How to Steam Oysters

How to steam oysters
Freshly steamed cluster oysters

Learning how to steam oysters is relatively easy to do. First, you will need a pot with a strainer basket for steaming the oysters. We recommend a 10-gallon cooker. Second, you want fill the pot with about two inches of water. Put enough water in the pot to create steam, but not enough to boil the oysters. If you are planning on steaming several batches of oysters, make sure to occasionally add some water. You don’t want to burn the bottom of your pot.

The method for steaming oysters is same for farm-raised oysters or “cluster” oysters. Cluster oysters can be found in South Carolina and parts of Georgia.

Bring the water in the pot to a boil. This will not take long since there is not much water in the pot. Once the water is steaming place the strainer basket with oysters in the pot. Cover the pot with the lid and let the oysters begin steaming.

How long to Steam Oysters?

The amount of time that it takes to steam the oysters open will depend on two things. One, the type of oysters you are steaming, and two the temperature outside where you are cooking. Thicker shelled oysters will take a little bit longer to open. Once the water is steaming it should not take more than 5 to 7 minutes for the oysters to cook. It may also take a little longer if the outside temperature is in the 30s or 40s. Less time if the temperature is in the 60s or 70s. When the oysters are open they are also said to be “smiling”.

Once the oysters are open you can finish opening them the rest of the way with an oyster knife. Traditional side items to go along with steamed oysters are cocktail sauce, hot sauce, and saltine crackers.

Watch a video on how to steam oysters.

How to Shuck Oysters?

It is easy to learn how to shuck oysters at home, whether cooked or raw. If the oysters are steamed, the top of the shell should be opened. Use an oyster knife to open the oyster the rest of the way and enjoy. Cooked oysters are easy to open.

To shuck raw oysters, you want to open the oyster at the hinge on the bottom. This technique is easier than trying to pry open the shell of a raw oyster from the top. Follow this link to a video on How to Shuck Raw Oysters

What are the differences between Farm Raised Oysters and Wild Caught?

There are several differences between farm-raised oysters and wild-caught oysters, other than how they are raised and harvested. Learn more about farm-raised and wild-caught oysters in this video about the two.

Oyster Roast Side Dishes

Some traditional oyster roast sides dishes include Shrimp Boils and Fish Stew. If you are having any non-seafood eaters at your roast, some popular sides are Chili and Hot Dogs. These are just a few examples of side dishes, but anything you would like to serve will probably work.