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smoked oysters recipe
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5 from 6 votes

Smoked Oysters

This is an easy way to make smoked oysters, where you make your own brine while prepping them. You can of course shuck all your oysters raw and use the liquor to brine them, but it's a bit harder and I don't like the end product quite so much. But either way works.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: oysters, smoked foods
Servings: 2 pints
Calories: 110kcal
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 40 to 50 oysters in the shell
  • 1 cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • About 1/4 cup high quality olive oil or other oil, such as walnut or hazelnut


  • Make sure all the oysters are clean by running them under cold water. Bring the vermouth and water to a boil and add some oysters in a single layer. Cover and steam until they are open, which should take between a minute and 3 minutes. Move opened oysters to a bowl or baking sheet and add more fresh ones until you've steamed them all open.
  • Strain the cooking liquid through a paper towel or cheesecloth (to remove all the debris) into a bowl. Set aside.
  • Use a small, sharp knife to remove the oysters from the shells, trying your best to get the little "scallop" muscle that holds the oyster in its shell -- it's tasty! When it's done, drop each oyster into the strained broth. Make sure all the oysters soak for at least 20 minutes.
  • Fire up the smoker. I use alder or cherry wood, and I like the temperature to be around 145°F. Keep in mind oysters are small, so you will need a fine grate to prevent them from falling through. I use dehydrator mats. Smoke the oysters for 90 minutes to 2 hours -- you don't need a whole lot of time here, just enough to get a smoky flavor without overcooking them. Don't let the smoker get too hot!
  • When they are done, toss the oysters in the oil and eat, or store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week. Freeze what you don't eat.


Once made, these oysters are excellent in a mixed seafood chowder, stew or pasta -- at the last minute, remember they are cooked. You can also just eat them as an appetizer on crackers. Something acidic, like minced shallot or chile soaked in lime juice, is an excellent accompaniment.


Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 44mg | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg