Grilled Oysters

I love oysters raw and served on the half shell with just a squeeze of lemon juice and maybe a dash of hot sauce.  In Louisiana, I grew up eating plump and milky Gulf oysters and then in France learned to love the flat briny versions from Cancale. In the Pacific NW, I’ve been eating the clean and bright types such as Olympia and Kumamoto.  Not everyone I meet is as enamoured as I am with the raw bivalves, but when grilling season comes around, even the most squeamish among guests can’t seem to get enough of them, especially when grilled and coated in a buttery garlic sauce.  I know the rules of eating oysters only in months that end in “r” but there are delicious oysters available year-round thanks to sustainable farming. For more on this, please visit Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.


Grilled Oysters recipe from

Shucking an oyster well is one talent I do not possess.  I have learned, though, that a good knife is essential, such as this Victorinox with a non-slip grip. If you want something more artisanal, try the low country version from the Georgia Oyster Knife company; and if you don’t happen to have in your entourage an oyster shucking champion, check out this video .

Mike, the five-time oyster shucking champion, at Casamento's in New Orleans

Mike, the five-time oyster shucking champion, at Casamento’s in New Orleans

Grilled Oysters

Yield: 6 to 8  |  Total time: 10 min
Print Recipe


  • 3 dozen fresh raw oysters
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Hot sauce, such as Tabasco or Frank's Red Hot, to taste
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for garnish
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Optional: Fresh chopped parsley


  1. Shuck oysters, keeping as much of the liquor as possible; place on a large sheet pan. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Combine in a small bowl, the melted butter, hot sauce, garlic, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese; stir to combine.  Place shucked oysters on the grill and spoon butter-hot sauce mixture over each oyster.  Cover with grill lid and let cook about 2 minutes or until oysters are just cooked and they start to bubble and shrivel along the edges. Carefully remove oysters to a serving platter and sprinkle, if desired with fresh chopped parley; serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce on the side, and some good bread for mopping up the sauce.

Date Published: August 21, 2013

All recipes have been tested by the Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.

3 comments... read them below or add one


  1. September 14, 2013 6:47 pm by pierino Reply

    Kim, I love Olympias and Kumamotos. Also I think they are seeding belons somewhere there in the Northwest, maybe BC. I expect to be visiting Seattle in late October in case you happen to be dropping down to the Lower 48. Looking forward to your cookbook.

    • September 19, 2013 8:35 am by kim Reply

      I’ll be in Seattle earlier October, so I’m sorry I’ll miss you, but you will have some great ersters when you go!

    • September 19, 2013 8:35 am by kim Reply

      I’ll be in Seattle earlier October, so I’m sorry I’ll miss you, but you will have some great ersters when you go! Have you been to the Walrus and the Carpenter?

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