Prepare Mussels

Rinse and soak the mussels. Do not soak in water for any period of time. Sort through them and throw out any that, if open, do not close upon being tapped. Check any suspiciously heavy ones; if the shells slide apart easily the mussels are probably filled with mud. Use a rough brush to scrub each mussel very well under cold running water. With the back of your knife force off any barnacles. Twist or cut off the beards, the short-to-long tuft of hairs (sometimes there's none). Rinse and toss mussels in cold water, five times. Keep the mussels cold until ready to use.