more so than say lobster or blue crab.

You could still consider a more southern low country boil. Strain and pour it all out on a table covered with tons of newspaper. Still very very fun.

But a bake it always great. Be flexible and have fun!!!

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PS - if you go the boil route, you can still use the cheesecloth bags/muslin instead of needing a pot with a strainer. Just lift the tied muslin satchels and let drain.

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Be sure to bring tiny forks or picks for the dungeness.
Even if they are cleaned getting to the meat you want won’t be easy.


I just received the following email from the wonderful owners of the property and I’d love to get your thoughts / feedback on the info she’s offered"

"I saw in your email to Tom that you were off to get a galvanized tub from the hardware store. Know that galvanized tubs exposed to high heat will give off toxic zinc fumes. Look into this.

It may be too late to let you know that I did pick up a 12qt stainless steel pot with a special base for improved heat distribution, appropriate for use on a bbq. You are welcome to use this pot."

Edit: quick Google search returns the following -

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Wow…!! I think you should absolutely use the stainless steel pot that she got. That is SO above and beyond…
i have never used a galvanized tub myself but they’re very commonly used on the east coast.


Well … hmmmm … yikes … hmmm.

I feel horrible for recommending it … and not sure what to do with this information. Not just for you but for me. While the internet is full of information, I know not all of it is reliable. But … hmmm. I know people around here have been doing it for years - but that doesn’t mean they should be doing it. And east coasters are a little crazy so maybe that helps explain some things.

Hmmmmm. I don’t know what to recommend for you. But you can always change to a boil in a regular pot or just adapt the bake to go directly on the grill. The seaweed will still steam. Just be ready for a PITA cleanup on the grill grates potentially.

Good luck.

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Don’t worry about it; I truly appreciate all your help and suggestions and I’m just happy to pass along the warning of the potential health risks! I’m slightly embarrassed it never occurred to me but it certainly seems to be a very common practice- I’ve watched a dozen YouTube videos of people cooking this way and as you saw, even professional chefs have published recipes on foodnetwork blog. Anyhow, we all learned something valuable from this thread!

I’m sure the bake can still work in the steel pot. I’ll just add a bit more seaweed and water and since I’ll really be cooking the corn and potatoes and other veggies longest (since no live crabs) I doubt there’s much risk of overcooking anything. The shellfish should only take a few minutes to steam, once the coals are really going. I bet it’ll still work great!

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It will still be great.

I have to do some more research for myself on this whole things. There are websites that tell you how aweful aluminum foil is - or how terrible nonstick pans are … I still use both of those. So need to figure out where in the scheme of internet-truth this all lies. But very glad you brought it up.

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Awful about the galvanized pails…I’m sure I had dozens if not hundred of meals from that old black thing that lived in the shed. I think I’m ok. Maybe the poison wears off after some uses…?

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold