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How to Smoke an Oyster

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Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

I recently took a trip to Tomales Bay, a short drive North of San Francisco near wine country, to learn all about the oysters they harvest and how to make smoked oysters. If you’re in town, I highly recommend spending a day driving out there to enjoy the oysters and the spectacular views of the bay. There are lots of little towns on the way that have great food options, too!  

Smoked oysters are a delicious way to cook and eat oysters, and you can use them in a variety of ways. Beyond crostini, they make a great addition to pasta and salads. You can learn the technique and see what I learned behind the scenes at Taste.

Also, a huge thank you to the folks at Williams-Sonoma for asking me to share a little bit about my mom and a dessert for Mother’s Day this week on their blog

Happy cooking!!!

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How to Smoke an Oyster

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Smoked oysters are a joyful revelation, and I first learned how they’re made at The Tomales Bay Oyster Company in Marshall, California. Once the oysters are smoked, they can be eaten in a multitude of ways, but my favorite remains eating them on crostini with creamy goat cheese, fresh herbs, pickled onions, and a splash of hot sauce.

 

This recipe is part of an essay I wrote for Taste (2018)

  • Yield: One Dozen Oysters

Ingredients

2 cups wood chips, sawdust, or wood pellets (such as oak or a fruitwood like cherry)

One dozen freshly shucked oysters in their half-shell

1/4 cup/60 ml extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Line a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid or Dutch oven with a double sheet of aluminum foil. Pour the sawdust over the foil.
  2. Carefully drain the liquid out of the oysters and drizzle about ½ tsp of olive oil over each oyster in the shell. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper as needed. Place the oysters in their shell so that they sit snugly between the wood pieces.
  3. Cover with a lid and heat on medium-high for about 8 to 10 minutes until you smell the smoke. Remove from heat and carefully open the lid. The oyster will have taken on a brownish-pink color and will be smoked. Discard any excess liquid that might have accumulated in the shell.

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