Oysters tend to generate extreme reactions of love or hate, with very little middle ground.
These bivalves are loaded with essential nutrients and reputed to boost libido, although no scientific evidence backs this claim up.
Typically consumed raw, you can also grill oysters at home if you’re looking to enjoy an alternative to oysters on the half shell without the hassle factor.
I. Grilling Oysters at Home The Easy Way
Before we show you how you can attempt raw oysters, a much more palatable alternative in the form of grilled oysters.
What You Need
- Fresh oysters (16)
- Butter (4 tbsp)
- Vegetable oil (4 tbsp)
- Large, finely chopped garlic gloves (3)
- Fresh lemon juice (1 ½ tsp)
- Italian seasoning ( ½ tsp)
- Dash of hot sauce
What To Do
- To make your sauce, add the oil and butter to a pan. Cook on medium heat until you melt the butter
- Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant
- Remove your pan from the heat
- Add the herbs, hot sauce, and lemon juice
- Next, heat an outdoor gas grill to medium heat
- Rinse your oysters in some cold water. Reject any with open shells, or shells that won’t stay closed when you squeeze them
- Pop your unopened oysters cupped side facing down on the grill. Be careful not to overlap and overcrowd them
- Cover your grill and begin grilling the oysters until they start opening. This should take 5 minutes for smaller oysters, and 7 or 8 minutes with bigger oysters
- Remove the oysters from the grill. Use an oyster knife to pry the shells apart into two sections. Now they are already partially open, this should be easy to achieve. Hold the shells with an oven mitt or tongs as they will be hot to the touch
- Separate the oyster meat from the shell using the knife, reserving the meat in a bowl
- Separate the top and bottom of the oyster shell
- Now comes the final grilling. Place the shell tops on a cookie sheet. These will serve as bowls. Pop an oyster inside each one
- Drizzle half the sauce over the oysters
- Carefully shift the oysters back onto the grill, this time using a high heat
- Add the rest of the sauce. When you see this is bubbling in the shells, remove everything from the grill and serve immediately with some artisan bread for dipping and champagne to wash them down with
II. How to Shuck Oysters Like a Pro
Maybe you have always been put off the idea of eating raw oysters, but then start grilling them at home and find you develop a taste for these lip-smacking mollusks.
How, then, can you shuck oysters the easy way?
Luckily, it’s not that hard if you know what to do.
- Make sure you have the right tools for the job
- Get to grips with oysters
- Gently tease open the oyster’s hinge
- Get rid of the top shell
- Set the oyster free from its bottom shell
- Serve and enjoy your oysters at their freshest
Make sure you have the right tools for the job
All you need to get started shucking oysters is:
- Shucking knife
- Kitchen towel
Avoid the temptation to use a paring knife. Dedicated oyster shucking knives come with thick, sturdy blades ideal for the purpose.
Get to grips with oysters
Oysters have a flat and a cupped side. When you’re shucking oysters, always ensure the flat side faces up. This allows the juices to stay inside the cupped side.
Fold up your towel into quarters and pop the oyster on the towel, flat side facing up.
Next, fold the towel over the oyster’s rounded edge, holding it in place with a glove on this hand.
Use your dominant hand to insert the tip of the knife right into the hinge of the oyster. You’ll find this where the two parts of the shell meet.
Gently tease open the oyster’s hinge
Ease the knife in and then twist it back and forth, gently rocking the knife at the same time.
Once the knife is an inch or so into the hinge, twist the knife to separate the cupped and flat sides of the oyster’s shell.
Get rid of the top shell
Run the knife inside the flat side of the shell to completely separate the halves of the oyster. Sever the connective muscle and remove the flat part of the shell.
Set the oyster free from its bottom shell
Next, you’ll need to cut the oyster free from the muscle attaching it to the bottom shell. Do this by scraping it with your knife until it’s completely separated. Hold the oyster as you do this to prevent the juices spilling.
Serve and enjoy your oysters at their freshest
Finally, transfer your oyster to a bed of crushed ice or another chilled area.
Drizzle some balsamic vinegar over your oysters and use a squeeze of lemon and serve.
III. Pro Tip: Roast Oysters in the Oven
If you want to widen you repertoire to include roast oysters as well as grilled and raw oysters, achieving this couldn’t be simpler.
Preheat your oven to high.
Preparation is key here, and you need to place your oysters on something to keep them stable. Try inserting a wire cooling rack inside a sheet pan. Alternatively, line a baking sheet with some coarse salt. This will help to steady the oysters.
Roast the oysters inside the super-hot oven up to the point where the top shell starts opening. Pull the top shell away by hand, using a butter knife if you need some extra leverage. By roasting oysters this way, the muscle will be released, and you won’t need to start digging around with your knife.
Once opened, the oyster should be mainly raw but slightly warm to the touch. It should be bathed in its own juices.
We hope to keep you entertained as well as helping you choose the best BBQ gear here at Hempen Hill. With any luck, today’s guide to grilling oysters at home should have given you some inspiration.
Also, when you’re ready to try eating raw oysters, you’ll also now be capable of shucking them like a pro.
As a final kicker, you’ll also now have a quick and easy recipe up your sleeve for roasted oysters, ideal for the next time you want to impress some guests.
Like with anything you cook up on the grill at home, the quality of the results on your plate is directly linked to the quality of the ingredients you buy. Don’t stint yourself here and buy the best and freshest oysters you can find for a true taste sensation.
Take a moment to bookmark our blog before you head off today and pop back soon. We have a very busy content calendar for the coming weeks, so don’t miss out.