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How To Eat Oysters

July 08, 2020


How To Eat Oysters

Summer is in full swing which means that it is the perfect time to grab a bushel of Willapa bay oysters or any other ocean-fresh seafood and chill out. There is no better way to get the taste of the ocean than by eating raw oysters, but for many first-timers, understanding the right technique can be a challenge. Some of the best oysters are Louisiana oysters, but even seasoned oyster lovers from down south admit they could use more oyster eating tips.

While eating raw oysters is often highlighted, there are a lot of ways to serve cooked oysters that will leave you lusting for more. Southern fried oysters are a favorite for date nights and cookouts, while grilled oysters Rockefeller is a great option for those who have a more developed palette. There really is no perfect way to eat this shelled delicacy since there is a myriad of cooking and serving methods that vary depending on where you happen to be.


Oysters have been a favorite among the gentry and the working classes for centuries, there are even aficionados of vintage oysters.  In case you are curious how long do oysters live, some of the most expensive breeds have been dated at over 20 years old! Of course,  fried oysters are typically made from more affordable breeds, but that doesn’t make them any less delicious.

We love our seafood here at Global Seafood, and oysters are near the top of our list. We are going to go over everything you need to know from how to steam oysters, what garnishes to use with broiled oysters, how to shuck and slurp them, and much more! We will even go over the different variations and explain the subtle details that set each apart from the other.

Tips On Picking Out The Best Oysters From Each Region

From bold Dragos oysters and briny blue point oysters to delicate and mild island creek oysters, there are different types of oysters for every palate. You can eat them fried, grilled, baked, or even straight from the shell. Mollusks may not be the most attractive fare, but they are some of the most delicious things that will ever pass through your lips. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to get confused about which oysters are the best, or which may taste the best for your particular dining preferences. The origin of the oyster plays a big role in how they taste, and on their texture, followed by the season in which they are harvested.


No matter what your oyster-eating experience may be, knowing what type of oyster you have to choose from will help you make the most of your dining adventure. There are basically five species of oysters to choose from.

For those who are looking for larger portions as well as a sweeter taste, Kumamoto oysters and Pacific oysters are the ones to choose from. These oysters pair a creamy texture with a buttery taste. They also have a mineral flavor to their meat that is very rich. These species are often farmed along the West Coast but are also found in the wild off the Pacific coast of Asia. Most raw bars in the US feature these species, though they are often harvested before they reach their full size.

Similar to west coast oysters, Kumamoto oysters feature a deep bowl-shaped shell. The meat of the oyster is sweet and buttery, but it also has a fruity or nutty flavor. The origin of these Japanese oysters species is the Japanese island of Kyushu which is where their name is drawn from. If you are a first-timer in the world of oysters, this is a gentle flavor to start off with.

For deep bay oysters, Kusshi oysters are some of the best Pacific mollusks around. They have a super clean flavor profile that has the delicate taste of brine in the meat. Olympias are native to the West Coast, but due to their extreme harvesting, almost went extinct in the early 1900s. You can still get them, but at a high cost and in limited quantities. The meat of Olympias carries a strong flavor profile similar to European flats oysters.

A Simple Way To Make Oysters Philadelphia That The Family Will Love!

People all along the East coast share one thing in common, and that is a love for delicious oysters. If you are looking for oysters Portland, is one of the best places for unique flavors that you won’t find anywhere else. You can check out restaurants along the boardwalk, or even hit up a raw oyster bar for a mouthwatering feast that will leave your belly full and your taste buds satiated. While hitting the town for gourmet oysters is always a treat, making them at home for the whole family is even better.

Raw oysters are always an option, but why not put your own spin and create a new family tradition with air fryer oysters and a healthy side dish? Similar to our pan fried oyster recipe we mentioned earlier, air fryer oysters will be crisp and flavorful, but without the extra oil. Simply follow the same breading technique as the pan fried oysters, but instead of dropping them into a pot of hot oil, simply put them in your air fryer instead. The temperature should be set to 400 degrees and allow them to cook for 2 – 3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a crispy salad or a light fish sauce to round out your meal.

Great Ideas On How To Serve Pacific Oysters

New York has been the culinary capital of the country for decades, so it makes sense that the best oysters can be found there as well. From hood canal oysters on the half-shell to micro-brewed craft beers, Tribeca offers a diverse range of seafood to choose from no matter what level of connoisseur you happen to be. If you love the taste of  Canal street oysters but don’t have the time or the money to travel, you can serve them at home instead.

Pacific oysters have a buttery taste that makes them perfect for a raw presentation. Simply wash a batch of your favorite species, and the shuck them for presentation. Make sure to maintain a cold temperature to keep them safe for eating. Arrange your shucked oysters on a bed of crushed ice, add a few fresh lemon slices, and topped with a small amount of black pepper and serve! Not only is the presentation beautiful, but the simple fare will allow the true taste of the oyster to be enjoyed.   

If you want to enjoy a few oysters but are not in the mood for raw food, then pan-fried oysters are another great option.  You can use fresh Chesapeake bay oysters or even canned oysters if you are really in a pinch.  Pan-Fried Oysters Oreganata is an easy dish you can prepare that gives you the delicious crunch you crave paired with the lemony taste of a high-quality oyster.

For our recipe, you can grab some of the best oysters in Seattle fresh from the water, or you can use canned, or pre-shucked oysters. A pint of oyster meat drained of their bring is all you need to get started. Next, you will need to prepare the dredging mix that will create the perfect crispy coating for your pan-fried oysters. In a heavy skillet that is at least four inches deep, add two inches of oil and heat it to 325 degrees so that your oil will be ready as soon as you dredge your oysters.  

One bowl should contain a whisked egg, your next bowl should contain Panko breadcrumbs, and your last bowl should have sifted flour seasoned salt, pepper, and a bit of cayenne pepper. This will give you the perfect coating that results in breaded oysters that are crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. To coat, submerge the oyster in flour and then move over and coat it in the egg solution, followed quickly by the blend of Panko crumbs. Drop the coated oysters into the oil and let them fry for about a minute on each side, or until they are golden brown. Remove them from the oil and let them drain on a tray lined with paper towels. 

Once you have fried all of your oysters, remove all but about a tablespoon of oil from the pan. Add in a whole sliced lemon and lightly fry them until they are a light brown.  Add in a full stick of butter and reduce the fire to a low flame. As the butter is melting over the lemon slices, add in a pinch of oregano and a 1/4th cup of chopped parsley. Stir and pour the liquid into a dipping bowl.  Plate your oysters and sauce, then enjoy!

Is There A Difference Between Florida Oysters and Wellfleet Oysters?

Oysters that come from the Atlantic, such as oysters Orlando, taste a bit different thank Japan oysters. These species come from the East coast and also happen to be bigger than their Pacific cousins. Their flavor is also fruity, but the meat from Atlantic oysters has a saltier taste. Florida oysters, Wellfleet, Blue Points, and Beausoleil's are all Atlantic oysters that you can find in most East coast states.

There are some small flavor differences between Wellfleet oysters and Florida oysters, but not so much that the experience will differ. Depending on where you live, many of the frozen oysters you buy may actually be Wellfleet oysters since they tend to hold up much better over time, and they grow in abundance in captivity.

If you are looking for oysters Philadelphia, chances are you will end up with the European flats species. They are bred on both coasts of the United States and often referred to as Belons. Original Belons come from France, specifically the Brittany region, but not all European oysters are actually Belons. The meat of these mollusks is a favorite among oyster lovers because they taste less like bring, and more like seaweed and minerals. They are perfect for those who love deep-fried oysters because the frying process helps to reduce the metallic taste of the oyster meat.

How Healthy Are Maine Oysters And Other Oysters?

Seafood, in general, is very good for your health. Not only is seafood full of lean protein, but it is also rich in vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. Oysters in particular are naturally low in fat and extremely high in B vitamins. Many women avoid oysters while pregnant,  but fully cooked oysters can improve nerve and brain development as well as help stabilize surging hormone levels during pregnancy.

Seafood is also a common choice for those who are looking to lose weight or those who are interested in living a healthier lifestyle. It might surprise you to know that there are 68 calories in oysters, specifically, in each protein and iron packed bite. Although they are clean calories, it is important to pay attention to how many you eat in addition to the calories that can be added due to how they are prepared.

For example, when thinking about oysters calories, how they are cooked, or their added condiments can affect their benefits. Let’s take a look at smoked oysters nutrition for a 2-ounce serving size. On average, 2 ounces of smoked oysters will have 120 calories and 7 grams of fat. You will get 37% of your daily required iron intake in just that small serving. They also contain vitamin D and thiamine which are also great for your health.

One thing that you should always keep in mind regardless of how you prepare your oysters, the colder they are, the safer they are to eat. Raw oysters, even live ones, run the risk of caring bacteria. Properly cooked oysters will have any existing bacteria destroyed by the heat, but those eaten raw have a risk of carrying contamination. Make sure that you trust your source and that you check temperatures before purchase and consumption to avoid a painful night on the toilet.

How To Cook Oysters For Beginners

For those who are just expanding their seafood adventures into the world of oysters, learning how to prepare oysters Bienville or other complex recipes can get confusing quickly. Thankfully, we have plenty of tips and recipes that any level of cook can use to create a mouth-watering meal. One of the most downloaded of all of our oyster dishes is the fried oysters recipe that we shared earlier. You can pan fry oysters and air fry oysters using the same recipe with equally delicious results.

For those looking for a truly simple way to cook oysters, then boiled oysters are your five-minute fix for the perfect snack or even an addition to a meal. Simply wash your oysters in clean water to remove any dirt or debris. Put on a pot of boiling water and add a pinch of salt and a slice of lemon. Once the water has started to boil, drop in whole, in-shell oysters. Make sure there is enough room for them to gently roll along with the boiling water. Allow them to boil for three to four minutes or until the shells start to open. Remove from the water once the shells start to open, plate, and enjoy!

Smoked oysters are really delicious if you get the recipe down right. Don’t let any past experience with industrial or commercial smoked oysters deter you from trying out our smoked oysters recipe. Freshly smoked oysters have a mildly smoky flavor and are juicy and full of rich notes.  They are great to have as a quick snack, or you can even serve them placed in their shells with a mix of compote topped with a mignonette. You can even add them to rice or pasta dishes to bring out the real character of the mollusk. Freeze them or jar them to have them on hand to add to hearty seafood chowders or one-pot stews as well.

Ingredients needed for smoked oysters:

  • 50 fresh oysters still in the shell
  • 1 cup of water
  • ¼ cup of hazelnut oil
  • 1 cup of dry white wine

Quick smoked oysters recipe instructions:

Clean all of your oysters under cold running water. Place your white wine and water into a pot and bring it to a slow boil. Add in a single layer of oysters still in their shells. Cover the pot and allow them to steam until the shells open. This usually takes about two minutes. Once they are open, remove them from the pot and place them on a baking sheet. Add another layer of oysters to the pot and repeat the process until they have all been opened.

After all the oysters have been opened, strain the liquid, and then set it aside for later. Shuck all of your oysters taking special care to get the muscle that holds the mollusk in its shell. Place the shelled meat in the broth and allow them to soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. Make sure your smoker is at a steady 145 degrees and that you are using a fine grate to keep your oysters from falling into the pit. Place your batch in the smoker and let them smoke for an hour and a half, but no longer than two hours.

Remove them from the smoker when the time is up and immerse them in your hazelnut oil. High-quality cold-pressed olive oil is also suitable if hazelnut oil is hard to come by.  You can eat them all right away, or you can store them in a glass jar, with the oil,  refrigerated for as long as a week. Of course, not everyone is interested in fried food, or even air fried food, or boiled fare so, we will also give you an easy to make recipe for baked oysters and chargrilled oysters that even a beginner can master.

Your Guide To Eating Oysters

One of our regular seafood customers visited the renowned B&G oysters over in Boston only to stare at the menu in confusion once they arrived. After getting a little guidance from the server, they decided to order whatever the special was for the day. As expected, the meal was superb, and during their next order, they suggested we create an easy to follow guide on how to eat and order oysters for the rest of our seafood-loving clients just like you.

There are a lot of ways to eat oysters and there is a wide range of oysters to choose from. Heck, you can even find canned smoked oysters at your local grocery store! Let’s start with the basics. If you are just starting out, choose a West coast oyster. They are much sweeter and gentler on the palette. Try different varieties and take the time to learn what you like. Do you want salty meat or are you looking for a stronger mineral taste? Are you planning to cook them or do you prefer to have them raw? Eating out at a high-quality oyster bar will give you a chance to try various varieties all in one place.

Once you know the general type of oyster you like, you can start getting some to take home or even to entertain with. On that note, it is important to never buy fresh oysters that are open. In fact, never eat an oyster that is open when you receive it unless is at a reputable restaurant. There are many types of sauce for oysters that can dress up or even masks the taste, so make sure that you know what you are getting into before dousing your mollusk in juices.

Another thing to learn as a beginner is how to open oysters. There are a few ways, the most common is to open then using a shucking knife. The best way to learn is to watch a few videos to get the proper form and then practice using seafood gloves to avoid injury. Another easy way by steaming oysters until the shells open. This cooks the oysters and it opens them all in one go, which is perfect for those just starting out with these shelled delights.

It is important to always eat fresh oysters. Pay close attention to the smell, if there is even a hint of a bad odor, don’t eat it. When cooking oysters, make sure to wash them properly before cooking and always make sure they are fully cooked before consumption.

Fall In Love With Maine Oysters

Earlier in the post, we taught you how to smoke oysters, but we didn’t mention which type should be used. In truth, all species of oysters will produce a wonderful smoked delicacy, bout our favorite is Maine oysters. They have a delicate natural flavor that lends support to the taste of the smoke without losing itself in the process. And with so few calories in raw oysters, smoking them for later consumption is really the perfect snack. We also suggest using the Main variety or any Eastern variety when grilling oysters to get the true flavor of the sea mixed with the heat of the grill.

Frequently Asked Questions About Different Types Of Oysters

How Do You Open An Oyster?

The best way to open an oyster is to use a shucking knife. Holding the oyster in the cup of your hand, slide the knife alongside the front where the shells meet. Once you create a small gap, twist the knife 90 degrees to pop open the shell. If you happen to be eating oysters in a place without a shucking knife, you can always open them with fire. Simply cook them with the cup side of the oyster facing down over steam or direct fire to open the shell.

How are oysters cleaned?

Before shucking oysters for your meal, you will want to make sure they are cleaned. The best way to go about that is to run them under cold water until all the dirt, sand, and debris have been removed from the shell and ridges.

What is the best way to prepare an oyster?

Oyster preparation really depends on your preference. A crowd favorite is charbroiled oysters or steamed oysters which can be done in a hot pan in under 10 minutes. Raw oysters simply need to be cleaned well and doused with a dash of lemon before being served on the half shell.

How should you cook oysters from a jar?

Canned or jar oysters must always be cooked before you eat them. We have several canned oysters recipes that range from broiling to deep frying that is all quite delicious.

Cooking tips for shelled oysters

Whether you are cooking Rappahannock oysters or Shigoku oysters, there are a few things to remember. Shelled oysters cook much faster than those still in their shell. Make sure that you always clean them well and make sure to pay attention to the temperature of the pan to prevent burning. Overcooked oysters will turn rubbery which is never palatable, so cook shelled oysters with care.

What is the right way to cook oysters in an oven?

If you are wondering how to cook oysters in the shell, then oven roasting is an easy way to go about it. Simply heat your oven to 475 degrees. Then, using a 12-by-16-inch roasting pan with a rack, arrange your cleaned oysters flat on the tray. Fill with about a third of an inch of water under the rack and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove them from the oven once the shells start to open. Remove and serve.

Can oysters be stored? What’s the best method?

Both live oysters and raw oysters can be stored for a few days once you get them home. The best flavor comes when you eat them right away, but you can save them for as long as five days. The best way to store them is in the refrigerator. Make sure to place them with the large side of their shell facing down in an open container. The container should be covered with a clean, but damp cloth. Alternatively, you can store them in a damp mesh bag.