Summer is heating up and now is the perfect time to fire up the grill for some freshly cooked oysters. Of course, farm-raised oysters like White Stone Oysters are ‘in-season’ year-round, and learning how to grill them to perfection will make them a must-have at your next cookout. Use these tips and become a pro a grilling oysters.
The main trick to grilling oysters is cooking temperature. If you grill too long, they’ll dry out, too short and they’ll be underdone. Cooking for the right time is critical to hitting the flavor sweet spot.
Step one to grilling oysters is shucking them. Take a look at our Oyster Shucking 101 to learn how to shuck an oyster perfectly every time.
Tools You’ll Need
- Shucking Knife
- Shucking Gloves
- Long-handled tongs to help move and turn the oysters
- Ladle for adding sauce, butter, or other toppings
- Heatproof tray to handle oysters off the grill
- Thermometer to measure grill heat
You’ll want to cook your oysters over direct heat on a super hot grill. We recommend preheating your grill to somewhere between 500 and 600 degrees.
If you’re using a charcoal grill, use a chimney starter and allow the coals to heat until white-hot, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cover the grill but leave the vents open to make the coals burn hotter. Once they’re reached temperature, cover the bottom of the grill with them evenly then add more coals until you have a deep bed of glowing coals. Use a thermometer to check the temperature.
How long you cook the oysters and how you sauce them will depend on the size of the oysters. Our oysters tend to be 1-2” with fairly thick shells and will need less time than a larger New Orleans style oyster for example.
First, shuck the oysters, but do not loosen them from the shell as you would if consuming raw. Next, place the oysters on the grill clockwise working from the rim to the center, putting the largest oysters in the center.
Add your sauce of choice immediately after arranging all of the oysters on the grill. They will immediately begin to sizzle.
Move the oysters as needed using the tongs to ensure they’re cooking evenly. When doing this, grip the edge of the shell for a more secure hold, as though you’re picking up a piece of paper rather than grabbing them on either side.
Watch your oysters closely. They will not all finish cooking at the same time. Once the oyster’s edges have darkened and the interior of the oyster is bubbling, it’s time to pull them off. If the oyster has shrunken completely, you waited too long and it’s time to try again.