I love oysters. I’m not afraid to admit it. I enjoy them raw, but I’m especially fond of grilled oysters. I remember the first grilled oysters I ever had. I couldn’t get enough of them. I literally at 30 all by myself. My passion for grilled oysters hasn’t died since. Anytime I can get my hands on them — I do. The best part is: you can make grilled oysters tonight, and it’s fun and easy!
All you really need for grilled oysters is a barbecue, oysters and an oyster shucker. Yup, it’s that simple. My friend Kyle (who I look at as the master of grilled oysters) advises against using a really nice grill for grilling oysters. Apparently, the salt water can damage your grill, so he suggests using an older grill or a cheaper hibachi instead. Unless you’re grilling oysters every night, I can’t imagine there being a problem with using your normal/nice grill. But, I just wanted to give fair warning.
Here’s how it works:
In the world of oysters, they always tell you the smaller the better, but I suggest using the larger Pacific oysters for grilling. The oysters tend to shrink when they’re grilled, so a gerthy oyster works best.
Kyle and I typically trek the beach behind his house when the tide is down to find a few oysters (nothing beats free oysters), but you can also simply buy oysters at your local market, which is probably easier said than done when you live away from a coastal city. However you need to get your hands on oysters — do it.
After you have your oysters — fire up the grill. I suggest using medium to high heat. Place the full oysters (shell and all) directly on the grill grates. Close the grill and let the oysters cook. Once they open up a little, that means they’re ready to rock.
NOTE: I recommend using sturdy yard gloves or an oven mitt for this next step, because the oysters are hot (and the juices inside are even hotter). Plus, you’re protecting yourself from an arrant shucker.
Take the opened oyster off the grill and use the oyster shucker to remove half the shell (simply slide the point of the shucker into the back of the oyster and twist — it should come off easily). Try to keep those juices in with the oyster while you’re shucking. They’re full of flavor, so you want to keep them around as much as possible.
You can choose to slug the oyster right off the grill (I highly suggest letting it cool a little bit first), or you can have a little fun with it (this is my favorite part). Feel free to top grilled oysters with anything you want. I’ve used soy sauce, cocktail sauce (usually mixed with a little horseradish for some kick), lemon juice, Tabasco sauce — the list goes on and on. You can honestly use anything. There are some really “classy” grilled oyster recipes available (with all sorts of herbs, cheeses and butters), but I personally like my grilled oysters simple (because I actually enjoy tasting the oyster).
NOTE: This next part fits into that ‘Incredible Grilled Oysters Recipe’ title that I have for this post.
Kyle (again, the master of grilled oysters) enjoys using Tiger Sauce and Parmesan cheese (the shredded stuff; not the powder you put on pizza). Once he peels off half the shell, he coats the oyster in Tiger Sauce and Parmesan and then places it back on the grill. He lets the oyster (now just on the half shell) heat long enough until the cheese melts, and then it’s time to take them down. Trust me, it’s an incredible grilled oysters recipe.
If you don’t have access to a grill, you don’t have to be left out. That’s because you can easily bake oysters in the oven. I usually wrap the inside of a long casserole dish with aluminum foil and place the oysters in the dish. I preheat the oven to 425 degrees and then let the oysters sit in there until they open. From my experience, it takes a little longer for oysters to open in the oven than it does on the grill. Just like on the grill, once the oysters open, they’re ready to be eaten.
I personally think everyone can enjoy grilled oysters. I’ve known plenty of people who won’t eat raw oysters (because of their texture), but they’ll eat a dozen grilled oysters in a sitting. That’s because the heat toughens the oysters up and takes away all of the raw oyster “slime” that many people don’t like.
Half of the fun of grilling oysters is the grilling part (at least the way we do it). We usually just gather around the barbecue, swill a few beers and eat the oysters as they come off the grill. There’s no plates, silverware or dinner table — you just grab the oysters, choose your ingredients and eat around the grill. Although shellfish is considered better in the colder months, grilling oysters is an awesome summertime activity (even though I’m all about grilling oysters year-round).
If you haven’t tried grilled oysters before — I suggest giving them a shot as soon as possible. If you’ve had raw oysters before, and you’re trying to find a new way to eat them – give the Tiger Sauce and Parmesan cheese recipe a try (you won’t regret it).
I’d love to hear what you think once you’ve tried grilled oysters (especially if you try to special recipe). I would also love to know how you choose to devour grilled oysters. You can simply share your recipe in the comment below, or you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out http://allaroundtim.com for more on the world of food, sports and travel!