I love oysters. But I almost never have them at home. It’s just too much work opening the shells, and I’ve sliced up my fingers multiple times trying to replicate the process that the experts at the oyster bar make look easy.
During a recent trip to Maine, my father-in-law shared his recipe for grilled oysters. He’s lucky enough to live on coastal Maine and has found a spot where he can dig his own oysters just down the road from his house, so we had plenty to work with. But even better, this technique takes most of the work out of opening the shell!
These grilled oysters are delicious, easy, and are best eaten piping hot from the grill, with a side of bread to soak up the delicious sauce!
- 16 fresh oysters oysters
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 dash of Tabasco (or similar) hot sauce
- Add butter and oil to pan
- Heat over medium heat until butter is melted
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant
- Remove from heat
- Add lemon juice, hot sauce and herbs.
- Heat outdoor gas grill to medium heat
- Place unopened oysters on grill, being careful not to overcrowd them
- Grill oysters until they begin to open
- As soon as each oyster begins to open, remove from grill and use an oyster knife to finish prying the shell completely apart into two sections (this should be much more easily accomplished now with them partly open). Use a glove to kitchen glove to hold the shells, as they can be quite hot.
- Use knife to separate the oyster meat from the shell – set aside oyster meat in a bowl.
- Set aside the “top” of the oyster shell – the bottom, where the oyster meat is connected to the shell tend to be flatter, while the top is more concave, forming a shallow “bowl” when placed upside down.
- Discard any unopened oysters
- For the final grilling, lay out the tops of the shell on a cookie sheet, and place an oyster in each one.
- Disperse half of the oyster sauce onto the oysters
- Carefully transfer the shells back to the grill on high heat, making sure not to spill the sauce.
- Add remainder of sauce
- Don't be afraid of flame ups – this will help char the outside of the shells and add the smokey flavor.
- When sauce is bubbling in the shells, remove from grill.
- Serve immediately, with a side of bread for dipping.
We were lucky to enjoy the oysters along with a few other seafood dishes in an amazing “gifts of the sea” dinner. Our meal also included some mini lobster rolls alongside my mother-in-law’s fantastic seafood chowder.
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If you happen to be traveling to New England and are looking for a premiere fly or light tackle fishing experience, our oyster chef, Captain Doug Jowett, can arrange that too!