How to Smoke Mussels

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Freshly smoked mussels will retain the white, fleshy color and a firm texture. Steamed mussels are done when the shells open. The same goes for smoked mussels. Some recipes call for steaming the mussels first, which helps keep them moist while they absorb the smoky flavor, but steaming is optional. Serve them with butter or a creamy sauce with spiky tastes like garlic and lime.

How to Smoke Mussels
(Rich Ellgen/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • 1 to 2 lbs. mussels
  • Grill pan or tin foil
  • Large pot
  • Smoker box
  • Wood chips
  • Steaming liquid (water, white wine or seafood broth)
Step 1

Soak the wood chips and sort the mussels. Immerse the wood chips in water for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, light the grill with charcoal on one side. Clean the mussels by removing the little beards that stick out from the shell. Discard any open mussels with open shells.

Rich Ellgen/Demand Media
Step 2

Steam the mussels. Bring a small amount of steaming liquid — water, white wine or seafood stock — to a boil in a pot, then cover. Steam the mussels until they open, about seven to 10 minutes.

Rich Ellgen/Demand Media
Step 3

Place wood chips over charcoal. When charcoal briquettes are gray and the heat is low, put the wood chips in the smoking box and place on fire. When the chips start smoking, put the grill rack back on the grill.

Rich Ellgen/Demand Media
Step 4

Put steamed mussels in smoking basket or grill pan. Place pan on grill on the side away from the heat. Cover the grill and allow smoke to penetrate the mussels, about 10 minutes. Close all vents on grill to reduce heat on fire.

Rich Ellgen/Demand Media

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