I have been enjoying Grilled Oysters with Bacon Cayenne Butter with Mike for several years, way back before Up Close & Tasty was even an idea. Since we recently celebrated our 7-year anniversary and grilled up these beauties yet again, it felt like the perfect time to share the recipe with you.
A lot of my friends are not into oysters. My mom is also not into them. I can forgive them for this, because each and every one of my non-oyster-loving friends devours this recipe. My mom frequently asks if Mike will make his oysters when she visits and after a recent shrimp boil at our friend’s house, our grilled oysters disappeared before Mike and I got to have one.
So, what’s the secret to getting more people to love oysters? Butter. Spicy Bacon and Cayenne Butter to be exact. This recipe makes a lot and you can freeze it to use on other foods like chicken, fish or steak too. It’s delightful.
I have three recommendations with this recipe.
1. Use larger sized oysters.
Blue Point or Delaware Bay are a nice size for the grill, because they will shrink as they cook.
2. Have someone help you with the grilling process.
This recipe requires both Mike and me to be stationed at the grill. One person manages the shucking without spilling the liquor in the half shell and the other manages the adding the butter topping while making sure the oysters don’t get over cooked.
3. Set a couple aside.
People will eat these immediately, so be sure you get to have one or two yourself.
Grilled Oysters with Bacon Cayenne Butter
3 slices hickory-smoked or applewood-smoked bacon
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons dry white wine
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
24 fresh oysters (such as Malpeque or Bluepoint)
Note: Larger oysters are better for grilling because they will shrink as they cook on the grill.
1. Cook bacon on baking sheet with wire rack in oven at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
2. Let cool and crumble the bacon into a Vitamix or food processor.
3. Add butter, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.
4. Blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides, if needed.
5. With machine running, gradually add white wine, then fresh lemon juice and continue to process until blended.
6. Drop butter onto saran wrap and shape into 2-inch-diameter log.
Note: Sorry, I couldn’t think of a better word than “log.”
7. Wrap to enclose; chill butter until firm, at least 2 hours.
8. Heat the grill to high and place oysters, flat side up on grill.
9. Cover and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
10. The oysters should now be slightly open. Quickly remove the oysters, careful not to spill any of their liquor.
11. Hold an oyster with an oven mitt and use a shucking knife to pry open the oyster. It should easily open.
12. Spoon 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick rounds of cayenne-butter onto each oyster and return to the grill.
13. Cover and grill 5-6 minutes.
14. Remove from grill and serve with lemon wedges.
Note: You can freeze the leftover butter to use later. It’s also great on chicken and fish.
All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.