These grilled oysters with garlic butter sauce are charred to perfection and served with crusty bread. Learn how to clean, shuck, and grill oysters in just a few simple steps with this easy recipe!
Looking for another New Orleans-inspired seafood dish? Check out my New Orleans BBQ Shrimp recipe next!
I recently went to New Orleans and couldn't get enough chargrilled oysters! If raw oysters aren't your thing, I urge you to give these a try. They are briny, smoky, savory, and the perfect appetizer for any occasion.
When I came home, I realized that Whole Foods has a $1 oyster special on Fridays. So naturally, I had to learn how to make grilled oysters at home. Now I can recreate the best grilled oysters in New Orleans and share them with you!
Why You'll Love This Char Grilled Oysters Recipe
An Affordable Indulgence. You can order these at a restaurant but you can make them for a fraction of the cost in your backyard.
Easy to Make. Learn how to grill an oyster in just a few simple steps. We'll break down how to clean and shuck them too!
Great Appetizer. Elevate any event with a platter of grilled oysters, whether it's a summer BBQ or a dinner party.
Ingredients for Chargrilled Oysters
This dish doesn't need a whole lot. Let the natural flavor of the oysters shine through. It's simple but still so indulgent!
- Oysters. These shellfish are the star of the dish, providing a succulent and briny flavor. When grilled, they develop a smoky essence while retaining their natural sweetness. Use large oysters because they're easier to handle on the grill and are less likely to spill.
- Unsalted Butter. This is the base of your sauce, which coats the oysters. It gives the sauce a creamy texture and a buttery taste.
- Lemon. Fresh lemon juice adds a bright and tangy flavor to the garlic butter sauce, balancing the richness of the butter.
- Garlic Paste. Use this or fresh garlic for a savory flavor.
- White Wine. A dry white wine like pinot grigio adds complexity to the sauce. The wine reduces as it cooks and gives the sauce a fruity undertone for deeper flavor.
- Fresh Parsley. This adds a fresh pop of herby flavor.
- Seasoned Salt. This blend of salt and various seasonings adds depth of flavor and enhances the overall seasoning of the dish.
- Sliced Bread. Use Italian or French bread because they're hearty enough to soak up the sauce.
How to Grill Oysters
This step-by-step guide teaches you how to cook oysters on the grill.
Heat your grill using wood chips and allow the temperature to reach 450°F-500°F.
Clean the Oysters
Place the oysters in a bowl or the kitchen sink and run them under cool water to remove any dirt or debris.
How to Shuck Oysters (Safely)
Ensure the oysters are tightly closed (this indicates they are fresh and safe to eat). Hold the oyster firmly with one hand, with the hinge (the point where the two shells of the oyster meet and are connected) facing towards you.
Then insert an oyster knife into the hinge and twist gently to pry the shells apart. Slide the knife along the top shell to separate it from the bottom shell, then cut the muscle attaching the oyster to the top shell.
Lift off the top shell, detach the oyster from the bottom shell, and inspect for any debris before grilling with the butter sauce. Place shucked oysters on a tray and set aside until ready to place on the grill.
Prepare Sauce for Grilled Oysters
Prepare butter sauce by measuring out ingredients and slicing butter into thin slices. When the grill is hot and ready, place a small cast iron skillet or grill/oven-safe pan onto the grill.
Add butter and allow to melt. Add in garlic, seasoning salt, lemon juice, and white wine. Allow the butter sauce to bubble and cook so that the wine reduces and cooks off.
Move the cooked butter sauce to the outside portion of the grill and begin placing shucked oysters on the grill. (This is an optional step but I highly encourage you to place halved lemons on the grill along with sliced bread.)
Using a kitchen brush, brush each oyster with butter sauce and allow oysters to cook/char and bubble (about 3-5 minutes depending on size). Use tongs to remove grilled oysters and place them on a plate lined with coarse salt or rice (to prevent oysters from tipping over).
Serve with grilled sliced bread and grilled lemons and enjoy!
What to Serve with Grilled Oysters
Serve this appetizer with some thick hearty bread. It also pairs well with grilled veggies like asparagus or a salad.
Oysters also pair well with a glass of dry white wine like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
- Seasoning. Add creole or cajun seasoning to amplify the New Orleans flavor.
- Cheese. If you want to add a cheesy topping for more savory flavor, sprinkle each oyster with parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese 1 minute before they're done.
Tips and Tricks
- Ensure the oysters are fresh. If they aren't closed before shucking or have a fishy smell, discard them.
- Do not shuck oysters until you are ready to make them. Shucking oysters exposes their delicate flesh to air, which can lead to a decrease in freshness and potentially compromise their quality.
- Be cautious when shucking oysters. The shucking tool is sharp but the jagged edges of the shells can also puncture you if mishandled. Hold the raw oysters in a small towel as you shuck each one to securely grip them.
- The oysters are cooked when the edges begin to brown.
How to Store Leftovers
Grilled oysters should be eaten immediately so only buy and make as much as you plan to eat in one sitting. Store leftover lemon butter sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I make Grilled Oysters in advance?
Grilled oysters should be made and served immediately. Even pre-shucking them isn't encouraged because you lose some of the delicious oyster juice.
However, you can buy fresh oysters and store them for later. Dampen a dish towel, cover the oysters in a bowl, and store it in the fridge. Wet the towel daily. They'll stay fresh for up to 1 week.
Do you need to soak oysters before grilling?
You do not need to soak oysters before grilling them. Running them under fresh water is sufficient.
Can you grill oysters without shucking?
You can but it's much easier to shuck them first. To grill oysters in the shell, position the shell flat side up over direct heat and grill until slightly open. Then take them off the grill and open the shells. Remove the top and brush each oyster with butter.
What is the best way to grill oysters?
Preheat your charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat and clean the oysters under cold water. Place them flat side up on the grill and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they open slightly. Once open, shuck the oysters, add the garlic butter sauce, and grill for another 1-2 minutes before serving.
I HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS GRILLED OYSTERS RECIPE!
- 18 Oysters
- 1 Stick of Unsalted Butter ½ cup
- 1 Small Lemon
- 2 tablespoon Garlic Paste or fresh garlic
- ¼ cup White Wine pinot grigio
- ¼ cup Fresh Parsley
- 1 teaspoon Salt Seasoning Blend
- Sliced Bread
- Heat your grill using wood chips and allow the temperature to reach 450-500 degrees.
- Clean the oysters by placing them in a bowl or the kitchen sink and run with cold water getting rid of any dirt or debris.
- Begin shucking the oysters using a shucking knife. (see blog post for tips)
- Place oysters on a tray and set aside until ready to place on the grill.
- Prepare butter sauce by measuring out ingredients and slicing butter into thin slices.
- When the grill is hot and ready, place a small cast iron skillet or grill/oven safe pan onto the grill.
- Add butter and allow to melt.
- Add in garlic, seasoning salt, lemon juice and white wine.
- Allow the butter sauce to bubble and cook so that the wine reduces and cooks off.
- Move the cooked butter sauce to the outside portion of the grill and begin placing shucked oysters on the grill.
- Optional; place halved lemons on the grill and sliced bread.
- Using a kitchen brush, brush each oyster with butter sauce and allow oysters to cook/char and bubble (about 3-5 minutes depending on size).
- Using tongs, remove grilled oysters and place on a plate lined with coarse salt or rice (to prevent oysters from tipping over).
- Serve with grilled sliced bread and grilled lemons and enjoy!