Whether you are looking for a quick snack of protein or a luxurious appetizer, Smoked Oysters deliver flavor and taste in every bite. Serve them on the half shell for an impressive presentation or incorporate them into your favorite dishes. These oysters will be the star of the show and take any meal to the next level.
I love fresh oysters. I love the versatile range of flavors that you can get from all the different types. My favorite way to enjoy a fresh oyster is raw, on the shell with a small dap of horseradish to add some heat. But I love looking for unique ways to prepare food and find new and delicious flavor combinations that we might not intuitively think of. This is my effort towards great new flavors and a bold new bite.
Ingredients for Smoked Oysters
Oysters - You want at least a dozen whole oysters. I chose six of two different types. Wiley Petites, from Damariscotta River in Maine. These are very briny with a light texture. I also had six Beau Soleils, from Prince Edward Island in Canada. These are slightly less briny with a sweet finish.
Sauce for serving - If desired. These are delicious right off the smoker. You don't need to do much to them. If you do want to compliment the brine, a beautifully simple and delicious sauce of olive oil and honey highlights and complements the flavor and texture of the smoked oysters.
Smoked Oysters Recipe
You don't need to brine these guys. They have been brined sitting in their own juices.
Step One: Shuck the oysters carefully with a shucking knife. Be sure to loosen the entire oyster from the shell before pulling it out. Oysters are very fragile and will tear easily. Handling them as little as possible with help keep them intact. Shuck each oyster and place the shucked oysters on a cutting board or tray. Be sure that any shell particles are free from the oyster. If you plan to serve them on their shell, set the deep-sided shells to the side for later.
Preheat your smoker to 200ºF. We want to cook these as low and slow as we can so that they acquire a beautiful smoke flavor. There is a careful balance to watch here, we don't want to cook them too fast, but we also don't want to turn them into oyster jerky either. We will have to keep close attention to the oyster as they cook. If you are using a pellet grill, this is easy to accomplish, if you are using charcoal or other vertical smokers, you want to make sure there is no chance of direct heat. If so, these will cook too fast. I recommend cherry wood chips or pellets.
Step Two: If you are like me, you have lost a victim or two of either veggies, shrimp, or other small foods through the grill grate. These oysters will slide right through. To avoid this, we want to use either a grilling basket with small holes or a wire rack to place on the smoker rack. This will allow the smoke to still envelop the oysters without losing them into the fiery depths below. Place the rack or basket of oysters onto the smoker grate and close the lid. We will let this smoke at 200°F for about an hour or until the outside of the oyster gets browned and they become slightly firm.
Serve the Oysters
If you plan to serve the smoked oysters in the shell, you need to clean and prepare the shell. I like to place the shells in a large bowl and fill the bowl with boiling water. Let it sit for one minute. The heat, cooks and kills off any bacteria and also helps to loosen any sand from the outer shell. Rinse the shells and let them set aside to cool off.
Step Three: Once the oysters are done, they are ready to eat. They are a tasty snack as finished, but can also be presented and prepared in so many ways.
Sauce to serve with Smoked Oysters
Combine equal parts of honey and extra virgin olive oil. In a small food processor, emulsify them together. Use salt and black pepper and season to taste. Lightly drizzle the sauce over the smoked oysters that have been set on the bottom shell and serve.
Spicy - For some heat add hot sauce or crushed red chili pepper.
Sweet - Sub in brown sugar for the honey in the sauce.
Garnish - For a pop of color garnish with some parsley or basil.
How do you eat Smoked Oysters?
Half Shell - Elegantly serve the smoked oysters on the half shell with a flavorful sauce that compliments them.
Pasta - Toss them in angel hair with butter, black pepper, and sea salt for a beautiful pasta dish.
Pizza - Serve them as a topping on pizza with garlic oil and some sauteed spinach.
Toast - Serve them on a grilled crostini with a schmear of horseradish.
Soup - Use the smoke oysters to add more flavor to seafood chowders or stews.
Oysters are a luxurious ingredient and an easy way to level up any meal to make it a special occasion. Here are a couple of other recipes that can make a meal into a special occasion.
- 6 beau soleils oysters
- 6 wiley petites oysters
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon honey
- salt & pepper to taste
- Shuck oysters and reserve the deep side of the shell.
- Preheat smoker to 200.
- Place oysters on a wire rack so they don't fall through the racks on the grill. A cooling rack works well.
- Smoke for 1 hour.
- In a small food processor emulsify olive oil and honey.
- Place smoked oysters back on the clean half shell. Drizzle sauce over them.