People have been holding clambakes on sandy American beaches for over 2,000 years, and Woodman’s has been catering these events for over a century, since 1914. While the traditional option is a pit-style clambake, we offer pot-style bakes, which are just as delicious, a lot more convenient, and can be made almost anywhere.
What Is a Pit-Style Clambake?
Sometimes called an “Indian clambake,” the pit-style clambake is the traditional method. The clambake starts by digging a large hole in the sand of the beach or in a section of a yard that doesn’t have any overhanging branches. Then, you fill the pit with rocks, build a large fire, and let everything heat up.
Once the pit is hot, some people add charcoal, while others just let the warm rocks heat their food. When the charcoal and rocks are hot and the fire is smoldering, you add live lobsters and clams, as well as sides such as potatoes and corn on the cob in a cheesecloth sack to the top of the fire, cover it with wet seaweed, seal everything with a canvas or burlap sack, and let the food steam.
This process takes a long time. After digging the pit, you generally need to start the fire at least four or five hours before you plan to eat, and you need to allow a couple of hours for clean up as well. Additionally, because the fire is so large, you also need at least a minimum of four dozen guests to attend this type of clambake.
What Is a Pot-Style Clambake?
In contrast, a pot-style clambake dishes up the same delicious flavors, but you cook everything in a big steaming pot instead of a pit. At Woodman’s, we’ve been serving up pot-style clambakes for years. Our founder and great-great-grandfather Roberts used to offer pit-style clambakes on the beach. But his son-in-law Chubby Woodman embraced pot-style clambakes due to their versatility, and the fact that he could take these clambakes anywhere on the road, making more customers happy.
You can hold a pot-style clambake nearly anywhere – all you need is a portable propane tank. With this type of clambake, you get to enjoy the same delicious food as a pit-style clambake, but the prep time is significantly shorter, and you don’t need to have caterers at your location for as many hours. Pot-style clambakes can work for relatively small groups of people, but they can also be scaled up to feed up to 400 or more guests.
Traditional Clambake Foods
Whether you have a pit or pot-style clambake, the foods are the same. You get to enjoy clams and mussels steamed in garlic and white wine with drawn butter, as well as fresh lobsters and steak, chicken, or pork ribs with corn on the cob and potatoes on the side. Seasonal desserts provide a delicious finish to the affair, and people can enjoy icy cold water, crisp beers, or delightful white wine with their clambake fare.
At Woodman’s, we adore clambakes, and we love sharing generations of cooking experience with our customers. We offer a range of clambake catering packages, or we can even make you a pot-style clambake to go — we cook everything, and you just pick it up. If you live outside of our area, we would love to ship you everything you need for your own pot-style clambake anywhere in the country. To learn more, contact us directly.