The best thing about cooking is that not only are there tons of recipes with endless possibilities out there, but they can cater to all types of aspiring cooks to head chefs in five-star restaurants! So no matter who you are or where you'll be cooking, you have all the opportunities to whip up a delicious meal as long as you follow the directions and use quality ingredients.
One thing I particularly love would be oysters, especially when smoked. I'm sure a lot of you like this dish as well, which begs you to wonder how to smoke oysters yourself!
To help you whip up a nice batch of smoked oysters, read on as I show you the steps you should follow!
Last update on 2017-10-17 PST - Details
Why Should You Have Smoked Oysters?
You already know what oysters are, I'm sure. But why should you consider cooking, or more specifically, smoking them? You'll be surprised that this simple dish is very rich and has got a ton of benefits!
Smoked oysters have a jelly-like and smooth texture without any smooth resistance. It tastes like the ocean, fresh with a hint of smoky flavor to it after you have cooked it. Better when eaten cold, you can eat it alone or with a host of other dishes to use as a side, including crackers with cream cheese!
Oysters are a good source of zinc, which offers better immunity and a libido-boosting effect. They also give you better energy and reduction of disease because of its high amount of B vitamins and the healthy fats and cholesterols inside the oysters, especially when with olive oil. And with a substantial amount of protein, you can stay satiated and stronger.
But remember you shouldn't have TOO many oysters because of its high fat and cholesterol content! A serving is about four ounces or 84 grams. Sticking to that per day or meal is recommended.
How to Smoke Oysters
Are you convinced and want to smoke oysters now? Awesome! Here is the step-by-step procedure to do so.
This recipe serves up to four people.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: One hour
Before anything else, you'll need the following tools and equipment:
- Smoker and designated pan
- Two pieces of wood for smoking (I recommend light woods such as alder, peach, or apple)
- Oyster shucking tool
- Tray or dish for your oysters
- Kitchen thermometer
- 48 fresh medium-sized oysters. Remember to use only fresh oysters, which should smell briny-fresh and have a bright, clean appearance. The shells must be tightly closed and can't be pulled apart, or they close tightly once tapped. I recommend you not to buy open-shelled oysters.
- One stick of melted butter
- Four cloves of garlic, minced
- A pinch of salt and pepper (or any of your preferred seasonings)
Steps to follow:
1. Prepare your smoker and start the fire with a temperature range between 200 to 255 degrees Celsius.
2. Start preparing and shucking your oysters, if it wasn't done in the butcher shop. To do so, put the tip of the shucking tool into your oyster's back. Once it's in place, turn the told using your wrist. You'll feel some tension. Twist it the second time and with a bit of pressure, getting the tip inside. The third twist will open your oyster successfully. Do so for the other oysters until you have removed all shells.
Shuck the top off from the oysters and detach the top half from its bottom, leaving the oyster with its half bottom shell. Rinse the oysters with cool water and set the oysters for smoking on a pan.
Throw away dead oysters, which usually open very quickly and easily. Shucking can be dangerous, so I recommend you also to use a steel glove to prevent injuries from the shell or shucking tool.
3. Once all the oysters are ready, melt your butter over low heat in another pan. The butter should melt but not brown. Add the garlic and allow it to sit for one minute. Sprinkle your seasonings over the oysters and add one teaspoon of the butter mixture per oyster.
4. Add the wood to the coals of the smoker, letting smoke build at the optimum temperature (200 to 225 degrees Celsius). Insert the oysters to smoke, which should be near the thermometer but away from direct heat. Leave it for about half an hour or until it's similar to the consistency of set jello. If the oysters are not yet ready by half an hour, then check every 15 minutes.
Avoid leaving it for too long, as oysters cook quickly. Don't let the butter evaporate or let the fire get too hot, or the overcooked oyster ends up being chewy and inedible.
5. Get the pan out of the smoker and put the oysters on a tray for serving. And you're ready to go! I'll show you some ideas on how to serve oyster in the next section. Enjoy!
Pro-Tips on Making Smoked Oysters
Now that you know how to smoke oysters, the next question is: What are other ways on how to make it even better? Try following these tips to achieve the perfect smoked oysters!
- What's great about oysters is that you can have it alone with your favorite condiments. Like what I mentioned, it's best served cold. So serve the oysters with a plate of ice and lemon wedges for garnishing. I like a few drops of hot sauce as well.
- Another idea on serving the oysters would be with garlic bread or carrot and celery sticks with ranch dressing. You may also want to add it to your pasta for a rich and seafood-themed flavor.
- To pair the oysters with drinks, I would recommend lemonade for the children and a Bloody Mary or lager for the adults. Champagne or sparkling wine such as Muscadet will go well with oysters, too.
- When looking for the perfect fresh oysters to smoke, I know how difficult it can be for beginners. Besides what I mentioned above, you can also ask your local butcher or vendors from seafood markets, who can provide you the fresh oysters according to your needs.
- I recommend you to consume the oysters after smoking them as they lose its flavor once stored in the fridge or freezer. If they smell or taste off, then discard it immediately to avoid food poisoning.
There are thousands of recipes out there to choose from, with anyone being able to master it as long as they have the passion for doing so. You can even make oysters, which are delicious and have the fresh flavors that make it perfect for any meal.
I hope that this article on how to smoke oysters helped you become more knowledgeable about what you can do to make this simple yet rich ingredient the delicious dish you can serve to your family and friends. So don't wait any longer! Try this excellent recipe today and see what it has to offer.
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips and experiences on how to smoke oysters, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.