Get your shuckers ready – ’tis the season of Lowcountry oyster roasts! Between now and early spring, you’ll find oyster roasts happening all around town. Have you ever thought about hosting your own? Check out our step-by-step guide on how to host your own oyster roast!
To host your own oyster roast, here’s what you’ll need:
- Bushels of local oyster clusters, depending on the number of guests. (One bushel of oysters feeds about 4-6 people.) Oysters can be purchased from a Good Catch Seafood Purveyor or can be harvested following regulations set by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).
- Pro-tip: keep the oysters as fresh as possible by getting them the day before or the day of your roast. Also, check the oysters to make sure they are still alive and shells are still tightly closed—if their shells are already open, it’s likely they are dead and they shouldn’t be eaten.
- A large piece of sheet metal to fit over a gas burner or wood fire OR a large pot and steamer tray
- An outdoor gas burner or wood fire if cooking with metal sheet
- A table with a hole cut in the middle (or a plywood board with a hole in it, placed on sawhorses)
- Cans or buckets to go under the holes in the table to collect the remaining oyster shells
- Oyster knives and gloves or hand towels
- Saltine crackers and condiments like hot sauce, cocktail sauce and lemons
Make sure to rinse the oysters to remove excess pluff mud first. Start your gas burner or fire pit. Pile the oysters on the hot metal and place it over the heat. If using a pot and steamer tray, pour two inches of water into your pot, bring to a boil, and place the oysters on the steamer tray. Don’t pile the oysters too high – you can cook them in batches!
If cooking over a fire pit, you can also try steaming the oysters by placing a wet burlap feed sack over them, but PLEASE make sure you keep the bag wet so that it won’t burn!
Regardless of the method you decide to use, the oysters shouldn’t take very long to cook, about 8-10 minutes per batch. Once the shells have started to open, they are ready to eat. Transfer the oysters from the cooker onto the table and get ready to enjoy!
Use the oyster knives to shuck the open oysters carefully. Depending on your preference, you can enjoy the oyster solo or try placing the oyster on a saltine cracker and add your favorite sauce – bon appétit!
Once you’ve enjoyed every last oyster, please make sure to recycle oyster shells at one of the SCDNR recycling locations so that the shell can be used to cultivate and restore oyster beds.
If you’re more into attending oyster roasts than hosting your own, be sure to keep an eye out for oyster roasts hosted by Good Catch partners.