grilled oysters

Ready to expand your culinary repertoire? Oysters don’t have to be eaten raw. Farmed oysters (what you’ll most likely find when you’re shopping at the grocery store) are rated Best Choice for environmental sustainability, and they’re delicious grilled! Try this simple recipe from esteemed chef and long-time supporter of sustainable seafood John Ash and renowned West Coast farm Hog Island Oyster Company from their new cookbook, The Hog Island Book of Fish & Seafood.

Here’s the recipe:

Makes 12 oysters; serves 4

For grilled oysters, choose larger ones, and cook them on a charcoal or gas grill over direct heat. The simplest method is to place unopened oysters on the grill grate and let the heat from the grill pop them open, then add the sauce or butter when serving. An alternate method is to use shucked oysters on the half shell, add a little sauce or butter to each oyster, and then grill.

You’ll need:
12 very fresh raw large oysters
Your favorite sauce or compound butter

Prepare medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium-high.

To grill the oysters unopened, set them cupped side down (to preserve the liquor — the liquid inside the oyster) on the grill grate. Cover the grill and cook until the shells pop open and the meat is slightly opaque. This will take about 5 minutes for smaller oysters and a couple more minutes for larger ones. Note that most grilled oysters will only slightly open their shells.

Using tongs or a grill mitt, carefully remove the hot oysters from the grill. Using an oyster knife, carefully remove the top shells (they will be very hot) and run the knife along the inside of the bottom shell to loosen the oyster from the shell. Top with the sauce or butter and heat through.

Alternatively, start with shucked oysters on the half shell, top with a sauce or compound butter, and place on the grill. Wait for the sauce to start bubbling or the butter to melt. Let the oysters sizzle for about 1 minute.

Remove from the grill, let cool slightly so you don’t burn your mouth, and enjoy!