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Celebrate oyster season: Easy grilled oysters with herbed garlic butter

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Aw, shucks!

It might be the beginning of the end of summer, but it's also the beginning of oyster season! While there is still time to stand out by the grill, give this easy recipe for grilled oysters with herbed garlic butter a try.
Easy grilled oysters with herbed garlic butter
Photo credit: Carolyn Stalnaker

Ring in the season

Before you put your tongs away for the season and as you savor the summer sun's final strong rays, gather your friends and family for one last hurrah! Now that it's September, don't forget the oysters.

Depending on who you ask, oyster season begins in September, and you'd only want to eat them in months that end in the letter "r." A few reasons for this thought? Oysters spawn at the end of April, and they're ready for consumption starting in September. Also, many thought oysters had a better chance to spoil during the warmer months.

Try this recipe for oyster po' boy sandwiches >>

Come out of your shell

If you've never prepared oysters yourself, it can be intimidating. But it can also be easy and a great experience. People who are allergic to shellfish should refrain from eating oysters. Give oysters a try and be sure to remember the following:

  • Buy oysters from reliable vendors (whether grocer or fishmonger) and be sure to look for the shipper's tag. That way you'll know the oysters came from an area that is approved for growing and harvesting oysters.
  • Check through your oysters when you get home. Always throw away any oysters that don't seem right, have broken shells, or that are partially or fully opened. You can try to tap the open oysters to see if they close up. If they do, they should be OK. If not, toss them.
  • Prepare fresh, live oysters for eating. Consider serving them the day you buy them.
  • Keep your oysters very cold before prepping them. Don't store them in a plastic bag in the fridge, but put them in a bowl covered with a wet towel.

Oysters are delicious and can be prepped a number of ways. When you get the hang of making them at home, you might even look forward to the end of summer!

Learn more from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about how to safely select and serve seafood.

Easy grilled oysters with herbed garlic butter

Yields 24

Ingredients:

  • 24 unopened, fresh, live oysters
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stems
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Scrub the oysters with a wire brush or pad under running water. If any are opened, discard them.
  2. Prepare your grill to high heat.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the butter, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside
  4. Carefully place your oysters on the grill and cook for about five to seven minutes or until they begin to open.
  5. Carefully remove the oysters from the grill and place them on a baking sheet.
  6. Use an oven mitt to hold the oysters as you pry each open with an oyster knife or a knife that is short and thick. Slightly loosen the oyster on the bottom. Throw away the top shell.
  7. Fill each shell with the herbed garlic butter and carefully put the oysters back on the grill for another one or two minutes.
  8. Place the oysters on a platter and serve while hot.
  9. Optional: Garnish each with a dash of hot sauce.

More grilling recipes to try

Grilled Caesar salad with dressing
Grilled pizza recipes
Stuffed and grilled Hungarian peppers

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