How to Stack a Clambake

Clambakes are a delicious and fun way to enjoy seafood and other foods cooked over an open fire. But if you’re new to clambakes, you may be wondering how to stack the food in the steamer. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Prepare the steamer

  • Remove the ice from the top of the steamer and drain off any melted ice water through the spigot.
  • Add one pint of fresh water per bake to the steamer. (If you’re cooking over a propane heater, increase the water to 1.5 pints per bake.)
  • Add a herb bag filled with celery, onions, carrots, and bay leaves to the steamer. This will add flavor to the broth.

Step 2: Start the stack with clams

  • Place the clams on the bottom of the steamer. This will allow them to steam in the flavorful broth.

Step 3: Add the sweet potatoes

  • Place the sweet potatoes in the middle of the steamer. This will help them to cook evenly.

Step 4: Top with the chicken

  • Place the chicken halves on top of the sweet potatoes. This will allow the chicken to cook in the steam from the clams and vegetables.

Step 5: Cover the steamer and cook

  • Cover the steamer and place it over the fire.
  • Cook the clambake for 1.5-2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.


  • Don’t overfill the steamer. The food needs to have room to steam.
  • If you’re using a propane burner, be sure to keep a close eye on the fire. The heat can be more intense than with a charcoal fire, so you may need to adjust the flame accordingly.
  • Once the clambake is cooked, carefully remove the steamer from the fire and let it cool for a few minutes before opening the lid. This will help to prevent steam from escaping and burning you.


Clambakes are a delicious and easy way to enjoy a meal with friends and family. By following these simple steps, you can stack your clambake perfectly and cook a delicious meal that everyone will enjoy.

Additional Information

In addition to the steps outlined above, here are some additional tips for stacking a clambake:

  • Use a variety of seafood and vegetables in your clambake. This will add flavor and variety to the meal.
  • If you’re using live lobsters, be sure to place them on top of the other food in the steamer. This will help to prevent them from overcooking.
  • If you’re using pre-cooked lobsters, you can add them to the steamer towards the end of the cooking time.
  • Be sure to check the food regularly to make sure that it is cooking evenly.
  • Once the food is cooked, remove it from the steamer and serve immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook a clambake?

Clambakes typically take 1.5-2 hours to cook, depending on the size of the bake and the heat of the fire.

What kind of seafood can I use in a clambake?

You can use a variety of seafood in a clambake, including clams, mussels, oysters, lobster, and shrimp.

What kind of vegetables can I use in a clambake?

You can use a variety of vegetables in a clambake, including potatoes, carrots, onions, and corn.

Can I use a propane burner to cook a clambake?

Yes, you can use a propane burner to cook a clambake. However, you will need to be careful to adjust the flame so that the heat is not too intense.

How do I know when the clambake is cooked?

The clambake is cooked when the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. You can check the chicken by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. The chicken is cooked when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You can check the vegetables by piercing them with a fork. The vegetables are cooked when they are tender.

If Your Bake Includes…

You have the option of cooking them in a different pot or in the steamer. Simply put the lobsters straight on the contents of the steamer if you’re using one. Either way, you’ll want to steam them for 15-18 minutes.

Just put them directly on steamer contents for 10-15 minutes. Advice: You can put precooked lobster and corn in the steamer at the same time.

Place directly on the contents of the steamer, and steam for about 40 minutes (or about 20 minutes if the tails are thawed). You can also cook the tails in a separate pot. After putting tails in a pot of cold, salted water, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes,

Place directly on steamer contents. If the crab is frozen, steam for 20 minutes. If thawed, 10 minutes should do the trick. Advice: before placing the crab in the steamer, place it on a small piece of aluminum foil. You can do this with all the extra ingredients as well! It holds the crab together and keeps it from falling into the other bake ingredients!

  • Fill your pot 3/4 full of water
  • Bring the water to a rolling boil by turning up the heat on your stovetop or burners to high.
  • Once at a rolling boil add the seasoning packets
  • After adding the boils to the water, cook them at a steady, rolling boil for 30 minutes.
  • Using tongs, carefully remove the seafood boil, and serve hot, either plated or poured over a table covered with paper.

Ok, Let’s Get Cooking!

Graphic of chef putting pot on fireYour stand is built, your steamer is ready, and your charcoal is hot (make sure the flames have burnt down and the charcoal is white with a nice red glow). It’s cooking time!

  • First, carefully place your steamer on the stand.
  • Keep the lid on tightly! Your bake needs all of that amazing steam to cook it; if it escapes, your clams might not open!
  • After about 45 minutes of cooking, steam should emerge from under the lid. Your bake should cook for a further 30 to 45 minutes after you notice steam.
  • Keep in mind that peeping will cause heat and steam to escape and increase the amount of cooking time needed.
  • Naturally, cooking times will vary based on a number of variables, including the size of your bake, the climate, and the fire’s temperature. But as a general rule, plan on 1. From the time you place your steamer on the stand until serving time, allow five to seven hours. You may need to add charcoal if conditions dictate.

How to Throw a Classic Clambake


How many clams per person for clam bake?

We ship live bay and sea clams from our pier straight to your porch in quantities of 12, 50, or 100. Order about ten clams per person, or 4 pounds for eight servings. A typical Maryland clambake also features shrimp and filets of fish. We pack our fresh Gulf shrimp off the boat.

How do you cook a clambake in Your Own Backyard?

Learn how to cook a clambake in your own backyard. Get the lobster pot setup on the burner. Add about 5 inches of water and bring the pot to a boil over high heat. White the water is heating, add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, sea salt and peppercorns, to the center of a large square of cheesecloth.

How do you cook a clambake on a stovetop?

With fresh seafood, a little prep, and the following equipment, you can cook a stovetop clambake all in one pot: Large Pot: A large lobster pot with a steaming basket. The basket keeps the ingredients lifted above the water allowing the food to cook by steaming rather than boiling. A large water bath canner with a rack can also be used.

Can You Clambake From a beach?

After years of catering elaborate beachside clambakes in the Hamptons, she found a genius way to skip lugging seafood to and from a beach on a boiling hot summer day. In fact, you don’t even need to leave the house or have outdoor space. “Trust me, this is easier,” Ina says in her Kitchen Clambake class on the Food Network Kitchen app.

How do you cook lobster in a clambake?

As the seaweed heats, it releases salty steam that cooks the food. Often times, whole eggs are included in the pit. Once the eggs are cooked, the lobsters are done. You can replicate a summer clambake on a much smaller scale right in your kitchen or outside on a propane stove.

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