How to Cook Scallops: The Ultimate Guide

Learn the Secrets to Cooking Perfect Scallops Every Time

Greetings, seafood lovers! We know you’re here because you want to learn how to cook scallops like a pro. Look no further! In this article, we’ll show you the best way to cook scallops in various styles and methods. From pan-seared scallops to bacon-wrapped scallops, we’ve got you covered. With our guide, you’ll be able to create a delicious and mouthwatering meal that will impress your guests.


Scallops are a popular seafood delicacy that many people love, but few know how to cook them properly. These bivalves are sweet and tender when cooked correctly, but they can be rubbery and tasteless if not handled correctly. Cooking scallops is a delicate process that requires precision and attention to detail. In this section, we’ll cover the basics of scallops, including their varieties, nutritional value, and how to pick the best ones at the market.

1. What are Scallops?

Scallops are a type of bivalve mollusk that lives on the ocean floor. They have two beautiful shells and a tender muscle that is often used for food. Scallops are available worldwide but are especially popular in North America and Europe.

2. Varieties of Scallops

Scallops come in different sizes and varieties, but the most common ones are bay scallops, sea scallops, and calico scallops. Bay scallops are small and sweet, while sea scallops are bigger and have a meatier texture. Calico scallops are a mix of both and have a unique flavor.

3. Nutritional Value of Scallops

Scallops are low in fat and calories but are richer in proteins and vitamins. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for heart health. Scallops are also a great source of minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and zinc.

4. Picking the Best Scallops

When buying scallops, look for fresh ones that are plump and have a sweet, ocean smell. Avoid scallops with a fishy or ammonia-like odor, as they may be spoiled. Also, make sure they are not slimy or overly wet, as this may indicate they are not fresh.

How to Cook Scallops

1. Pan-Seared Scallops

Heat the pan with olive oil and butter until hot.
Rinse and pat the scallops dry with paper towels.
Season scallops with salt and pepper.
Sear the scallops in the hot pan for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.
Serve hot and enjoy!

2. Grilled Scallops

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
Rinse and pat the scallops dry with paper towels.
Brush scallops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Grill for 2-3 minutes per side until slightly charred.
Serve hot and enjoy!

Scallops Cooking Time and Temperature Table

Recipe Type Cooking Time Temperature
Pan-Seared Scallops 2-3 minutes per side Medium-High Heat
Grilled Scallops 2-3 minutes per side Medium-High Heat
Steamed Scallops 3-4 minutes High Heat
Boiled Scallops 2-3 minutes Boiling Water
Fried Scallops 2-3 minutes 375 degrees F
Baked Scallops 10-15 minutes 375 degrees F

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I eat the entire scallop?

Yes, you can eat the entire scallop, but the muscle is the most commonly consumed part.

2. How should I thaw frozen scallops?

You should thaw frozen scallops in the fridge overnight or in cold water for 30 minutes before cooking.

3. Should I remove the scallop’s roe before cooking?

It’s optional. The roe is edible, but it may affect the flavor and texture of the scallop.

4. How long do scallops last in the fridge?

Scallops will last for up to two days in the fridge if stored properly in an airtight container.

5. Do I need to rinse scallops before cooking?

Yes, you should rinse scallops under cold water to remove any sand or grit.

6. How do I know when scallops are cooked?

Scallops are cooked when they are opaque and slightly firm to the touch.

7. Can I cook scallops in the microwave?

It’s not recommended to cook scallops in the microwave as it may result in rubbery and overcooked scallops.

8. What wine pairs well with scallops?

Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio are great wine options to pair with scallops.

9. Can I freeze scallops?

Yes, you can freeze scallops for up to three months in an airtight container.

10. Can I use canned scallops for cooking?

It’s not recommended to use canned scallops for cooking as they may have a different texture and flavor compared to fresh scallops.

11. Can I use frozen scallops for cooking?

Yes, you can use frozen scallops for cooking, but make sure to thaw them properly before cooking.

12. How many scallops should I serve per person?

It’s recommended to serve three to four large scallops or six to eight small scallops per person.

13. What are some alternative ways to cook scallops?

You can also bake, steam, boil, or fry scallops.


In conclusion, cooking scallops is a simple and delicious process that requires patience and attention to detail. We hope this guide has taught you everything you need to know about cooking scallops perfectly every time. Experiment with different seasonings, sauces, and cooking methods to create your signature scallop dish. Don’t be afraid to add your personal touch to the recipe!

Now that you know how to cook scallops like a pro, it’s time to hit the kitchen and start cooking. Impress your friends and family with a delicious and mouthwatering scallop dish. Bon Appétit!

Closing Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only. We are not responsible for any injuries, illnesses, or damages that may result from following the instructions in this guide. Make sure to follow proper food handling and safety guidelines when cooking scallops.

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