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Best Ways to Cook Oysters in the Shell

Best Ways to Cook Oysters in the Shell

Last Updated on 10th March 2022 by Pauline

People who like to eat their oysters while they are still in the shell are sometimes referred to as oyster purists. They like the look of the shell along with the oyster meat, and it’s kind of quaint to have the shell as a serving dish for the meat.

I definitely understand the attraction and the authenticity that comes from eating oyster straight from the shell. For those who like that sort of thing, I am sharing how to cook oysters in the shell, so you can keep the two parts together and serve them as one.

How to Cook Oysters in the Shell in the Oven

Oven roasting the oysters is not just one of the best ways to have them, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to prepare this seafood. Just preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and then arrange the oysters onto a baking sheet.

You want to make sure the oysters are spaced out and have enough room to cook. If the shells are touching, that’s fine, but you don’t want any overlap.

Allow the oysters to cook for 10 minutes. You can cook up to two dozen oysters like this at one time. Depending on the size of your baking sheets in your oven, you may have to spread them across two racks in the oven. Aim for the center of the oven as much as possible when you’re trying to choose a rack to cook them on.

Pour some melted garlic butter on all the oysters, garnishing with a little parsley. That’s all the flavoring you need to make soft, delectable oysters straight from the oven. This method for how to cook oysters in the shell is about as simple as it could be, and after the 10-minute cooking time, the oysters should open up easily, making it simple to pour your butter sauce over them.

How to cook frozen oysters in the shell in the oven? Try using the broiling method. If you have a broiler available, heat it up and then open the shells and pour in melted butter, lemon zest, a chopped herb selection (like parsley, tarragon, and chervil, for example) and toasted bread crumbs.

Spread all your toppings and melted butter evenly over the oysters and then cook for four minutes in the half shell. They should be placed onto a baking sheet and cooked until the breadcrumbs start to brown.

How to Cook Oysters in the Shell on the Stove

Let’s talk about cooking oysters on the stovetop now. There are tons of different ways you can cook oysters, and you’ll probably just want to use whatever is most convenient for you. There are certain advantages to using one method over another.

Each cooking method cooks the oysters in such a way to create unique characteristics in the finished dish. You may have a preference based on how the oysters taste from one cooking method to another.

So, how to cook fresh oysters in the shell on your stovetop? Try boiling the oysters in a steamer, if you have one available. The steamer is a great kitchen tool to use for shellfish because it cooks through the shell to heat the meat thoroughly.

Start by preparing your oysters by getting rid of any dead ones, which would have open shells, as well as any broken shell oysters. Scrub off the rest of the oysters using cold running water.

You want to make sure you’re getting rid of the barnacles, and you may need a paring knife to do that. Be careful about using a knife that’s too sharp, though, as it may damage the shell.

When the oysters are prepared, you can put them into a steamer with the water already heated up to boiling. Cover the steamer and cook for about 6 minutes. Take out the oysters when they start to open and get rid of any oysters that did not open after 6 to 8 minutes.

You may have to cook your oysters in batches if they take up too much space in the steamer. To add a little flavor, serve the oysters in the shell with butter. This method for how to cook live oysters in the shell is the quickest and simplest stovetop option.

How to Cook Oysters in the Shell on the Grill

I want to leave you with one final method for cooking oysters without taking them out of the shell. You can use the grill for this, and, once again, it’s a pretty simple method.

How do you cook oysters in the shell using the grill?

Preheat the grill to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and then place the oysters directly on the grill with the shell side touching the great. If you want to place them on a baking sheet instead, you can do that, but remember to keep the shell side down.

The oysters will need to cook for about 5 minutes, and you can season them while they’re cooking, adding chopped herbs and butter. You don’t have to melt the butter first, as it will melt on the oysters as they cook on the grill. The oysters are done cooking when they start to simmer inside their shells.

You can serve them with other seafood, with some crackers, garlic bread, or pasta. You could also make a mostly grilled meal, pairing them with grilled chicken, steak kebobs, or grilled vegetables.
Oysters cook quickly and easily no matter which method you’re using, so be careful about letting them cook for very long.

Now you know how to cook fresh oysters in the shell in a few different ways. I’ve covered cooking on the grill, steaming and baking in the oven, and boiling on the stovetop. I’ve given you just really simple methods to start with, and you can do something more complex if you like.

These are just great starter ideas to get you going so you know how to cook oysters in the shell no matter what your cooking setup is.

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