I have got some steamed Spanish octopus in the freezer that I'm going to grill and serve as an appetizer. From testing with a pairing knife it seems quite chewy.

I've had success in the past with fresh octopus after boiling for 90 minutes or so. I've also tried grilling pre-cooked frozen octopus and it was chewy. Everything I've read at this point is about preparing fresh but I'm not sure how to apply this to the pre-steamed stuff I have.

I don't know if I should I cook it some more or if I should I tenderize it some how (is massaging it after steaming a thing?)

What can I do at this stage to serve tender octopus?


  • Beats me. The steaming is supposed to keep it from getting chewy.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 22:52

1 Answer 1


I've never tried this myself, but everything I've read [from trustworthy sources] says the longer you cook it, the softer it gets, like braising steak etc. High collagen = long cook.

From that I'd extrapolate that if it's not tender enough after the pre-cook, then boiling it some more would help; before finally grilling it.

Serious eats [though they are discussing fresh not pre-cooked] say that no amount of hammering makes any difference. They also suggest chilling between boiling & searing.

If you've time, I'd test a bit first, see how much extra boiling it needs.

  • 1
    I tried this and it worked. I boiled for an extra 45-60 minutes until knife tender before a quick grill and it came out tender and crispy. My only regret was boiling over steaming, the skin lost some integrity an parts of it fell off. Commented May 28, 2023 at 18:12

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