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Smokey New England Clam Chowder

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  • Charley Langer
    Club Member
    • Oct 2019
    • 109

    Smokey New England Clam Chowder

    Click image for larger version  Name:	D28970F0-BDE9-4785-BC69-E8F7023D280E.jpeg Views:	0 Size:	2.14 MB ID:	766692

    As a follow up to my recent post on smokey chowder recipes, I came up with this. It was delicious. My wife said it was the most flavorful clam chowder she’d ever had. I made it for my youngest daughter’s 14th birthday (her request), and she loved it.

    Smokey New England Clam Chowder

    Prep Time. 15 mins
    Cook Time. 1 hour
    Total Time. 1 hour, 15 mins

    Course: Main Course Soup
    Cuisine: American
    Servings: 6 servings


    * 1/4 pound bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4” pieces
    * 2 tablespoons butter
    * 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
    * 2 stalks celery, chopped
    * 2 cloves garlic, minced
    * 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    * 1 34-ounce carton (4 cups) Aneto Fish Broth
    * 1/4 cup dry white wine (e.g., sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, chardonnay)
    * 5 cups starchy potatoes (e.g. russets), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt or table salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    * 2 bay leaves
    * 30 or so quahogs (e.g. cherrystone or littleneck) clams OR three 6 1/2 ounce canned clams, drained
    * 1 cup heavy cream
    * 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parlsey
    * Oyster crackers for serving
    * Chopped fresh parsley for serving

    Shucking fresh clams (I used about 40 littlenecks):

    Scrub the exterior of the shells well with cold running water and a brush to remove sand. Discard clams that rattle or are unusually heavy or light.

    Let them soak submerged in cold fresh water for about an hour and change the water once so they will spit out any sand. Dump the water, rinse the clams again, and smell each one. Discard any funny smelling clams. Make sure they are alive by squeezing on the shell. If the shell slides easily left to right, it is probably dead and you should discard it. If it is slightly open, when you squeeze it or tap it on the counter, it should slowly close itself. When in doubt, throw it out.

    To open clams, put them in some hot water, not boiling, (140°F is ideal) for about 5-10 minutes. The heat plumps them slightly without cooking them, and the clams should start to open. You should be able to easily pry them all the way open and scrape out the meat with a kitchen knife.


    * Prepare the smoker for 200°F, using the wood of your choice. Place the clams on a grill topper. Place the onions and clam shells on the grate and smoke for 30 to 40 minutes (this should give you time to pre-measure and chop the rest of the ingredients).
    * Remove the clams, shells, and onions. Coarsely chop the onions.
    * Fry the bacon in a medium stock pot until crispy then remove with a slotted spoon, leaving about a tablespoon of the grease in the pot.
    * Add the butter to the pot along with the onions, celery and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the flour, stir to combine and cook for a minute.
    * Add the broth and white wine, stirring to prevent the flour from clumping, and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add the potatoes, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper half the bacon, and the smoked clam shells (you don’t have to add all the shells). Simmer the chowder for 25-30 minutes until the potatoes are extremely tender. The consistency is right when the potatoes are so soft that some have begun to fall apart. I smash down on the chowder occasionally to check the tenderness of the potatoes.
    * Add the clams, cream and parsley and heat through for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately sprinkled with the remaining bacon, fresh parsley and oyster crackers.
    Last edited by Charley Langer; November 9th, 2019, 01:00 AM.
  • ScottyC13
    Club Member
    • Jul 2019
    • 443
    • Boston Area
    • Name: Scott, Chemical Engineer

      Weber Genesis
      Weber Spirit Special Addition, with Griddle and Grillgrates (just got)
      Thermoworks Smoke (2)
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      Penzey's Spice rack with loads of spices

      Cooking, wine, guitar, golf, beach, board games, travel, herb gardening

      Want to get into BBQ and Smoking.

    Sounds delicious! Thanks for posting.


    • Skip
      Founding Member
      • Jul 2014
      • 3026
      • Blue Earth, Minnesota
      • MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

      This sounds wonderful Charley Langer . Can't find Clam Chowder like this in the midwest.
      Last edited by Skip; November 9th, 2019, 06:56 AM.


      • Steve B
        Club Member
        • Jun 2016
        • 2859
        • Rockland county New York
        • Lonestar Grillz 24x36 offset smoker, grill, w/ main chamber charcoal grate and 3 tel-tru thermometers - left, right and center
          Yoke Up custom charcoal basket and a Grill Wraps cover.

          22.5 copper kettle w/ SnS, DnG, BBQ vortex, gasket and stainless steel hinge kit.

          Napoleon gas grill (soon to go bye bye) rotting out.

          1 maverick et-733 digital thermometer - black
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          1 thermoworks thermopen mk4 - red
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          Pre Miala flavor injector
          taylor digital scale
          TSM meat grinder
          chefs choice food slicer
          cuisinhart food processor
          food saver vacuum sealer
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        That looks outstanding. Thanks for this recipe. I am following this one so I can reference it easily.


        • HouseHomey
          Club Member
          • May 2016
          • 4925
          • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
          • Equipment
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            Erik S.

          Sounds fantastic. Love Smokey cream and seafood.

          is this your recipe? Are the clamshells are for plating purposes? Why do you chop the onion after the smoke?

          Man, I’m getting hungry.

          Thank you for the post.


          • ofelles
            Club Member
            • Jun 2018
            • 1690
            • Brentwood CA
            • Yoder YS640 on Comp cart
              Klose 20x42 Charcoal Grill
              LSG Insulated Cabinet
              Jumbo Joe
              VacMaster Pro 380 sealer
              FireBoard and Pit Bull fan
              Thermoworks Signal
              Thermoworks Dot
              Thermopen Mk4

            This I will have to try. Thank you.


            • tbob4
              Charter Member
              • Nov 2014
              • 2255
              • Chico, CA
              • BBQ's
                California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
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                Santa Maria Grill
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                Sierra Nevada IPA


              I'm really glad you did this. When you asked the question I thought grilling the ingredients over wood was fine but I was skeptical about smoking for soup. I would have been scared to smoke the veggies. Smoking the clam shells was a really good idea! I think the cream is the equalizer for the soup. A water based broth may not have been able to take the smoked onions. I am going to remember this post and will try it. Thanks again!


              • Charley Langer
                Charley Langer commented
                Editing a comment
                You’re welcome. The onions seemed safe to smoke. I decided against the potatoes and celery because my gut told me not to. Part of the texture of chowder is from the potatoes cooking in the soup, and I thought it might mess that up.

                BTW, I use a pellet smoker. I was reasonably confident I wouldn’t over-smoke stuff. I was kind of proud of myself for thinking to smoke the shells. It did add to the flavor without overdoing it.

              • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                Editing a comment
                So I've tried my hand at a few smoked soups now and haven't run into anything yet that can't take at least some smoke except maybe raw carrots. Potato and Leek was the most recent, you could smell the smoke but not really taste it because so many other things were going on. I started a French onion tonight I'll post later this weekend. Did the bones for the beef stock, the cheeses, and garlic so they can rest and mellow the smoke a bit. Will do the onions tomorrow or sat when I make the soup.
            • CaptainMike
              Club Member
              • Nov 2015
              • 2341
              • The Great State of Jefferson
              • Weber Summit Charcoal Grill w/SnS and DnG (Spartacus)
                Old school big'ol Traeger w/Pro controller (Big Tex)
                2 W22's w/SnS, DnG (1 black, 1 copper) (Minions 1 and 2)
                20+ y/o many times rebuilt Weber Genesis w/GrillGrates (Gas Passer)
                20 x 30 Santa Maria grill (Maria, duh)
                Bradley cabinet smoker (Pepper Gomez)
                36" Blackstone griddle (The Black Beauty)
                Thermoworks Smoke and Thermapen.

              Man, I can't wait for it to snow so I can pour myself a scotch, turn on some smoky jazz, and do this recipe. Thanks for sharing!


              • Skip
                Skip commented
                Editing a comment
                Be sure to let know the date you plan to make it. I'll bring the crackers and a loaf of bread.

              • ofelles
                ofelles commented
                Editing a comment
                CaptainMike Why wait for the snow?
            • Red Man
              Club Member
              • May 2018
              • 891
              • Western Washington

              This sounds really great!


              • texastweeter
                Club Member
                • Jul 2017
                • 2845
                • Republic of Texas

                good job!


                • marshall
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2017
                  • 433

                  hey my birthday is coming up , just sayin!!
                  looks great, thanks for the recipe


                  • Troutman
                    Club Member
                    • Aug 2017
                    • 7116
                    • Republic of Texallence

                    • OUTDOOR COOKERS
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                    I absolutely love this recipe, thanks so much for posting. Going on the list of things to cook immediately.


                    • Charley Langer
                      Charley Langer commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I’m honored!
                  • mountainsmoker
                    Banned Former Member
                    • Jun 2019
                    • 1851
                    • Bryson City, NC

                    To save time I will use liquid smoke. Just a little adds a great flavor to the chowder.


                    • tbob4
                      tbob4 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Every time someone suggests liquid smoke I laugh, not at the suggestion but at my ineptitude. I'm the guy who tries a little, it doesn't work and then I add more and make the smokiest mess out of a meal.

                    • Charley Langer
                      Charley Langer commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I totally get that! 😂 But, I use a pellet smoker, so it only added about a half hour because I was busy doing prep during startup and smoking. I’m a slow chopper and measurer! Honestly, the reason I use the smoker sometimes is just to satisfy my desire to smell the smoke... sometimes the food on it is almost an afterthought!
                  • Charley Langer
                    Club Member
                    • Oct 2019
                    • 109

                    Originally posted by HouseHomey View Post
                    Sounds fantastic. Love Smokey cream and seafood.

                    is this your recipe? Are the clamshells are for plating purposes? Why do you chop the onion after the smoke?

                    Man, I’m getting hungry.

                    Thank you for the post.
                    The basic recipe is not very original.

                    I cut the onions in slices so they wouldn’t fall through the grates and there was a decent amount of surface area exposed to the smoke.

                    As for the clamshells, it was a lot of shucking for only a small bowl of clams. There was still some meat on the shells and I wanted every bit of clam flavor in that pot! And the smoke on the shells adds to the smokey flavor. And they look nice in the bowl.


                    • w12x40
                      Club Member
                      • Jan 2017
                      • 16
                      • Southeast Pennsylvania
                        • Primo Oval XL
                        • Weber Smokey Joe
                        • Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country - Lolis Eric Elie
                        • Victory beer
                        • Sage fly rods
                        • Kenwood and Elecraft radios

                      Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_2464.JPG
Views:	104
Size:	3.40 MB
ID:	776093 I tried this one compared to my usual and it was damn good. I got lazy - I didn't fire up the Primo for slow and low for just 50 littlenecks when I didn't have the time to put on a shoulder or ribs.

                      Instead, I steamed the clams until they just opened and then shucked them.

                      Thanks for sharing this one!
                      Last edited by w12x40; December 5th, 2019, 03:24 PM.


                      • Charley Langer
                        Charley Langer commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks for the pic and validation. I just made it again last weekend. It is a family fave!!



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