Now that going out to your favorite oyster bar is not an option, we wanted to suggest a few ways to prepare oysters at home so you can enjoy this excellent delicacy and it’s wonderful health benefits on the half-shell or in your favorite recipes. If you are not a proficient oyster shucker, here are several different ways to open oysters at home.
On the grill
Heat a charcoal or gas grill to high with the rack positioned approximately 4 inches from the heat source. If necessary, use cold water and a brush to thoroughly scrub the oysters. Throw out any oysters whose shells are already open.
Place the oysters on the grill with the deeper, cup-shaped portion of the shell down. Close the grill and allow the oysters to cook for eight to 10 minutes or until the oyster’s shells begin to pop open. Use a fireproof mitt or tongs to remove all the oysters.
Use a paring knife or oyster knife completely open each oyster. Pry off each oyster’s top (flat) shell and cut the meat from
shell,. leaving the oyster meat in the bottom shell for serving or into a bowl for cooking later.
In the oven
If necessary, clean the oysters before you cook them, running them under cold water and scrubbing them with a brush. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and fill a small sheet pan with coarse salt (optional)to keep the oysters level in the oven . Place the oysters on the sheet cupped side down to retain the oysters’ liquor or juices.
Place the pan into your oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the oysters have opened at least slightly. Once cool or with a towel to hold the hot oyster,slip your knife into the oyster along the top of the shell to cut the muscle, pry the top shell off, then cut underneath the oyster to sever it from the bottom shell.
In the microwave
Did you ever wonder about using a microwave to prepare oysters? If you are not proficient at opening oysters with an oyster knife or simply want to take an easier route you can microwave a few oysters at a time to open them. Please be careful because the shells get very hot.
Place about a dozen oysters (deep cup side down) in a microwavable bowl, cover with “Saran” Wrap, and microwave on high for 90 seconds. You might hear one or two oysters “pop”. Remove the bowl from the microwave allow oysters to cool for a few minutes before handling. Most of the oysters should be slightly gaping; slide a kitchen butter knife in the opening on the sever the muscle from both shells and the oysters are ready.
You can now grill the oysters, remove the meats for frying or other preparations.
Regardless of how you open the oysters, you can then proceed with preparing them your favorite way.Add a little , lemon and/or cocktail sauce to eat them right out of the shell, or add your favorite topping and return them to the oven or grill to cook them a little longer.
There are many wonderful recipes for toppings and entrees on the internet.