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Oysters on The Grill

Posted by Chef Perry Perkins on

Oysters on The Grill

~Chef Perry Perkins~

For generations before the pioneer settlers arrived, Chinook Indians gathered oysters around what it now Willapa Bay and camped in the area that is now Oysterville, Washington. Oysters were typically set in the hot coals of the fire until the shell popped open, then the oyster meat would be removed with a knife or pointed stick. Similarly, oysters can be cooked in their shells on your Caja China's grill racks. The heat from the grill steams the oysters and pops the shells open, while poaching the oyster inside.

They make a great appetizer while your salmon or brisket is cooking inside the box!

4 dozen oysters, scrubbed
1 C butter
1 tsp lemon pepper

Cocktail sauce
1 Tsp seasoned salt
Lemon wedges

Melt butter with seasoned salt and lemon pepper

Place your La Caja China grill racks, oiled, over the hot coals ( don't do this just after adding coals, but wait until coals are evenly white.)

Place oysters, unshelled, on grill. Oysters have a "cup" side ( like a bowl) and a "lid" side (flat), the cup side should be down so as not to lose all the yummy juices.

Get your condiments close to the grill on another table and make sure everyone has put on their gloves. Have aluminum pie pans available, if you like, to use as plates. When shells open (in about 3 minutes), use an oyster knife to detach oyster from top shell, and discard.

Then encourage everybody to dig in, topping oysters with their favorite condiments, or seasoned butter. Continue cooking the oysters in batches until they’re gone. Oysters that don’t open should be discarded.

If you're having trouble getting your oysters to "sit up straight" on the grill, you can fashion some small rings out of aluminum foil to place each oyster in, while it's cooking.

How to shuck a raw oyster

This is the snack that keeps the cooks the kitchen, I mean!

  1. Rinse oysters in cold running water before opening. Hold oyster cup side down and hinge pointed toward you.
  2. Insert oyster knife at hinge slowly but firmly and push the knife between the shells. Use a slight side to side rocking movement with your knife as you push in.
  3. Work tip of knife into the oyster (about 1/2 inch), and twist the handle to pop oyster open.
  4. Slice muscle from top shell.
  5. Open top shell, and cut muscle from bottom cup. Leave the oyster in the bottom cup, being careful not to spill the liquor. Turn the meat over for most professional appearance.


~ Chef Perry

Chef Perry P. Perkins comes from a long line of professional cooks.

As a third generation chef, he focuses his love of cooking on barbeque, traditional southern fare, and fresh Northwest cuisine.

Perry runs a non-profit organization. MY KITCHEN Outreach Program, which teaches nutrition, shopping, and hands on cooking classes or at risk youth.

His cookbooks include La Caja China Cooking, La Caja China World, and La Caja China Party.

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