There's an old saying that goes, "The world is your oyster." And what better way to enjoy this world than with a delectable oyster recipe, cooked on a hot grill, doused in garlic butter? Oysters have always been a delicacy, and How to Cook Oysters on the Grill with Garlic Butter method of grilling them brings out their natural, briny flavor while adding the savory richness of garlic butter.
WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT THIS RECIPE?
When it comes to oyster recipes, the combination of fresh oysters, garlic butter, and the smoky touch from the grill is unparalleled. While many indulge in raw oysters, there's something comforting and warming about chargrilled oysters. The butter mixture seeps into the oyster meat, resulting in a burst of flavors with each bite. And trust me, the outcome is so good, you'll find it hard to stop at just one.
IS THIS RECIPE BUDGET-FRIENDLY?
While this grilled oyster recipe falls under the "splurge" category on ohthatsgood.com, the luxurious taste and experience it offers are worth every penny. The oysters in these photos cost $1.79 each at a new food co-op in town. You can usually find them for about $1.00 each. Then with just a little white wine, you can elevate this dish even further without going overboard on the budget.
- Fresh oysters: Always opt for high-quality oysters like those from Hog Island Oyster Company or any other renowned source in the United States. Remember, fresh oysters will have a sealed, flat side.
- Butter: While the recipe calls for standard butter, using a small saucepan, you can clarify it to remove any impurities. This gives your butter sauce a clear, golden look.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is key. It brings out the flavor in the butter mixture, enhancing the overall taste.
STEP 1: Wash and scrub the oysters in cold running water, removing any sand, mud or loose shell. Place the clean oysters in a big bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use.
STEP 2: Add the softened butter, grated garlic, chopped parsley, Parmesan cheese to a bowl. Salt is not needed because the oysters are already salty.
STEP 3: Mix the garlic butter until well incorporated and set aside at room temperature.
STEP 4: Heat a grill to high heat. Remove oysters from the bowl and place on the grill using tongs.
STEP 5: Grill the oysters until they pop open a little bit. Remove from the heat with the tongs, and use an oyster shucker to pry and twist the oyster apart.
STEP 6: Place the butter mixture over the oysters with a spoon, dividing it equally.
STEP 7: Grill the oysters until the butter mixture melts.
STEP 8: Squeeze lemon juice over the oysters on the grill.
STEP 9: Add a few drops of hot sauce to each oyster. (optional)
STEP 10: Continue grilling the oysters as the liquid is reduced.
STEP 11: Use your tongs to keep the oysters upright.
STEP 12: Continue cooking the oysters until their "liquor" has burned off, leaving just the butter and cheese. They should be lightly golden brown.
- Olive oil: If you're not a fan of melted butter, a drizzle of olive oil can be a great alternative.
- Lemon wedges: You can use a little lemon juice instead of hot sauce for a tangy kick.
- White wine: A splash of white wine in the butter mixture can add a sophisticated flavor profile.
- New Orleans style: To get a New Orleans twist, you can add some rock salt and crusty French bread on the side.
Having the right equipment is crucial for grilling oysters. Key items include a large bowl, scrubbing brush, oyster shucker, and microwave. You'll also need tongs – the longer, the better – for safely flipping the oysters on the grill grates. Using a gas grill or charcoal grill is up to your preference, though each gives a slightly different smoky touch. Lastly, a serving platter is essential to present your creation beautifully.
PRO COOKING TIPS
- Always use a real oyster shucker, not a sharp knife. The tip of the oyster knife is specially designed to safely open the top shell.
- When grilling oysters, the bottom shell tends to get hotter. So, always use an oven mitt or potholder for safety.
- When the shells pop open on the hot grill, that's your cue! It's the perfect time to add the butter sauce.
- I like to serve grilled oysters on a bed of coarse salt. It helps to stabilize the oysters so the butter does not spill. When I took this photo I had Hawaiian black sea salt on hand and I used it. I love the drama it creates, but not necessary for just me and hubby.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes, a small bowl in a food processor will make mixing the ingredients a breeze. It might be more of a chore to wash the food processor than to just chop the ingredients and mix the compound butter by hand.
After the oyster shells pop, and the oyster meat looks golden with the butter mixture, they're ready.
Absolutely. Just follow the recipe closely, especially the last step, and you'll be a pro in no time.
Oysters have an adductor muscle they flex the muscle to keep the shell closed. You can see the adductor muscle in the picture of eaten oysters below. The adductor muscle is firmly attached to the walls of oysters this large. It can be attached to either side of the shell. The oyster meat pulls easily off the muscle for eating. Never eat the adductor muscle as it is chewy and tough.
Grilled Oysters with Parmesan Garlic Butter
- Large bowl
- Scrubbing brush
- Oyster shucker
- Tongs The longer, the better
- Serving platter
- 12 large fresh oysters in the shell about 12 oysters
- 6 ounces butter
- 3 large cloves garlic finely minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Wash and scrub the oysters in cold running water, removing any sand, mud or loose shell. Place the clean oysters in a big bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use ( the same day). Do not cover with plastic wrap! Use a clean dishtowel to cover the bowl.
- Soften the butter by leaving it out at room temperature. You can also do this in the microwave. Time varies, but mine takes about 10 seconds. Don't melt the butter. I have learned through experience that pouring melted butter onto an oyster on a hot grill will get your arms splattered with hot butter.
- Put the butter in a medium bowl.
- Add the garlic, cheese, parsley, and pepper. Salt is not needed because the oysters are already salty.
- Heat an outdoor grill to high heat. I use propane but charcoal grilling works well too. I would never attempt this on an indoor grill due to the amount of smoke you get.
- Remove the clean oysters from the bowl and place on the grill using tongs. Place them with the flattest side of the shell down. Discard any oysters that are already open! Never eat opened mollusks! You want them to be tightly closed.
- Grill the oysters until they pop open a little bit. Remove from the heat with the tongs, and use an oyster shucker to pry and twist the oyster apart.
- Careful, it's HOT! Shucking oysters can be dangerous, so never use a sharp knife. Use heat proof gloves or potholders to handle the oysters.
- Save the half of shell that contains the oyster. Put it back on the hot grill. Discard the other side of the shell.
- Place the butter mixture over the oysters with a spoon, dividing it equally.
- Add a couple drops of hot sauce if you like or wait and add it at the table.
- Continue cooking the oysters until their "liquor" has burned off, leaving just the butter and cheese. They should be lightly golden brown.
- Don't overcook the oysters or they will be rubbery. Be careful when cooking oysters with butter. There is a lot of spitting and sputtering.
- Remove the oysters with the tongs to a serving platter. Keep the oysters upright so you don't lose any of the delicious garlic butter.
- Optional: You can add more Parmesan cheese after removing the oysters from the hot grill.
- Enjoy piping hot with a dash of hot sauce if you like.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
Grilling oysters for the first time can seem daunting, but with this recipe in hand, you're set for success. From the delightful garlic butter to the smoky essence from the grill, every element plays a part in creating an unforgettable dish. So, the next time you're looking to impress or just treat yourself, place oysters on your hot grill, follow this guide, and enjoy a luxurious meal that won't break the bank. Remember, life is too short for mediocre food, so always go for the best. And with this oyster recipe, "the best" is precisely what you're getting.
If you are fortunate enough to get your hands on some Bluepoint Oysters you must try my Grilled Bluepoint Oyster recipe. They have a similar compound butter but they grilling instructions are a bit different.