Grilled Oysters Recipe

J. Kenji López-Alt

Why It Works

  • Compound butters offer tons of flavor with minimal effort.
  • Grilling the oysters just until they're cooked ensures tenderness.

How to Grill Oysters

I am an East Coast oyster fiend, but I can't abide West Coast oysters served raw. So, when a buddy of mine recently gave me a whole case of gorgeous Kusshi oysters from British Columbia for helping him out with an oyster-shucking job, I immediately knew there was only one way I was going to be enjoying these deep-cupped beauties: on the grill.

Topping them with compound butter is a simple, classic way to prepare them.

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serves: 2 to 3 servings

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  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil, crinkling it up to create deep creases. Shuck oysters, discard top shells, and place them on foil-lined baking sheet, using foil to keep them upright so that juices do not spill out.

  2. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals on one side of charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate.

  3. Place oysters directly over hot side of grill. Using 2 spoons, place 2 teaspoons (10ml) of compound butter inside each. Cover and cook until butter is melted and liquid is bubbling, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter lined with seaweed or moistened kosher salt (to keep oysters level; see note) and serve immediately.

Special equipment

Rimmed baking sheet, grill, oyster knife


Most fishmongers carry seaweed behind the counter. Ask for it when purchasing your oysters. Lining your serving plate with seaweed will allow you to keep the oysters stable. If using kosher salt instead, put a cup of kosher salt in a bowl and moisten with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it has the consistency of wet sand. Place small mounds of moistened salt on your serving platter and nestle an oyster into each mound to hold them stable.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
418 Calories
33g Fat
11g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 418
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 19g 95%
Cholesterol 175mg 58%
Sodium 664mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 14mg 68%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 9mg 51%
Potassium 320mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)