I made some scallops last night sous vide and before I put them in the bag I rinsed each one carefully and didn't see anything on them. After cooking and searing I tried them and there was a little grit which for me ruins any scallop or clam dish.

What can I do to make sure I don't waste my time with gritty scallops?

  • 2
    Hi, I am afraid that this is one of the "we hate fun" instances. Witty titles are cool to read, but they are a real bust for usability - you cannot know what the question is about without clicking through to the body, it makes it difficult to find the question with a standard search, etc. So please stay earnest in titles, as boring as that is. I edited the title now, you can re-edit if I got it wrong.
    – rumtscho
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 14:51
  • On a separate note, cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/57134/… is probably very related.
    – rumtscho
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 14:52
  • @rumtscho - Whilst they are both in the shellfish family their habitats are different. Most mussels that get harvested around my area are taken off of floating or structures above the seabed. I know with clams and mussels you can let them spit overnight in a bucket with some corn meal and that usually does the trick of removing grit. Perhaps this is the same issue with scallops? The reason I didn't think that was the answer was because the scallops have been removed from their shells and it's just the main muscle left.
    – haakon.io
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 18:40
  • I don't know if it is the same issue, since I have never cooked neither of the two. You can try the suggestion there, or somebody with more experience will be able to address how sand in both is similar or different.
    – rumtscho
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 19:42
  • @rumtscho - The suggestion in the link you provided is to soak the live mussels. The scallops I bought are not in their shell and already dead so there isn't any way to let them spit by soaking.
    – haakon.io
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 19:44

1 Answer 1


The most direct solution is: Better sourcing.

There is huge quality variation in most seafood. For scallops in my case (Canada), I found two good options:

  • The top brand (large expensive ones) from the big chain, frozen
  • Fresh, local, scallops from the fish market I trust

The option that is never acceptable:

  • small, mixed size, affordable frozen ones.

Typically, I go straight from the thawed bag, to colander, to the searing pan and never got any grit. At worse, I needed to trim the hard part of the scallops.

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