I've had raw oysters and broiled oysters, but until last week I had never enjoyed them barbecued. I'm not sure I will ever fix them another way again! They were not only delicious, but downright easy! In a previous post on broiled oysters with lemon zest, I discussed how to shuck a raw oyster. Usually, this takes a lot of force and for me, time. But when you barbecue oysters, you put them on the barbecue whole and the steam from the inside of the oyster opens them up. Do you see how some of them are opened? You still need to shuck them to remove the top shell, but they were almost a joy to shuck they were so easy. I also was able to retain the juice that collected in the oyster cup which is obviously the perfect accompaniment to oysters with a couple of drops of hot sauce.
You will need a barbecue that is old and rusty, or one that is devoted entirely to cooking oysters (as it will become rusty from the salt water). Fortunately, a friend of mine had an oyster barbecue and let me borrow it! You will also need charcoal briquettes and of course, oysters.
Barbecued Oysters by Joie de vivre with thanks to Melissa and Patrick
Oysters (count on 6-7 a person if served with a salad and crusty bread)
Hot sauce (we have a nice Thai chili sauce that tasted the best)
1. Light the charcoal briquettes and wait 20 minutes or so until they are fully ignited and all white. In the meantime, scrub your oysters under cold water with a scrub brush. Discard any opened oysters or any oysters that don't close when you press on them. These are already dead and cannot be eaten.
2. When the charcoal is ready, lay your oysters on the grate of the barbecue, cup side down.
3. Cover the barbecue and grill the oysters for 9 minutes. Some of your oysters should be open. Remove all of them at this time using tongs. (even the ones that aren't opened yet)
4. Using a towel or an oven mitt to protect your hand, place the oyster in the oven mitt and then using your other hand, place an oyster knife in the hinge of the oyster. Wiggle the knife up and down to break the hinge on the oyster.
5. Place the shucked oyster on a plate filled with salt to keep the oyster from tipping over.
6. Eat your oysters with a drop or two of hot sauce.
7. Comment back on this post to let me know how awesome the oysters were.