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Often overlooked because of the intimidating thought of smoking them yourself, Smoked Oysters make a great appetizer, snack, or addition to a meal. With the options of tossing them in pasta, in a vignette, or simply served in the shell, Smoked Oysters are versatile and seriously tasty.
Don’t be put off by the idea of smoking oysters. Smoking fresh oysters in smaller batches is a completely different experience than eating industrial smoked or canned oysters. They are juicy, delicate, and the flavor is just barely smoky. In less than an hour you can have a delicious delicacy that can make dinner unique and fun.
Smoked Oysters Ingredients
Check the Smoked Oyster recipe card for the complete list of ingredients. The following is just an overview.
- Fresh Oysters – You’ll need two dozen of them to serve about six people. Don’t get anything other than fresh for this recipe. Trust me.
- Unsalted Butter – Oysters are already salty enough, so unsalted butter is essential. Since oysters pump salt water through themselves like it’s their job, they take on the salinity of the water around them.
- Garlic – in case you didn’t know, everything’s better with garlic. Lots and lots of garlic.
How to cook Smoked Oysters
Start by preheating your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. While that heats up, melt the butter in a microwave-safe dish. Then mix the minced garlic into the melted butter.
Next, shuck the oyster, reserving as much of the liquid as you can. Put the shucked oysters on a wire rack and add a tablespoon of the garlic and butter mixture into each oyster.
Place the oyster laden wire racks into the smoker and smoke them until they are firm and have the correct texture. Be sure to serve them fresh from the smoker.
Is This Oyster Fresh?
How can you tell if an oyster is fresh? Here are a few things to check:
- The oysters should be tightly closed. The muscle works hard to keep that shell together, so if it isn’t shucked, it should be locked up tight. Otherwise it is likely dead. Dead oysters aren’t fresh.
- Live oysters don’t smell bad. They should smell like the sea, not fishy or gross.
- Once shucked, the inside should be moist and have lots of seawater and oyster liquor.
- Poke it with a fork. Live oysters should move. So if you are uncertain, give it a good prod and see what happens.
How to Shuck an Oyster
In simple terms, shucking an oyster means removing the oyster from the shell. It’s the process of using careful knife work to get the meat out to eat or cook.
- First grab the oyster with a tea towel on the rounded end and hold on tight.
- Using a shucking knife (consider one with a safeguard, if you’re a newbie), put the tip of the knife at the base of the hinge.
- Use a bit of pressure and slightly twist the knife, then once you have the tip inserted into the hinge, cease using pressure and twist the knife or use the leverage you created to pry the hinge apart.
- Then slide your knife under the top shell to release the oyster. Now you can remove the shell, taking care not to spill the liquid. It may take a bit of practice, but it will get easier.
Smoked Oysters are something delicious and worth making a part of your cooking rotation. If this is your first time trying oysters, then you’ve picked an awesome recipe to get started.
- 24 ea fresh oysters in the shell
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- Set up your smoker for 225°F and preheat.
- Melt butter in a microwave-safe dish and mix in the minced garlic.
- Shuck the Oysters and reserve as much of the liquid as possible.
- Transfer the shucked Oysters to a wire rack and spoon a tablespoon of the butter and garlic mixture into each oyster
- Add the wire racks with the oysters to the smoker and smoke for 30-40 minutes or until they are firm and have the desired texture.
- Serve fresh from the smoker.