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Big slick 02-27-2013 10:23 PM

Oyster question for oyster folks
My Birthday is coming up and I want to make my favorite dish BBQ oysters (similar to drago's in New Orleans). Problem is I want to have my family/friends over to celebrate with me and try these awesome oysters and I suck at shucking oysters. In order for me to do this right I would need 4-6 dozen oysters to be shucked. I barely know how to shuck so I really don't want to train anyone else and risk them cutting themselves or messing up the oyster and I don't want to be shucking for 3 hours (yeah, I'm that bad).

Here is my possible solution and where I start to look for your help. I was thinking about scratching the fresh oysters in the shell and going with shucked oysters that are stored in oyster juice. Now instead of using the shells I was going to use mini tinfoil baking tins. I figure this could work out well.

So here are the questions I really need answered...

Do shucked oysters taste gross compared to fresh or do they work out well?

Will the tin trays work as a temporary shell or will they give off an odor as they cook over the high heat?

Here's a pic of the BBQ Oysters the last time I made them. They are so good with a cold beer, but so labor intensive for me.

MS2SB 02-27-2013 10:25 PM

If you pop the closed oysters onto a hot grill they will pop open after a couple of minutes without shucking. You'll have a par cooked oyster but I bet you could open, let cool then top with your topping and reheat.

landarc 02-27-2013 10:26 PM

A lot depends on the packer. Out here, we had a great oyster packing company that the oysters tasted great.

I would not do them in the aluminum foil, I find oysters cooked in metal contact are even more metallic. I prefer them cooked in ceramic if the shells are not available.

MS2SB is correct

stephan 02-27-2013 10:57 PM

Fresh is all ways better

Randbo 02-27-2013 11:23 PM


Originally Posted by MS2SB (Post 2386865)
If you pop the closed oysters onto a hot grill they will pop open after a couple of minutes without shucking. You'll have a par cooked oyster but I bet you could open, let cool then top with your topping and reheat.

I do this also ^^^^^
when they pop open I pull off the top shell and douse them with tequila lemon juice and some spices. wear gloves cause they are hot

rockinshelby 02-27-2013 11:38 PM

Oysters freeze extremely well. There is absolutely nothing wrong with oysters frozen in the nectar. They keep perfectly for up to six months in the freezer. I can't comment on the tin foil but I have done them on the BBQ on a cookie sheet, topped with bacon and cheese and 'sauce' and they come out fantastic. Let us now what you end up doing and how they turn out. Man do I love oysters!

Fishawn 02-28-2013 01:23 AM

Depending on your supplier of Oysters & how you can get them IMO..... We cook a lot of Oysters on a BBQ/Grill & depending on how may people will be attending, typically get a couple of dozen in the shells..... The rest are available shucked and on ice from the source in a plastic "bucket"...... After getting the shelled Oysters to open up & prepped for serving, they are served without shells & the next "round" is under way with the *shucked* Oysters put into the previously used shells for cooking on the grill..... Add butter, garlic, worshy, sauces & seasoning to your liking..... Works well for us..... Most of the time they get eaten shortly after cooking, either on a serving platter or just plop them onto a plate.... Folks typically will be standing around your BBQ/Grill/Smoker waiting..... They also like some seasoning, hot sauce, butter, certain cheeses, etc.

Fishhook 02-28-2013 05:46 AM

Have you tried opening them from the hinge with a standard screwdriver? Usually pretty easy that way. The above advice about the packing co is right on. If the shucked oysters were packed in the original liquor they will be best, if water is added in place of the original liquor ...not so good, kinda tasteless.imo

A few seconds in the microwave does wonders also

Big slick 02-28-2013 06:13 AM

Oyster question for oyster folks
Lots of great tips here. Last time I made them I used a screw driver to pop the hinge and then I scraped the shell with a knife. I'm really likening the idea of putting them on the grill and allowing the shells to open on their own.

Garyclaw 02-28-2013 06:36 AM

Good advice so far. I love oysters too.

Not to hyjack but, here's a question about oyster season. I've always heard oysters should be harvested during a month ending in "r". Anybody eles ever hear this? Just curious.

lastmajordude 02-28-2013 06:38 AM

Fresh is Always better BUTTT.......Years ago a food friend of mine did what you said....oysters with REAL butter and garlic baked in a muppin type pan.....course it may have been the hootch but I remember them being awesome.......

lola 02-28-2013 07:02 AM

When to harvest
It is true that oyster taste best in months with a "r" in it. That's because in the warmer months they are spawning, which makes them milky, soft, and not as flavorful. Also, as filter feeders there is more algae & human produced pollution in the water which alters the taste. In the colder months they firm back up and retain less fluid so IMO are much better. Besides, let them drop their spat for another harvest in a couple of years.

chingador 02-28-2013 07:23 AM

the baking tins will work perfectly. I am in the same boat as you. I love Drago's oysters, but am horrible shucking oysters. I have used a muffin pan. It worked good but individual baking tins would be far better.

John Bowen 02-28-2013 07:47 AM

I think it would be a big mistake to get away from the fresh oysters in the shells Mr. Slick. You developed a love for this style of cooking them and it is clear you have worked really hard to keep true to what you enjoyed. That picture above would not look the same if it were in some tin boat. I am sure that those who ate with you also appreciated the work you put into it – it helps create a overall experience. I say work through the issue.

I am sure that you have problems because you don’t work with them enough. Growing up on the coast I have eaten oysters many ways and raw is still my favorite. I suggest you find a strong flat tool and practice going in the oyster slightly above the hinge and slide back to help pop it open. You can put the oyster on a towel and fold it over the top to protect your hands and keep it from slipping.

Also the point about oysters in months with “r”. It is not a temperature thing as much as it is an issue about salinity. Too much fresh water introduced rapidly into the oyster beds from rain water and run off allows for bacteria to develop. This affects the taste and in some cases the safety – red tide issues. If you look at the months with “r” it normally falls during the time of seasonal weather change. Today they have developed many ways to raise oysters where they can control the fresh water coming into the oyster bed and some beds are far enough out that they are not affected by it.

Good luck with your cook Mr. Slick – I am sure whatever you decide it will turn out great.

Big slick 02-28-2013 07:48 AM

Oyster question for oyster folks
Well it looks like the first thing on my agenda should be to find a fresh seafood provider for super fresh oysters.

After doing some thinking I really like the idea of using a dozen or two of in shell oysters. Once they are eaten wash em out and fill them with the shucked oysters and repeat. I could easily feed everyone this way. However I could also still use the tin pans too... I'm so excited and yet so confused.

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