Grilling oysters

Discussion in 'Non-fish Seafood' started by atomicsmoke, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For you oyster pros out there...do they have to open when they are cooked? Some say yes, some no...

    I picked up a dozen to grill for Valentine's day. Six did not open...at $1/pop I am kind of disappointed. The taste was great, especially the liquor. I served them with horseradish whipped cream.

    I grilled oysters before but never tossed more than 2 out of a dozen. Two weeks ago also bought 5lbs of high oxygen packed mussels (Costco). Usually very few are bad. But this time I trashed about 1/3. The very cold weather maybe?
     
  2. I am thinking patience! I have done sacks of oysters and never had one not open. Some don't pop as wide open. But they have always opened some.

    Happy smoken.

    David
     
  3. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Patience wasn't an issue: those six were on the grill for 45min and still stayed shut (tight). Thank you for chiming in.
     
  4. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    I have grilled a lot of oysters and they don't always pop open. Doesn't mean they are bad. Clams are a different story.
     
  5. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Do you have an official source?

    As far as I know bivalves opening while cooking means they were alive before grilling.
     
  6. red dog

    red dog Smoking Fanatic

    No I don't have an official source for oysters. Lots of info out there that says you shouldn't eat clams or mussels that don't open. Also info that says that a clam or mussel that is alive and is open should close if you tap it. If not it's dead and you shouldn't eat it. I have seen oysters open briefly while grilling. And if you cook them too long they will close back up.
     
  7. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Mixed info out there on this.I was taught if they don't open,don't eat them.But I have since heard that this isn't true. I check pretty closely because they don't always spring wide open. I am talking clams & mussels I eat oysters raw mostly.

    Funny thing you never see Chinese people eat raw oysters ,they steam them or roll them in seasoned flour,ginger,garlic,5 spice powder then fry.

    Lot of work goes into our oyster standards here,filtration tanks for 2 days before sale etc I have still never seen raw oysters on a Chinese plate.
     
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well for oysters its tricky. There are those that say don't eat if they don't open and others that say go for it.  How about shucking them prior to cooking? When I lived at the coast we would grill hundreds of them on the half shell at bbq's. How do you tell if ones bad if you shuck them prior to cooking? There are a few methods. One is if the shell is open if you try and slide the shells sideways, it should close up. Also if you can pry the shell up and it closes its alive. When we cook ours we always pre-shuck the oysters and if grilling do them on the half shell. I'm with Mick and mainly eat them raw. The little petite's we get from the Oregon Oyster Farm on the Yaquina river are AWESOME!
     
  9. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When I was a little kid I remember my grand mothers side of the family bringing a hessian sack of oysters with them when they came to visit. We lived a long way from the ocean.That was the 1960s . My great uncle showed me how to shuck them. Funny what you remember.
     
  10. welshrarebit

    welshrarebit Master of the Pit

    My favorite way is to put them on the grill, shucked, with shoyu, sriracha and lemon...
     
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey that's my recipe! [​IMG]
     
  12. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Just a thought here...... I grill oysters. I always grill on the 1/2 shell. If you are looking to use closed oysters like you see on TV . oysters or maybe clams being cooked in a pan with wine....?? Those are being steamed open from the wine juice.

    We always grill or BBQ on the 1/2 shell just like we would when eating them raw. We grill with a bit of lemon, garlic and maybe a touch of horse raddish. BBQ ya just drop a spoonfull of sauce on that bad boy. We always found it easier to just heat the oysters on the half shell and do the BBQ sauce like a cocktail sauce and and not waste ant BBQ that way.

    Don't know I ever saw any grilled whole, but doesn't mean its not the national standard.
     
  13. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Hey that's my recipe too!
     
  14. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So how do you know is not dead when you put it on the grill?
     
  15. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Oyster is dead as soon as you break it open. If I broke your muscle off you'd be dead too.....LOL

    Thats always what I've heard. You gotta break that muscle to open the shell. It takes days and its worse than smokin butts, but you can talk them out but you have to be a silver tongued devil. Brian Skelly probably could. Only your top sales people.

    Oysters ain;t clams there is no way for you to tell other than smell and thats really only freshness. What can hurt you with oysters is the microbacteria. You can't see it, smell it, or taste it. Its best to always deal with a fish monger you know, I remember a few years before BP, I would still buy sacks and 1/2 sacks off the side of the road. BUT all oyster sacks BY LAW have to be tagged with who where date and area they came from. Saltyness tells more where and when. You are just not physically able to tell bad. A microbiologist or a marine biologist can. But he can only test for area ratio.
     
  16. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pigs and cows are dead too when we eat them. When they died though is quite important.
     
  17. I like Oysters any way you fix them

    Gary
     
  18. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    Me too gary
     
  19. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member


    I love these big guys wish I lived in Tasmania some days.

    Asian people won't even stop to look they are headed for these.


    Sea snail family,farmed but better wild.Hand dived in cold water in very shark rich colder waters.
     
  20. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wait, does that say 20.00 each for an oyster?  Noooo....... ROFLMAO.  I could easily eat a thousand dollars worth at a sitting!  Nope nope nope..... would not do for me to be in that market.

    I'll no doubt sound like an idiot, have not bought a sack of oysters in awhile. BUT used to be about 35.00 a sac, 25.00 1/2 sac on the side of LA1 comming in from the coast. I am a weenie now, I usually get the resturant down the street to just shuck me a quart when I need some. A qt ain't cheap but thats a load of oysters too!
     

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