Different Types of Clams


Seafood is served best in the summer, and few things are better than a plate of delicious, briny clams. From the common selection to some rare finds, we're giving you the lowdown on this seafood staple. Be sure to check out the smartest ways to prep your clams in the CHEF iQ App.


  • Littleneck: One of the most common kinds of clams, littlenecks feature deliciously sweet, tender meat. A type quahog (meaning hard-shelled, Atlantic round clam), they're typically found along the eastern shore of North America. Named after Little Neck Bay on New York’s Long Island, these are great steamed and paired beautifully with a light sauce. Their shells are also fairly easy to open, making them a great candidate for eating raw.
  • Chowder: The largest of the quahog, chowder clams are larger than littlenecks. Famously named for the meaty consistency that makes them perfect for (you guessed it) chowders, their slightly tough texture is a welcomed quality.
  • Steamers: A soft-shell species of clam, steamers are found all along the New England coast. As their name implies, they’re best served steamed. We prefer them served lobster shack style, with a cup of hot, strained cooking broth on the side along with a small pot of melted butter. To enjoy, remove the clam from the shell, strip the skin off its neck, dip it in the broth to get rid of any grit, and finish it with a delicious dunk in the butter.
  • Atlantic razor: This clam’s name can be a bit misleading—while it isn’t sharp, the shape of its shell resembles an old-fashioned straight razor. Both the shell and the meat’s flavor are more delicate than hard-shell clams. Whether you find razors on the beach or at the market, try grilling and serving them with lemon wedges and sprinkle of salt and pepper. 
  • Geoduck: Pronounced “gooey-duck” these humungous clams—usually tipping the scales between 3 and 14 pounds—are harvested from the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest and are considered a delicacy in Asia. The clam’s long siphon, or neck, is often sliced paper-thin to serve as sashimi or carpaccio.