For a charcoal grill, simply toss the wood on the coals just as you begin to cook--no need for a foil pan. Make sure the pan you choose for the clams will fit inside your grill. If soft-shell clams aren't available, scrubbed littleneck clams will also work in the recipe, and they don't require soaking in cornmeal--check for doneness after 10 minutes. Serve with strained steaming liquid or heated clam broth to dunk the clams in for one last rinse, then dip in Butter Sauce.
2 cups wood chips
2 pounds soft-shell clams
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon kosher salt
12 ounces room temperature medium-bodied beer, such as pale ale
Place clams in sink, and cover with cool water. Rinse clams well, rubbing together to dislodge grit, and drain. Repeat until water is clear. Drain clams. Place in a large bowl, and cover clams with cold water. Stir in cornmeal and salt. Refrigerate and soak for 30 minutes.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Remove grill rack; set aside. Pierce the bottom of a disposable aluminum foil pan several times with the tip of a knife. Place pan directly on heat element on bottom of grill; add wood chips to pan. Place grill rack on grill. Arrange clams in a grill-safe roasting pan, large shallow baking pan, or sturdy disposable foil pan. Pour beer and 1 cup warm water over clams; arrange garlic and lemon over clams. Place pan on grill; cover grill, and cook 15 minutes. Stir clams. Cover grill, and cook 5 minutes or until clams open. Discard any unopened shells.
Sustainable Choice: Lobsters & Steamers. Lobsters trapped off waters near the Northeast U.S. and Canada are smart options, as are wild-caught or farmed soft-shell clams.