How to Cook Oysters

 Are you a seafood lover and want to try something new? Oysters are a great option to try. Cooking oysters may seem intimidating, but it's actually quite simple. In this article, we will cover various ways to cook oysters, tips for selecting the best oysters, and the pros and cons of each cooking method.

Oysters On A Plate

Types of Oysters

Oysters come in various types and sizes. Before we dive into how to cook them, let's discuss the different types of oysters:

Atlantic Oysters

Atlantic oysters are known for their briny and salty taste. They have a smooth texture and are usually small in size.

Pacific Oysters

Pacific oysters are larger than Atlantic oysters and have a sweeter taste. They have a more crunchy texture and are often preferred by those who don't like the briny taste of Atlantic oysters.

Olympia Oysters

Olympia oysters are the smallest oysters and are native to the Pacific Northwest. They have a nutty and sweet flavor, with a firm texture.

How to Select Oysters

When selecting oysters, it's important to choose fresh and live oysters. Here are some tips:

  • Choose oysters that are tightly closed, or close when tapped.
  • Avoid oysters that have gaping shells, as this indicates they are dead.
  • Smell the oyster to ensure it has a fresh sea smell, not a foul odor.
  • Choose oysters that are heavy for their size, as this indicates they are full of meat.

Ways to Cook Oysters

Raw Oysters

Raw oysters are a popular way to eat oysters, especially at raw bars. They are served on the half-shell with lemon wedges and a cocktail sauce or mignonette sauce. To shuck an oyster, use an oyster knife to pry open the shell and loosen the muscle. Be careful not to spill the oyster liquor (the juice inside the shell).

Raw Oysters On A Plate

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller is a classic dish where oysters are baked with spinach, breadcrumbs, and butter. Here's how to make it:

  1. Shuck the oysters and place them on a baking sheet.
  2. In a pan, sauté spinach and garlic in butter until wilted.
  3. Add breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings to the spinach mixture.
  4. Spoon the spinach mixture onto the oysters.
  5. Bake the oysters in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.
Oysters Rockefeller On A Plate

Fried Oysters

Fried oysters are a Southern favorite. They are coated in cornmeal or flour and fried until crispy. Here's how to make them:

  1. Shuck the oysters and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a bowl, mix cornmeal or flour, salt, and pepper.
  3. Dredge the oysters in the flour mixture.
  4. In a pan, heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Fry the oysters in the oil for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Remove the oysters from the oil and place them on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
Fried Oysters On A Plate

Pros and Cons of Cooking Oysters


  • Oysters are low in calories and high in protein.
  • Oysters are rich in vitamins and minerals, especially zinc and iron.
  • Oysters can be cooked in various ways, making them versatile.


  • Oysters can be expensive.
  • Oysters can be difficult to shuck, which can be dangerous if not done properly.
  • Oysters can be an acquired taste, as they have a unique flavor and texture.


Cooking oysters may seem intimidating, but it's actually quite easy. Whether you prefer them raw, baked, or fried, there's a cooking method for everyone. Just remember to select fresh and live oysters, and be careful when shucking them. Oysters are not only delicious, but also packed with nutrients, making them a great addition to your diet.


Q: Can you eat oysters when pregnant?

A: It's not recommended to eat raw oysters when pregnant, as they can contain harmful bacteria. Cooked oysters are safe to eat in moderation.

Q: Are oysters an aphrodisiac?

A: There's no scientific evidence to support the claim that oysters are an aphrodisiac. However, they are high in zinc, which is important for sexual health.

Q: How do you store oysters?

A: Oysters should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of 33-40 degrees Fahrenheit. They should be consumed within 2-3 days of purchase.

Q: Can you freeze oysters?

A: It's not recommended to freeze raw oysters, as it can affect their texture and flavor. Cooked oysters can be frozen, but may not taste as good as fresh oysters.