Discussion in 'Non-fish Seafood' started by rypress, May 9, 2011.

  1. Hey Smokers!

    So I set out searching the web for a recipe on "how to smoke oysters". My goal was to reproduce those delicious canned smoked oysters we all love and grew up on. Right? Those things are amazing - and from a can!?!?!

    Anyway, there's not a whole lot out there in terms of "smoked oyster recipes" other than some smokers who've opened them on the half shell and tossed them into their smoker. That's easy. Too easy! I wanted more...I wanted something special. So? I experimented and happened upon my own recipe/technique and ultimately the most amazing smoked oyster I've ever had! I guarantee you'll agree!

    STEP 1: Get you some fresh oysters.

    I found the ideal size is a raw oyster that is about 3" to 3.5" long once out of the shell. This is probably a medium-sized (5"-7") oyster (in the shell) - something to consider when picking out your oysters - not too small, not too big. The oysters shrink considerably in the smoking process. Next, shuck 'em! Collect the raw oysters in a chilled bowl. The colder you can keep your oysters, the better - as they break down quickly once out of the shell.

    STEP 2: Get your brine on!

    Brine the oysters the same as you would fish. My brine recipe:

    3/4 cup non-iodized salt
    1.5 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    3 bay leafs
    1 tblsp garlic powder
    1 cup brandy
    Couple turns of a pepper grinder
    Couple dashes of hot sauce (Tapatio or equivalent)
    Table spoon dried chopped white onion (or onion powder)
    1.5 gal water

    This recipe/quantity will easily take care of at least 4 dozen oysters and even some fish at the same time too.

    In a large, non metallic container, stir the brine really well until salt and sugars dissolve. Place all shucked raw oysters (meat only, not shells) into the brine and gently stir them to separate any as they have a tendency to stick to one another. Place your brine/oysters in a cold refrigerator or ice chest and let them brine for 30-40 hours.

    STEP 3: Rinse and Set

    After brining, gently rinse each oyster under cold water to wash off any residual seasoning, shell, or "dirt" from the meat. Place oysters on an oiled grid rack or vegetable grill rack. I use a stainless steel rack designed for grilling vegetables on a BBQ. It's basically a flat sheet of stainless with a grid of half-inch holes punched out. This will prevent any smaller oysters from slipping through a standard rack as well as allowing the smoke to get to the under-side of the oyster too. A rack like this is ideal:


    Here's a photo of my oysters on my vegi grill rack - about to go into the smoker:


    STEP 4: Get your smoke on!

    I smoked these in a Bass Pro Shops (Masterbuilt) smoker set at 225 degrees F for just under two hours - smoking the entire time (roughly four pans of chips). For this batch I used Hickory. I typically use alder for seafood, but was out of alder, so hickory it was.


    STEP 5: Finish 'em off in some Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    The night I put these on the brine I also made two cups of garlic, red chili, lemon-zest infused EVOO that I would use to finish them off once out of the smoker. Plain EVOO will do just fine, however, infuse whatever herbs/flavors you desire for an even more interesting flavor profile. Let them marinate in the oil (in the fridge) for a few hours before serving. The oil will get a little cloudy when it's chilled but will clear up as it warms back up to room temp.


    STEP 6: Enjoy!

    Serve chilled or at room temp, on a crustini or straight off a fork. Unfortunately, I had to share these 48 oysters with some good friends and family...all of whom were blown away and many of which said they were the best OYSTER (not just smoked oyster....BEST OYSTER) they've ever had! I would have to agree!

    Let me know what you guys think.



    Side notes:

    I was up at my best buddy's house so we used his smoker to do these this time. We discovered his smoker has a hot spot in the back right corner (Lower-left corner in the photo associated with Step 4). About 6-8 of the oysters got a little "well done". That is, they begin to take on a beef-jerky-like firmness - still good flavor, just super chewy. Notice the darkness of these "well done" oysters...Something to watch for next time. We should've taken the ones in this area off sooner, but to be honest, we weren't paying much attention to that back-right corner....Next time! Oh, and while the oysters were smoking we also had in there a nice steak of Chilean Sea Bass and a steak of Turbofish, and four large portabella mushroom caps. We've never smoked Sea Bass or Turbofish before, but OH MY! This fish turned out amazing as well...nice oily species, perfect for smoking! Clockwise: Portabella Mushroom, Chilean Sea Bass, Turbofish


    We used the smoked mushroom as a delivery vehicle and came up with this delightful little combo/bite:


    Ok, enough of me bragging! Cheers, guys!
  2. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great first post.  Looks like you did a great job on both the recipe and the presentation.  Why not tell us a bit about yourself in the new member area.  Like,  what part of the country are you from to get such pretty oysters this time of the year!

  3. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    This is an Awesome post !!!!

    Please go to Roll Call, and introduce yourself so we could all give you a proper welcome.

    We would love to have you stick around and make more posts like this one.



    PS: If you could, put approximately where you live in your Bio, so it comes up on your posts.

    That way it's easier to help people, and sometimes things said make more sense.
  4. Thanks for the warm welcome, Gentlemen!

    I just added some info (location, etc.) to my profile.

    I hope to contribute more posts to the forums in the future. Great site!
  5. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's great Ryan!!


    Al, I wasn't copying what you said. I was typing my post while you were posting yours. Seems we were thinking the same thing.
  6. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ryan It looks Yummmmmy thanks, i will book mark  it

  7. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great job,. Ryan! Welcome to SMF!
  8. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    rick paul likes this.
  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  10. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    EGADDDD!!!  Never!!!  Shucked and leave some juice in the shell.

  11. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I meant --- are the ones from the Gulf pre-marinated----as in 30 weight.  [​IMG]

  12. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Gulf oysters and seafood aren't having any probs from the spill in almost the entire gulf.

    In fact they are harvesting everywhere in the gulf,

  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Craig,

    Maybe I don't pay enough attention, but I never hear or read anything about it on/in the news.

    Makes it seem too hush-hush to be all OK now.

  14. shooter1

    shooter1 Smoking Fanatic

    Great job and welcome aboard. I have to agree with Craig, Gulf oysters rule or at least they did.

    We won't know the full effect of the oil spill for a long time to come. The goverment says its safe to eat the seafood. The Japanese govermeant said there was no danger from the radiation leaks and they had it under control. Right! [​IMG]
  15. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I haven't been to NO yet.but when I get there I will be happy to eat the seafood.

    Our oysters come from Apalachicola tho...  

  16. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Those look great Ryan...
  17. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  18. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well..ain't that odd... read the article off google....

  19. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    PUTTING this thread back on track..........[​IMG]   You all just keep thinking the best are from the east coast.  Some of us know different and don't have to get sensitive about it.

    Ryan, welcome aboard and what a great kickoff.  Definitely got this on the list and will compliment a fair sized King Salmon that's cooling it's heels. 
  20. Thanks for the warm welcome, fellas! I'm hoping I'll have time to smoke more oysters this coming Saturday. My wife and I will be attending a friend's birthday party Saturday night and I thought it'd be a good venue to get even more feedback on my recipe. I'll let you know if I do and how they're received should I end up smoking more.

    Most of the oysters I get come from Tomales Bay, California - 44 miles north of San Francisco and about 77 miles northwest from where I live in Pleasanton, California.


Share This Page