Entree

Smoking Oysters

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Smoking oysters at home is a fun, rewarding project that takes very little time and has only a couple ingredients. They’re totally customizable and incredibly delicious!

Crackers topped with cheese and an oyster on wooden plate.Pin
Crackers and cheese and oysters.

Have you ever had smoked oysters in a can? They’re pretty good as far as I’m concerned. That is, until I made my own smoked oysters. There is absolutely no comparison between the two. I don’t suppose I’ll ever buy another can again.

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One of the most common ways to enjoy this tasty bivalve is raw on the half shell with a splash of hot sauce. We also love our Oysters Rockefeller which is served with a homemade hollandaise sauce.

But the lovely smoked flavor of these oysters is a delicious new way to enjoy them. There is no brine or marinade needed. We like to do these oysters as they are so that their flavors shine.

Are oysters good for you?

Oysters are high in Vitamin D, selenium, copper, manganese and zinc content . They also have of lot of vitamin B12. Oysters are also quite high in omega-3 fatty acids. They’re very low in calories so they are great to add to your diet.

In addition, they taste like the sea which is flavor that we love.

What you need

  • oysters – you must use fresh oysters. They should still be alive when you start cooking.
  • honey – local raw honey is best. Optional but tasty for the sauce.
  • butter – We always use unsalted butter. Optional but tasty for the sauce.
  • Marsala or Bourbon – optional but again, delicious.
  • salt – use kosher salt or sea salt.
  • pepper – we also use freshly ground black pepper.
Ingredients for making smoked oysters. See details in recipe below.Pin
Ingredients for making smoked oysters.

How to smoke oysters

Step One

Wash the oysters well in cold water.

We usually scrub them a bit with a brush to remove some of the sand and debris.

Washing oysters.Pin
Wash oysters well.

Step Two

You can also open the oysters by steaming in boiling water mixed with the bourbon or Marsala. Place a few in at time. It should only take 1-3 minutes to open them. Remove with a slotted spoon. Immediately add them to an ice water bath to stop cooking.

Oysters placed in boiling liquid.Pin
Boil just a few minutes until oysters to open.

Shuck the oysters using an oyster knife (affiliate link). Reserve the juices in a bowl. Also reserve the larger half top shell.

Bowl of shucked oysters.Pin
Shuck the oysters.

Step Three

Strain the cooking liquid through a cheesecloth lined fine mesh sieve.

Cheesecloth lined strainer.Pin
Strain liquid through cheesecloth lined sieve.

Step Four

Soak oysters in the strained cooking water for about 30 minutes to plump them up.

Soaking oyster in the cooking water.Pin
Soak oysters in the cooking water.

Step Five

Make the glaze.

Add butter, wine or bourbon and honey to a small bowl. Microwave for about 30 seconds to melt butter. Mix well.

Pin
Arranged them on smoking tray.

Step Six

Place shucked raw oysters on to a wire rack like a cooling rack or a seafood grilling rack or even on a rack from your dehydrator, if it is metal.

Brush with the glaze.

Oysters arranged on smoking tray.Pin
Arranged them on smoking tray.

Step Seven

Set up your smoker. Preheat to low heat about, 150°F. Add your wood chips or pellets.

Smoke at 150°F for 2 hours. Increase the temperature to 175°F and brush with more glaze. Smoke for another hour or so until internal temperature measures 140°F on an instant read thermometer.

Tray in smoker.Pin
Smoke oysters.

What wood should you use?

We prefer a mild wood for fish and seafood. The fruit woods like apple, peach and cherry wood are our favorites. You can also use maple or alder. We don’t recommend using a strong wood such as hickory, oak or mesquite since it overpowers the mild flavor of the seafood.

Oysters placed back in the shell on a round wooden plate.Pin

What if I don’t have a smoker?

If you don’t own a smoker, you can still enjoy smoked meats. You can use your grill to smoke. Set up your gas or charcoal grill so that the fire is only on one side. You will place the meat on the side of the grill that does not have the direct flame (indirect heat). This is called indirect cooking.

Add soaked wood to a metal tray (we use a disposable foil pie plate or bread pan). Add another metal tray with water. Remember to fill the water if it runs out.

You can also create a similar setup for your oven in a pinch or in the winter.

How to serve smoked oysters

  • One of our favorite ways to serve these is and an appetizer. Top a cracker with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese and then with an oyster. Delicious!
  • They are also good tossed into a simple pasta dish topped with extra virgin olive oil and parmesan or asiago cheese.
  • Just pop them in your mouth for a healthy snack.
  • Mix with cream cheese, mayonnaise and garlic powder for a simple, quick, delicious dip for crackers or breads.
  • Add a bowl to a Seafood Charcuterie Board.
  • They make delicious smoky chowders, soups and stews.
Half pint jar with oysters in olive oil.Pin

How to store leftovers

Store leftovers in the refrigerator tossed in a bit of olive oil for 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze in single use portions.

More smoked recipes

Helpful tools

Jar of smoked oysters in oil.Pin
Jar of smoked oysters in oil.

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Jar of smoked oysters in oil.Pin

Smoking oysters

Smoking oysters at home is a fun, rewarding project that takes very little time and has only a couple ingredients. They're totally customizable and incredibly delicious!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, entree, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Soaking time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 12 oysters
Calories: 28kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: 30

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash the oysters well until cold water.
    12 oysters
  • If your oysters are hard to shuck, add a bit of water to a large pot with about ½ cup of Marsala or bourbon. Steam the oysters just until they open. Cool in an ice bath to stop cooking.
  • Shuck the oysters using an oyster knife (affiliate link). Reserve the juices in a bowl. Also reserve the larger half shell.
  • Strain the cooking liquid through a cheesecloth lined fine mesh sieve.
  • Soak oysters in the cooking liquid for about 30 minutes to plump them up.
  • Set up your smoker. Preheat to low heat about, 150°F. Add your wood chips or pellets.
  • Place shucked raw oysters on to a wire rack like a cooling rack or a seafood grilling rack or even on a rack from your dehydrator, if it is metal. Brush with sauce.
  • Smoke for about 2 hours then increase temperature to 175°F for another 30 minutes to an hour. Internal temperature of oysters should be 140°F and they should have curled edges and have become firm and have your desired texture. Don't overcook or they will become dry.

For the sauce

  • Optional but this sauce is delicious with the oysters.
  • Add honey, butter, Marsala or bourbon, salt and pepper to a small saucepan. Melt butter and stir to combine ingredients.
    2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons butter, ½ teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt, ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper, 1 tablespoon Marsala
  • Serve with hot oysters. Add a dash of hot sauce if desired.
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Notes

Don’t overcook the oysters. They will become dry and tough.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator tossed in a bit of olive oil for 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze in single use portions.
How to serve them
  • One of our favorite ways to serve these is and an appetizer. Top a cracker with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese and then with an oyster. Delicious!
  • They are also good tossed into a simple pasta dish topped with extra virgin olive oil and parmesan or asiago cheese.
  • Just pop them in your mouth for a healthy snack.
  • Mix with cream cheese, mayonnaise and garlic powder for a simple, quick, delicious dip for crackers or breads.
  • Add a bowl to a Seafood Charcuterie Board.
  • They make delicious smoky chowders.

Nutrition

Serving: 1oyster | Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 5mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg
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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love oysters but I’ve never tried them smoked- can’t wait to try these over the weekend!

  2. 5 stars
    Never thought to make my own smoked oysters but with this recipe I’m going to give it a try. These look fabulous!

  3. 5 stars
    I love smoked oysters but have never made them at home before. Thank you for your step-by-step instructions and tips! They were delicious.

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