Planning a BBQ Clambake Party
By Danial Williams
Barbeques are popular for events such as the 4th of July, birthday parties, receptions, and going away parties. No matter why you decided to plan a barbeque party, the memories that will come from it are sure to stick with your guests for many years to come, provided that you plan ahead. Alternatively, a new popular type of barbeque is a barbeque clambake. Clambakes are typically held in a pit on the beach, but if a beach is not available, you may want to consider holding your clambake right from your grill.
1) First, no barbeque would be complete without guests. Plan ahead, checking with your potential guest for scheduling conflicts and issues. Finding a date and time that is suitable for everyone should not be too hard as long as you give everyone enough advanced notice. Remember that not everyone will be able to come, no matter how much notice you give them, so do not get discouraged if you do not get as many RSVPs as you originally hoped for.
2) Be sure to check the weather. If you live in a climate that cannot be predicted, then you may want to have a backup plan just in case unusual weather comes. You cannot predict things like rain and thunderstorms ahead of time, but you can make sure that you have a plan in case the weather is bad. A barbeque in cold weather doesn’t have to be full of bad memories. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and it rains here a lot. We hold BBQs rain or shine. It all comes down to planning for the unexpected.
3) You will need to purchase the items for your clambake. The traditional items you will need is Clams still in the shell, shrimp, crab, lobster, seawater (if available), corn still in the husk, sausage, and potatoes. I have also done beef, pork, or chicken at the clambake. Not everyone will be up for seafood.
Side dishes can also be bought but are not necessary since the potatoes and corn can act as such. If you feel that you need other side dishes, the simplest approach to side dishes is chips and dip. Chips and dips do not require any cooking on your part and will still be loved by the majority of your guests.
You can also ask guests to bring their favorite side dish to share. This gets everyone involved in the event.
4) Depending on the theme of your party, you may or may not want to purchase decorations. Festive decorations can be found at any local party or general store. You may also consider purchasing decorations that can be stored and reused at a different time, such as reusable tablecloths and Tiki torches. Give your clambake a beach theme by adding tropical music and you may even consider adding some sand.
5) The day before your party, you will want to make sure to thaw, prepare, and marinate the meat you will be cooking. Store the meat stored away, soaking up the marinate until it is time for it to go on the grill. Prepare any side dishes that you can ahead of time.
6) The day of the party, get up early and start preparing for it. You do not want your guest arriving while you are still cooking or hanging decorations. It should only take you a few hours at most to prepare the area in which you will be having the party, but the reactions from your guests will probably seem as if you have been planning this for weeks.
Place your clambake on the grill, layering your already cooked potatoes, corn still in the husk, and your clams on the grill. Then grill these until the corn, clams and other seafood is completely cooked.
Depending on the time at which your guests arrive, you may want to include your guests in the actual cooking of the clambake. Enjoying a few drinks around the pit or stove will not only give you time to gather and converse, but will also make your guests hungry, as they smell the wonderful aroma coming from the steaming or boiling vegetables and clams.
Take loads of pictures and post them to your socials. Tag us in them and let us know how it was.