Australian Oysters Kilpatrick

Australian oysters Kilpatrick in shells, topped with sauce and bacon bits

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 1 mins
Total: 11 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
343 Calories
15g Fat
19g Carbs
30g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 343
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 171mg 57%
Sodium 610mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 22mg 110%
Calcium 40mg 3%
Iron 14mg 80%
Potassium 573mg 12%
*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.

This recipe calls for one to two dozen oysters and the number you choose will depend on how you plan to serve them. If the oysters Kilpatrick are 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 can top up to 24 oysters.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Australian oysters Kilpatrick recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    Worcestershire sauce with butter and seasonings being stirred in a saucepan on the burner

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    Saucepan with the sauce off the heat

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    Bacon sliced being browned in a frying pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.

    Fried bacon placed on a paper towel

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    Fried bacon pieces in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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

    Baking sheet lined with aluminum foil forming pockets for the oysters

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Arrange the shucked oysters in the foil pockets.

    Oysters placed on aluminum foil on the baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Top each oyster with a spoonful of sauce.

    Oysters topped with sauce on the baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. Scatter each with diced bacon.

    Bacon scattered on top of oysters on the baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  11. Broil for 50 to 60 seconds, watching carefully.

    Browned broiled oysters on the baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  12. Arrange on a serving platter and enjoy.

    Broiled Australian oysters Kilpatrick in shells on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / 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 do 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 of 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.

Why Is It Named Kilpatrick?

In addition to the countless variations of this recipe, there are also 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.