I prefer to grill mussels, because it’s really easy to do and it cooks them so quickly. You can finish cooking mussels on the grill in about 10 minutes or less.
I like to serve up mussels as an appetizer or make them part of a larger seafood spread, alongside shrimp, oysters, and crab, for example.
Maybe you’ve never given mussels a try, but cooking them at home on your own on the grill is super simple, and it makes them taste very nice.
I’ll show you how to grill mussels using a really easy method the anybody should be able to do, and I’ll give you advice on what to serve with them and how to season them to get the most from your seafood.
How to Cook Mussels on the Grill
I’m giving you a simple recipe to start with, because I don’t want you to get too intimidated. You have to be really careful with your seafood and make sure that it doesn’t stay at room temperature for long.
It can go bad quickly and make you ill if you’re not preparing it and storing it properly. If you can keep that in mind, the rest is easy, and there shouldn’t be any reason why your meal will turn out badly if you’re cooking mussels on the grill.
How do you grill mussels? Just follow these simple instructions and you’ll be fine.
- 1/2 pound of mussels for each person
- Minced parsley
- Ground black pepper (fresh is best)
- Get your ingredients together and fire up the grill, heating it to medium high or high heat.
- As you grill is warming up, check over your mussels. Make sure that you’re tossing out any that are tightly closed when you give them a tap and clean off the mussel beards, which are little bits of hairy fibers that stick out of the mussels.
- When’s your mussels are cleaned and the grill is heated, you can put them on the grill to cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. How do you know when they’re done cooking? They should open up when they’re good to eat, but you can cook them for a little longer than that.
- Take the cooked mussels off the grill and place them on a plate using tongs. Add black pepper and chopped parsley to season and garnish.
You see how quick and simple that was question. This is why I recommended grilling mussels. There’s no fuss, no mess, and your risk of messing up the dish is extremely low. Just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t overcook, and that’s about all there is to it.
How high should you grill heat up before you add the mussels? If using a gas grill, the heat should be about 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. When preparing your grill for cooking mussels, make sure the grate has been cleaned well.
There are lots of different ways you could season your mussels, and some people like to have them in a sauce of butter, vegetable broth (or wine), with garlic and parsley for flavor and color.
You could do all that, if you like, or you could keep things really simple and enjoy the purity of the mussel meat.
How to Cook Frozen Mussels on the Grill
Can you cook mussels from frozen on the grill or do they need to thaw out first?
You can grill frozen mussels without having to wait for them to thaw. Here’s how you do it:
- Put a fitted lid over the mussels and then close the lid of the grill.
- The mussels should be allowed to grill over indirect heat for about 7 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they start to open up.
That’s all there is to it, but if the mussels only have half a shell but are frozen, they still ought to cook for about 7 minutes. You can add your seasonings to the mussels when they’re done cooking on the grill, if you’re going to use any.
What Kind of Mussels to Grill?
There are a few different kinds of mussels you could get at the grocery or the seafood market, and you may be wondering which kind work best for the grill.
Most people will purchase the variety known as blue mussel, which are actually black in color. That’s probably the type of mussel you’re most familiar with, but you can find others where you normally do your seafood shopping
The next most common one is a New Zealand variety that has a green shell.
Either of these will cook the same on the grill. Cleaning them can be a chore, however, no matter what kind of mussel you’re working with.
If you want the best quality mussels, consider buying farm raised ones, if they are available. These don’t have as much sand and grit in them as the other kinds of mussels that come from the sea.
So, there’s a lot less work involved in preparing them for cooking. That also means that you’re less likely to get debris in your finished food, which is why I consider them a better quality mussel.
Wouldn’t you classify food with less dirt in it as higher quality?
You should be very selective with the kind of mussels you pick. Make sure you’re getting something that’s safe to eat and it hasn’t gone bad already.
How can you tell if mussels are no good to eat? They should be sold live and fresh. Their shells should also be closed tight. You may see some of the shells open a little bit, however. Those aren’t necessarily bad to eat, but you can do a little test to see if they are okay by pressing those shell closed.
If the shell closes and stays closed, that means the mussel is alive. It also means they’re safe to eat. If the shell opens back up when you try to press down and it stays closed, then the mussel has died and you need to toss it out.