How to Cook Mussels

Do you want to learn how to cook mussels? In this article, we will show you step by step guide for how to handle, store and cook these delicious treats.

How to Cook Mussels

  • Plan to cook fresh (live) mussels soon after they arrive.
  • Store mussels in a mesh bag if possible. This will help keep the shells closed.
  • Healthy mussels will gape slightly, but if you tap two together they should close quickly.
  • Discard any broken or open mussels, or will not close when tapped together.
Picture from the NY Times

Important: Do not suffocate mussels by sealing them in a plastic bag or airtight container. Never keep mussels in a bowl with melting ice. NEVER eat a mussel whose shell is unopened AFTER cooking.

Serving Suggestions

Generally, ½ to 3/4 lb per person is served as an appetizer, and 1 ½ pound would be the main course for 1 person

Steaming Mussels

  1. Just before cooking them in the shell, mussels should be scrubbed under cold water.
  2. Place one to two inches of water, wine or a combination of these, and steam over high heat about five to seven minutes until shells open widely.
  3. For extra flavor add a dash of wine, garlic/and or butter.
  4. Discard any that do not open.
  5. Squeeze lemon juice over mussels and serve with melted butter for dipping.

Check our Mussels Buying Tips.


  1. Wonderful site you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get advice from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Bless you!

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