This Is The Best Way To Store Fresh Mussels

Cooking at home can be therapeutic for people. The ability to experiment with all different types of flavors, seasonings, proteins, and grains can bring on a certain level of excitement. Due to the pandemic, more and more folks have been cooking at home and making dishes that they once used to order at restaurants — dishes like frittatas, churros, and more, per People.

No dish is unattainable, not even seafood dishes like steamed mussels. While late chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain might tell you cooking mussels at home is the only way to go, buying and storing them might seem somewhat daunting, as seafood is known to be more sensitive when compared to other proteins. That is why it is so important to know how to purchase things like mussels and how to store them to ensure that you have the best dish possible.

Gregory Gourdet, U.S. Ambassador for the Marine Stewardship Council and Top Chef All-Star alum, tells Mashed that folks need to avoid storing them in an airtight container at all costs, as "mussels are living things." But why is that?

Fresh mussels need space to breathe when stored, or else they spoil

It's important to know what to look for when buying mussels at your local seafood counter. Striped Spatula notes that mussels should be kept on ice, have nice wet, shiny shells, and should smell like briny seawater. Once you've decided how many mussels you'd like, make sure that transport from the supermarket to your humble abode is in an open-topped bag, as it is imperative that they be able to breathe (per Striped Spatula, tightly closed plastic bags could kill them and cause them to spoil quickly).

Once you're home, Gourdet suggests inspecting them thoroughly for any that aren't fully closed. If some are slightly open, the James Beard Award Nominee suggests lightly tapping them on your counter to see if they close. If not, throw 'em out. Now you're ready to store them, and The Spruce Eats suggests keeping them cold and wet but not submerged in water. You can either place them in a colander with a damp paper towel on top (make sure it doesn't dry out) or in the mussel-friendly bag you brought it in (via Striped Spatula and The Spruce Eats). Chef Gourdet notes mussels need to be cooked no more than two days after you've purchased them.