Howdy Y’all, Ben here with Flood Tide Co. and I’m back for another monthly installment of Heavy Meats & Good Eats. This month we’re talking oysters, and as y'all know there are many ways to prepare this wonderful succulent, briney, marsh morsel. Fried oysters, steamed oysters, grilled oysters, oysters rockefeller, well not to sound too much like Bubba from Forrest Gump, y'all get the idea. Oyster season is in full swing here in the Lowcountry and we here at the FTC Laboratories are taking full advantage of this wonderful time of year. The oyster roast is a tradition that has deep roots here in the Lowcountry and is something that we all look forward to each year, so with that said the FTC Crew had ourselves a little get together last week.
There are two primary ways in which to cook/steam your oysters. One way is when a flat metal plate is placed above a wood burning fire, once the metal plate is up to temp, oysters are then placed on top and covered with a wet burlap sack, thus steaming the oysters. The other method, is to take a large steam pot and basket and place it on top of a propane burner. I opted in favor of the second method utilizing a 120 quart steam pot along with the steam basket that fits inside said steam pot.
Here's what you'll need:
Steam Pot & Basket
Oysters (oysters are sold in bushels) Depending how many people you are hosting will determine how many bushels you will need. 3 bushels fed approx 20 people.
Garbage can to place shucked oysters.
Oyster knives, no you can't bite the shell
Hot sauce, (Tabasco is my prefered hot sauce to accompany oysters)
Here is a rundown on the process needed in order to pull off a successful oyster roast. I fill 120 quart pot with water (approx 1/4 of what the pot can hold). Bring water to a strong boil, fill basket halfway with oysters, place basket into pot, cover and steam for 5-10 minutes. 5 minutes for a medium-cooked oyster and 10 minutes for a well done oyster. After 10 minutes, most of the oysters should be opened and i do not recommend cooking oysters any longer than 10 minutes as the can become very chewy. Remove oysters from pot, empty basket on a shuckin' table and enjoy some hardcore shuckin'. Oysters are often served with a saltine cracker, hot sauce, and some cocktail sauce, but as the old saying goes, "The world is your oyster," enjoy them how you wish. Until next time my fellow foodies, enjoy the outdoors, good food, and good, clean, livin'.
I encourage y'all to recycle your oyster shells. Most communities have a oyster recycling program where a local organization will provide container for oyster shells. Here in Charleston, the DNR brought us a container and picked it up or us. Let's do our part to help rebuild our Lowcountry estuaries.