How to Grill Oysters at Home

How to grill oysters at home

The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
162 Calories
5g Fat
10g Carbs
19g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 212mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 19g
Calcium 16mg 1%
*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.)

Far be it from me to talk you out of shucking oysters to eat them on the half-shell. After all, raw oysters are one of my favorite things to eat in the whole wide world.

Shucking oysters, however, is definitely not one of my favorite things to do. While setting oysters on the grill to get them to let loose of their firm grip on their shells always carries with it the danger of one or more of them exploding, I find the strategic use of the grill lid and some heads-up caution makes the ease of eating them, as well as the lightly smoked flavor they tend to pick up, well worth the risk.

Note that this method works with any type of oyster but super small Olympias, Kumamotos, or other Pacific oysters can get lost through the cooking grate: I recommend setting down a piece of foil with a few holes punched in it if you want to grill particularly small oysters.

You can grill however many oysters fit on your grill. Plan on 4 to 6 oysters per person as an appetizer. 


  • 10 to 12 fresh oysters

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for grilled oysters
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  2. Start with a hot gas or charcoal grill (you should be able to hold your hand about an inch above the cooking grate for just a few seconds before pulling it away from the heat) and fresh oysters.

  3. Set the oysters, with the cupped side down, on the cooking grate.

    Oysters on grill
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  4. Cover the grill and cook until the oysters have opened their shells and are opaque and cooked through but not yet dried out, about 5 minutes for smaller oysters and a few more minutes for larger ones. Note that most oysters will open their shells only in so much as it will be easy to lift off the top shell; they don't actively open up the way cooked mussels and clams do.

    Cover grill
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  5. Use tongs or heavy-duty oven/grilling mitts to remove the oysters from the grill.

    Oysters on platter
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  6. Remove the top shell and, for easy eating, run a sharp knife along the inside of the bottom shell to cut the oyster from it. 

    Remove top shell of oyster
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt
  7. Serve the oysters hot or warm.

    Serve oysters
    The Spruce / Victoria Heydt

You can top the oysters with a bit of butter, compound butter, your favorite barbecue sauce, or, for something tasty and a bit different, a wee dollop of pesto. Be sure to serve them while they're still hot for the best experience.

Note: If you want to cook the oysters with some sauce as pictured, you'll need to remove them, take off the top shells, put them back on the grill, and then sauce them—more of a hassle, but for the result of barbecue oysters, I'd say it's worth it!