grilled oysters

April 13, 2015 § 48 Comments


We picked up a dozen Penn Cove oysters the other day and they were beauties. We are very fortunate to live here in the Pacific Northwest where fish and shellfish are fresh and abundant.  I found this little bit of information on the online oyster guide. “Beach-cultured in Samish Bay, then hung in the deep waters of Whidbey Island’s Penn Cove to purge, Penn Cove Oysters are one of the quintessential Northwest oysters, eternally popular. They always have a nice size—four inches or so—gray-green shells, and the crunchy freshness of a salted cucumber.”  What’s not to love?


We placed our oysters cup side down on the hot grill.  In approximately 5 minutes they began to open up and we topped them with a tiny dollop of herbed butter.


Recipes from Bon Appetit Magazine

Knowing a whole stick of herb butter was going to be too much for the three of us I reduced the Bon Appetit recipe by half and made a few other changes:

h e r b    b u t t e r

  • 1/2 cup fresh herb leaves (such as flat-leaf parsley & chives)
  • garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick)  unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt, freshly ground pepper

o y s t e r s

Prepare a grill for medium-high heat. Scrub oysters. Place, cupped side down, on grate, cover grill, and grill until oysters begin to open, about 5 minutes. Transfer opened oysters to a platter (discard any that do not open). Let cool slightly, then use an oyster knife or screwdriver (we just used a fork) to pry shells open, keeping cupped side down and retaining as much liquid as possible. Using an oyster knife or paring knife (we just used a fork), cut muscles connecting oysters to shells. Serve warm with butter, lemon wedges, and hot sauce.


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§ 48 Responses to grilled oysters

  • Valerie says:

    I rarely make New Year’s resolutions, but I do tend to make resolutions before summer hits, and I was just telling my husband that my resolution this year is to eat more grilled oysters! Ha! Very serendipitous!

    • That’s a very fine resolution. :) This was the first time I had oysters grilled and actually hesitated before eating one because I don’t really care for raw oysters. Much prefer them grilled.

  • Yummy but I am coastal boy and always had seafood on the table.

  • Must say the oysters look wonderful with that delicious herb butter. Love that you grilled them. I will admit only once have I had an oyster would love to try them grilled.

  • Conor Bofin says:

    Lovely. I don’t eat enough of them.

  • Wow, I’ve never had them grilled. Only raw, as in freshly shucked – I just don’t get the appeal. :) I’d definitely try them grilled. Got to ask, what’s their texture like (whey grilled)? I guess that’s why I don’t get the idea of shucking them, as you don’t really eat them. Hah, some would call me a pleb!

    • Ha! I prefer them grilled. The texture is more like muscle and they’re a bit chewy. Grilling was an interesting process. They started spurting water out once they opened and that’s how we knew they were done. I’d say you are probably far from a pleb just knowing what you cook. Bought the cremini mushrooms yesterday and I’m going to make a soup!

  • ladyredspecs says:

    I’m the odd one out, I adore freshly shucked oysters straight from the shell, no intervention at all. I like the idea of grilling them in the closed shell so they steam, do they stay soft and creamy? I don’t get the idea of adding bacon etc, it just overwhelms the oyster so your herb butter really appeals

    • That’s exactly what they do! They steam. Creamy is a good way to describe them. They do get slightly chewy, not unpleasant, sort of like a steam clam or mussel. Can’t imagine adding bacon! I really enjoy the salty sea water which stays in the shell if you open them carefully. They’re wonderful Sandra, do try grilling them if you get the opportunity.

  • Have to admit that I detested the first ever oyster I tried and have refused to try them again since… pathetic, I know! I really must be strong and give them another go one of these days. Your herb butter sounds like the perfect way of dressing them though Seana and I can imagine many other uses for it on all manner of grilled meat/fish. :)

    • Ha! Well, years ago I really enjoyed them and had no problem eating them. Not anymore. I tried eating a few years back and had a real hard time swallowing it. It was requested we throw some on the grill on Easter, so I bought them knowing there was no way I was going to eat even one. I was talked in to it and I actually really liked it! And yes! especially with the herb butter. So, if you do ever give them another go try grilling them! :) Thanks Margot!

  • Seana, I always eat my oysters with a drizzle of lemon. Your version looks very tempting with the herb butter :)

  • What a great way to prepare oysters!

  • This looks divine;The color is so vibrant and lovely!

  • Wow these look so delicious!

  • These looks delicious. I never grilled oysters before but will defiantly try now! Herb butter sounds so yummy:)

  • Feast Wisely says:

    The herb butter looks just as good as the oysters!

  • Oh – so wonderful. Your oysters look amazing and I agree – would only eat them grilled. Love the whole Whidbey Island thing – would move there in a second and you could visit on weekends…. xo

    • And on all holidays! Hi Lindy! So good to hear from you. So interested in hearing how things are going. Aww, and yes, Whidbey Island is breathtaking. We have good friends who just bought a house on the Sound right across from Whidbey Island. Their A frame house is so wonderfully quaint and charming. I’d spend every Saturday there if I could. Thank you for stopping in and saying hi today. Last I checked in you hadn’t posted in awhile. Life is busy. xx

  • AnotherDish says:

    Oh man this looks good!

  • Oh my, I just LOVE barbecued fresh-caught oysters. Of course we get them off the coast of Oregon when we go to our coastal river property off the Siletz river. My favorite way to cook oysters is to BBQ first (of course!) then we top with melted butter mixed with garlic and lemon then add a dash of Tabasco sauce! I like the fresh herb version of the topping though, I should try that! (But I always like spicy, I’d probably add Tabasco sauce though anyways. ;) )

    • Your butter sounds delicious too! The Bon Appetit article suggested using hot sauce. I brought the Tapatio out but we didn’t end up using it. Next time I’ll try Tabasco with your butter mix. I think I’ll pick some up this weekend. It always so nice to hear from you!

  • Gorgeous, now I can’t think about anything else – I really should grill some oysters. Nicole

    • Can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about going back to the market and pick up not one dozen but two. Really was a perfect appetizer for Easter dinner. It was great fun standing around the grill eating oysters!

  • Dear good lord yes. I am getting really hungry today… that post has nearly tipped me over the edge… those things looks damn tasty :)

  • Cecilia says:

    I’m not really an oyster fan, but this recipe I think I would try. Sounds great. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Cecilia. I’m with you, not a fan of oysters until I tried them grilled. Can’t stomach them raw, but these were fantastic. If you get the opportunity don’t pass up a grilled oyster! :)

  • Ohhh wow. I love oysters. I probably would have eaten these raw. I’m not sure I’ve had a grilled one, but I love the idea and i love the herb blend! I also like your utensil lithograph on your site now. So pretty too. What a great treat that you get to live where all the good food stuff is happening in the pacific northwest! Loving all your recent posts. xo

  • loscaters says:

    The first time I liked oysters was at Tamara’s rehearsal dinner! So different than the rubbery ones I’d had before. Fortunately we moved to Boston (the next day!) and I’ve been lucky enough to have super fresh and delicious oysters here too :) These sound absolutely amazing, I love the abundance of fresh herbs. I’ve never prepared them myself… if I do I will refer back to this!

    Hope you’re well.

    • I was so happy when I saw your comment! I remember those oysters. They were good! If you get ahold of a bunch definitely try them bbq’d. There great. Hope you are good too A! And, your dear girls…

  • I’ve still never had grilled oysters — they seem like such an ambitious thing to pull off oneself, at home — but just recently I’ve had at least three conversations with three different people who love them! So I’m thinking it’s time for me to give them a try… at least at a restaurant for starters!

    • You would be surprised how easy to grill them. You really don’t have to do anything at all. Just scrub the outside and put them cup side down on the grill. They open themselves up and voila! Done in 5 minutes. I have to admit, I was nervous before grilling them. I didn’t know what to expect. :) Thanks for visiting! Nice to see you back.

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