How to Cook Mussels in the Shell

You don't need to be a chef to cook mussels properly. Cooks prepare and cook mussels in their shells. Mussels require little cooking time. The liquid you steam the mussels in alters the flavour. For example, if you steamed the mussels in a white wine, the meat absorbs some of the wine flavour. You can add seasonings to the liquid, also. Sprinkling garlic powder in water will give the mussels a slight, non-overpowering flavour.

Turn on a faucet. Hold the mussel under the water at a slight downward angle.

Scrub the shell of the mussel for 20 seconds to take off the dirt, growths and other debris. Remove it from the water.

Dunk the mussel inside a bucket of salt water two or three times.This safely rinses out the grit inside of the mussel.

Pour one cup of white wine or two cups of water inside of a saucepan. Place the saucepan on a stove burner and turn the burner to medium-high heat. Add in 1 tsp.of any seasonings if you use water.

Set the strainer on top of the saucepan. Place the mussels inside of the strainer.

Remove the strainer from the saucepan after the shells crack open.

Open the shells. Serve the mussels inside of the shells. If desired, you can add seasonings to the meat and bake them for an additional three to five minutes at 177 degrees Celsius.


Do not allow freshwater to enter the shell of the mussel during cleaning.

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan
  • White wine or water
  • Seasonings
  • Strainer
  • Saltwater
  • Bucket
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About the Author

Racheal Ambrose started writing professionally in 2007. She has worked for the minority publishing company Elite Media Group Inc., Ball Bearings online magazine, "Ball State Daily News" and "The Herald Bulletin." Her articles focus on minority and women's issues, children, crafts, housekeeping and green living. Ambrose holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ball State University.