Australian Oysters Kilpatrick

Australian Oysters Kilpatrick

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Total: 11 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
112 Calories
9g Fat
5g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 112
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 286mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 131mg 3%
*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.)

Enjoy oysters at home with this traditional Australian recipe for Oysters Kilpatrick. Freshly shucked oysters are topped with crispy smoked bacon, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, and butter for a sophisticated and delicious appetizer. Just remember that the oysters are only as good as your source, so make sure you are purchasing them from a reputable fishmonger. You can use the broiler or the grill to make oysters Kilpatrick, but no matter which cooking method it's important to keep an eye on them as the cooking time is very quick.

There are countless variations of this recipe and a few versions of the derivation of the name of the dish. One story is that chef Ernest Arbogast of the Palm Court at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco created the dish and named it after the hotel manager, Colonel John C. Kirkpatrick; Kirkpatrick eventually changed to Kilpatrick. A more amusing tale involves an Irish fisherman whose daily catch of oysters caused a deadly heart attack when he tried to lift it into his boat. Thus, “Oysters Kill Patrick” appeared in the next day’s news headlines, and led to the name of the dish.

This recipe calls for one to two dozen oysters. The number you choose will depend on how you plan to serve them. If you're serving oysters Kilpatrick as an appetizer, you can generally plan on three to four oysters per person; for an individual course before the main dish, you might want to serve each person five or six. Keep in mind the sauce in this recipe should top up to 24 oysters.


  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 to 2 dashes Tabasco sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 2 slices (rashers) smoked bacon (rindless, finely sliced)

  • 12 to 24 oysters (shucked)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Australian Oysters Kilpatrick ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a small pan, gently heat the Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, butter, and Tabasco sauce. Stir until combined.

    Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, butter, and Tabasco sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    sauce in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. In a frying pan, cook the bacon slices until crispy.

    bacon in a pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.

    bacon on top of a paper towel

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Once cooled, dice the bacon and set aside.

    bacon pieces in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Place the oven shelf in the topmost position under the broiler. Set the oven to broil and let it heat up. On a baking sheet, create pockets, using aluminum foil, for the oyster shells to sit in without toppling over.

    baking sheet with aluminum foil

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Arrange the shucked oysters in the foil pockets.

    oysters on top of aluminum foil on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

    sauce on top of oysters on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  10. Scatter each with diced bacon.

    bacon and sauce on top of oyster

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  11. Broil for about 50 or 60 seconds.

    broiled oysters with bacon and sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  12. Remove from the broiler and arrange on serving platter.

    Australian Oysters Kilpatrick on a plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Glass Bakeware Warning

Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls for adding liquid to a hot pan. Glass may explode under these conditions, even if it states it's oven-safe or heat resistant; tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.


  • There are a number of things you'll want to consider when selecting oysters, which begins with finding a reputable market. They are required to sell live oysters, which should be clamped tightly shut or immediately close when tapped.
  • For this recipe, you need to know how to shuck oysters. It's not difficult when you get the hang of it, but if you are apprehensive, you can ask the fish market if they will do it for you.
  • You can cook oysters Kilpatrick on a very hot grill rather than using your oven's broiler. Place the foil nested-oysters on a grill-safe pan and top them with the sauce. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Some people use a layer of rock salt on the pan rather than the foil to hold the oysters in place. With this method, make sure the salt is arranged in a thick layer that can stabilize the shells.
  • If your bacon is very lean, heat 1 tablespoon oil in the frying pan before adding the bacon.

Recipe Variations

  • Top your oysters with cheese before broiling or during the last 1 to 2 minutes of grilling. Havarti, mozzarella, and Parmesan are favorites for this recipe.
  • You can vary the seasonings to suit your taste. Often, oysters Kilpatrick is prepared without Tabasco sauce and finished with chopped parsley and served with lemon wedges instead.
  • A little salt and freshly ground black pepper sprinkled on top before broiling can give the flavor a nice boost.
  • Add diced onion toward the end of frying the bacon and gently sauté, then add to the oyster topping.
  • Sliced jalapenos are another popular addition if you like things spicy.