Joined Mar 31, 2013
No luck cooking Octopus. One method I read says to quickly blanch then grill, but doesn't say how long to grill. Another recipe says to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes the baste with a marinade and do a quick grill. Just trying to achieve some tender octopus.....Thoughts? What do think is the best way? Mine came out tough, I did the simmer method. Not good. Tough...
Joined Dec 18, 2010
... a wine cork in the simmer water. Old wife’s trick.

If you simmered and it was tough... you needed to simmer longer.
Joined Jun 11, 2018
I haven't had a chance to work much with octopus myself, but from what I've read and heard,
-Fresh is best (Still alive, preferably.)
-Beat the living daylights out of it (tenderize it)
-Try a brine to see if you can break down the muscle (since octopodes have no bones, I imagine they are naturally tough)

Wish I had more of a chance to work with them so I could offer more than vague general advice. Most of the info I know came from this article, It's probably worth checking out.



Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
I've never had an octopus I would call tender. I've enjoyed eating them. Maybe tender is relative compared to how tough they can be?
Joined Sep 26, 2017
I've never had an octopus I would call tender. I've enjoyed eating them. Maybe tender is relative compared to how tough they can be?

Tender octopus is not a relative term. It really is tender tender.

The bite feels something like eating fresh mozzarella cheese I'd say.
Joined May 5, 2010
I worked for Greek owners and octopus was on the menu regularly. Beating them, the cork, blah, blah, blah...You're right they're all old wives tails.
To answer the OP you simply did not cook it enough. It should be fork tender. I marinaded in Balsamic vinegar then grill over a fire. Left the suckers on the tentacles, because they liked them that way.
Joined Jul 13, 2012
Just put your whole octopus in a heavy enamel dutch oven cover and simmer for an hour. You'll be amazed at how much liquid they give off - no need to add anything else till it's tender. I make it several times a year and after trying this way and that way I found this one from a Greek woman . . . and it works! Once it's tender you can do anything to it. I make a gravy/dip from the jus.
Joined Nov 5, 2007
I like octopus, the few times I've had it. I may check the various markets around town, try cooking one later this week.

Joined Apr 11, 2018
I've done a lot more eating of octopus than cooking of it. But I once did some smoked octopus poke following a recipe on Virtual Weber Bullet from two guys in Hawaii.

They had a step to both "deslime" and tenderize the octopus. It's repeated cycles of salting it, either beating it or massaging it by hand, rest, rinse, and repeat until the sliminess is gone. You have to be careful or it'll get too salty; rinse thoroughly and maybe soak it in water a bit afterwards to remove more salt.

Part of the poke recipe included "Inamona" which is roasted kukui nuts ground into a paste. I had no access to kukui nuts so I substituted macadamia nuts to make the paste and that was quite tasty.

Here's the link:
Joined Apr 11, 2018
OK that made me go dig up some old pics...

Before doing anything to them...


Deslimed, tenderized, marinated. Poke seasoning mixture to the left.


On the smoker...


And off, about an hour later. As mentioned, they have a lot of moisture, really shrink.


Finished poke.

Joined Apr 11, 2018
That right there looks delicious - I'll have to try this one.

It was but it was also too salty. If you try it I have to repeat my suggestion to give it an extra clean water soak after the desliming to get more salt out. I would also reduce or eliminate the salt in the marinade.
Joined Apr 25, 2011
I agree with most posts above. It’s all about time in the braise. I am a big fan of the Galicían dish “Pulpo a la Gallega”

I have many great stories surrounding this dish.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
As a Greek cook I concur with mike9 mike9 , do exactly as he says. Dutch oven, no water added. You can of course add other stuff like garlic, shallot, spices and herbs, but no water. Summer in it’s own juices for an hour or more - you should be able to pierce it with a knife like butter. It will be tender but it won’t fall apart. I suggest doing this the day before and allowing it to get cold. The next day you throw it on the hot grill until it is warm and charred, it only needs a minute. Dress it with olive pile, lemon juice, and a touch of balsamic. And don’t get rid of the slime and suckers, they add such a nice and unusual texture to the firm meat.
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