New England Clambake on the Grill

Yield 6 servings


  • 6 dozen steam clams
  • 12 small onions
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 6 ears of corn, in husks
  • 6 live 1-pound lobsters
  • Lemon wedges, and melted butter


  1. Wash clams thoroughly. Peel onions and scrub potatoes. Parboil the onions and potatoes for 15 minutes; drain. Remove the silk from the corn, and replace the husks.
  2. Cut 12 pieces of cheesecloth and 12 pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil, 18 inches by 36 inches in size. Place 2 pieces of cheesecloth on top of 2 pieces of foil.
  3. Place 2 onions, a potato, an ear of corn, a lobster, and one dozen clams on the cheesecloth. Tie opposite corners of cheesecloth together. Pour 1 cup of water over the package. Bring up the foil over the food and close all edges with tight double folds. Continue, making 6 bundles total.
  4. Place each foil wrapped package on a grill about 4 inches from hot coals. Cover with the bbq hood. Cook in bbq for 45 to 60 minutes, or until onions and potatoes are soft and the lobster and clams test done.
  5. Open the packages and crack the lobster claws.
  6. Serve hot with lemon wedges and melted butter.


Adapted from Over the Coals.


John’s motto is ‘release it unharmed or do it justice on the plate.’ Executive Chef, photographer, and surfer, John photographs ocean marine life when he’s out fishing, and creates masterpieces in the kitchen with what he keeps on deck. His photo works have been used in OEHHA Fish Advisories, National Geographic presentations, and nonprofit marine life groups. When he’s not fishing, he’s making great BBQ. Visit him at, and send him a message using the contact form using the link above.