Find yourself with too much shellfish on your hands? Oysters and clams should last a week in a refrigerator, but still: Maybe you dug too many clams at a farm day, or ordered a 5 pound bag when 3 pounds would have done it. Whatever the case, here's our best advice!
Hint: It mainly includes freezing them... hence the title of this post.. but there are a few other hot tips too.
Freeze them. They freeze beautifully. You can freeze the oysters directly in the package they arrived in (10 oz jar / pint container / half gallon bag) or in a ziplock freezer bag. Try to use within 3 months.
Steam the clams open. Get fancy by adding ingredients like wine, butter, garlic... or just steam them plain. Reserve the liquid. Remove the clam meat from the shell, and put the clams in a waterproof container (like a tupperware with a snap on lid). Pour the reserved clam steaming liquid over the clam meat, and pop into the freezer. Try to use within 3 months.
After you defrost, we recommend turning the clam meat into clam butter or the seriously amazing sport dip. You could also add to a chowder... find clam recipes here, and find advice on storing your clams in the refrigerator here.
Oysters in the Shell:
... wait for it... wait for it... freeze them! Some of our customers freeze oysters whole, just by popping the entire critter in a freezer bag. We don't really recommend that... but that's mainly because we haven't tried it. We recommend shucking the oysters, and then dropping the meats and as much of the liquid as you can into the freezer bag.
Another option: you can also steam the oysters open and then pickle them, which gives them a refrigerated shelf life of at least 6 weeks. Or, you can smoke oysters! We'll add instructions for pickling and smoking soon.
One quick reminder: frozen oysters are great for cooking but we don't recommend eating them raw. They're safe to eat, but they've lost all their vitality (in other words: once you freeze them, they're dead, so just cook them).
And, if you missed it: here's advice for how to store oysters in the shell at home, so that they'll last up to a week.