Raw oysters are a delectable treat when they’re on the half-shell, but one major turn-off is having to shuck them, which can be quite a difficult task. Cooking oysters on the grill, on the other hand, eliminates the need for having to struggle with a knife, and the oysters develop a mild and deliciously smoky flavor from the grilling process.
If you also want to experience the pleasure of grilled oysters, follow the cooking instructions we have outlined in this article for the best results. Also, please take note of our suggestions, recommendations, and timing guidelines to ensure delicious aftermath.
Oysters Nutrition Facts
Tips for Cooking Oysters on the Grill
The following tips are necessary for cooking oysters on the grill, and they are helpful suggestions that help guarantee delicious results:
Necessary tools for the cooking process – A shucking knife will be needed for the shucking process, as well as thick gloves or a thick kitchen towel to grip the tough shells of the oysters. A long-handled spoon and long-handled tongs will also be needed to set the oysters atop the grill and coat them while they’re cooking.
To handle hot oysters straight from the flames of the grill, you’ll also need a heatproof tray. An oven/grill thermometer is also necessary to check if the fire is hot enough, that is, if your grill does not have any.
Setting up your grill – The oysters will be cooked in an extremely hot grill over direct fire. As such, you should do the following:
- Preheat your grill to between 500 and 600 degrees, just as you would with an oven.
- Set your gas grill to the same temperature if you’re using one, then wait for it to preheat.
- Use a fireplace starter for a charcoal grill. Fill the bottom chamber of the charcoal grill loosely with paper and twigs, if desired, then add charcoal briquettes to the top. Light the paper in multiple spots while holding the chimney upright. Remove the grill grate and gently place the chimney in the grill’s bottom. Heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the coals turn white-hot and get covered in ash.
- Cover the grill but leave the vents open to let in extra oxygen. The coals will burn hotter as a result of this.
- Spread the coals in the bottom part of the grill when they’re white-hot; then add additional coal pieces and cover them until you’ve got a deep bed of blazing coals covered in white ash.
- Position your palm to hover about 5 inches above the grate to check the temperature. After only about 2 to 3 seconds, you should be forced to pull your hand off the heat.
- On a single fire, you can cook five or six batches of oysters, but the oysters will start to take longer to sizzle and brown as the coals cool. If you’re going to grill a lot of oysters, work with another set of coals in your fireplace starter and add them into the grill as the first fire begins to cool down.
Oyster size affects the cooking time – The saucing and timing of your cooking will typically be affected by the oyster variety. Your oysters will cook faster and demand less sauce if they are smaller and have thinner shells.
Use long-handled, sturdy tongs to lay your oysters on the half-shell in a clockwise manner on the hot grill, starting from outside and working toward the center. Larger oysters with thicker shells should be placed toward the center, where the fire should be most intense.
Determining the doneness of oysters – It might be difficult to tell whether grilled oysters are done. The key is to keep a tight eye on them. The oysters will not be cooked all at once, and smaller oysters can be cooked in a few minutes. Larger oysters may take longer since their shells are thicker and deeper, allowing them to hold more liquid. Instead of timing the oysters, keep an eye out for clear signs that they’re done.
The oyster will begin to pull itself into a ball as it cooks. The oyster and sauce will soon begin to foam and sizzle as the edges of the shell brown. When the oyster’s interior is bubbling but not dry, remove it quickly with the long-handled tongs and place it on a heatproof tray.
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Cooking Time for Oysters on the Grill
Follow the timing guidelines in the table below when cooking oysters on a grill:
Cooking oysters on the grill
5 to 6 minutesPrint
Grilled Oysters (16 Servings)
- 16 whole live oysters
- Two cloves of garlic, finely minced
- Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Three tablespoons of unsalted butter
- One teaspoon of lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon of chili pepper flakes (you may substitute with dashes of Tabasco)
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- One tablespoon of finely minced parsley
- Over medium-low heat, heat a small-sized saucepan. Pour in the olive oil and butter once the pan is heated. Sauté the garlic for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Mix the chili flakes, salt, lemon juice, pepper, and parsley in a mixing bowl. Turn the heat off.
- If you can shuck oysters, here’s what you should do: Shuck the oysters and spoon a small amount of sauce into each one. Cover and cook the oysters on a really hot, prepared grill for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the edges of the oysters curl slightly.
- If you can’t shuck, place the oysters on a very hot, prepared grill, cut side up, cover, and cook them for 1 minute. The oysters should be somewhat open at this point. Remove the oysters very quickly.
- Hold an oyster in your oven mitt and pry it open using a shucking knife (you may also use a screwdriver if you can’t find a shucking knife). It ought to be simple to open.
- Return the oysters to the grill after spooning sauce into each one. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on the grill.
If you’d like more recipe variations, or you want to explore more ideas with grilled oyster recipes, then check out this video recipe.
This recipe for grilled oysters yields such delicious and flavorful oysters that your guests may not be able to help ask for extra servings.