How to Prepare Scallops With a Metallic Taste


Sea and bay scallops are extremely perishable. Some fishermen treat their harvest with a chemical solution of STP, or sodium tripolyphosphate. STP prevents scallops from drying out, but it comes with a few downsides: STP creates a metallic taste, searing is difficult, and some scallops lose up to 40 percent of their volume during cooking. When preparing STP-treated scallops, avoid recipes that call for searing and use lemon juice to neutralize any metallic taste. Follow simple steps for a fail-safe preparation of broiled scallops.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 1/2 lbs. "wet" scallops
  • Shallow baking pan
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter
  • Small bowl
  • Small serving dish
  • Basting brush
  • 1 tbsp. garlic salt
  • Turn on the oven and set it to "broil."

  • Rinse the scallops and place them in a shallow baking pan.

  • Combine 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 2 tbsp. butter in a small bowl and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds or until the butter is softened. In another serving dish, microwave the remaining 4 tbsp. butter for 30 to 45 seconds or until the butter is softened. Set it aside.

  • Baste the scallops liberally with lemon and butter.

  • Sprinkle the scallops with garlic salt.

  • Broil the scallops for six to eight minutes or until the scallops begin to turn a light, golden color. Do not overheat.

  • Remove the scallops from the oven and serve immediately with remaining the melted butter as a dipping sauce.

Tips & Warnings

  • STP-treated scallops must be sold as “wet pack” by law. STP-treated scallops are also very wet to the touch and have a bright white appearance. If you're not sure if your scallops are "wet" or "dry," ask someone in the seafood or produce department when making your purchase.


  • Photo Credit bacon wrapped scallops image by Trevor Allen from
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