If you are not a seasoned oyster shucker, there are alternatives! Grilling oysters is simple! So is steaming oysters!
If you want fried oysters and aren’t good at shucking oysters, freeze the entire oyster in the shell.
After it’s frozen, let it thaw enough so that you can pop the shell open (it’s easy at that point), pluck the oyster meat out, make sure it’s completely thawed after removal and place all oyster meats in a colander and feel around for shell fragments.
Then use your favorite batter and fry to a golden brown (I use Autry’s Seafood Breader).
If grilling or steaming is your thing, place the oysters (cupped side down) on a HOT grill (500 to 550 degrees) and cook with the lid closed for 8-10 minutes. Not all off the oysters will open. That does not mean anything.
There’s nothing wrong with the oysters; it just means they didn’t open because they are so freshly harvested. But they will be easy to get open, even if you don’t have a shucking knife (a shucking knife is easier to use and get into the oyster).
If you cook them a little more than 8 to 10 minutes the oysters will get drier and take on a smokier flavor.
That’s the way I like them from the grill. BUT DO NOT WAIT FOR THEM ALL TO OPEN BECAUSE YOU WILL BURN THEM! For steaming, place the oysters in a steam pot or a pan with a lid.
Add a little bit of water (or beer), put the burner on high and steam for 8-10 minutes or a little more. Again, not all will open, but they are easy to get into. Last night I grilled some oysters.
I shucked them and left the oyster in the bottom cup shaped shell in their own juice. I added a tea spoon of white wine, a dab of butter, some minced garlic and some pepper jack cheese. I grilled on a hot grill for about 10 minutes and took them off.
At the same time, I grilled some whole oysters in the shell for about 10-12 minutes.
They were delicious! See the pictures.
There is a LOT of misinformation floating around regarding shellfish, and one of the major inaccuracies involves bivalves that don’t open after cooking. Oysters especially…