Smoked oysters can be used in many different ways, on crostini with goat cheese or with pickled onions and a bit of good pesto. They’re also great in salads and pastas. This is a method I adapted from Gill Meller’s exceptional book Gather. It’s an easy way to smoke oysters at home, especially if you don’t own a smoker. The key is to open the lid in a well-ventilated room to let the smoke escape.
- Line a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid or Dutch oven with a double sheet of aluminum foil. Pour the saw dust over the foil.
- Carefully drain the liquid out of the oysters and drizzle about ½ teaspoon 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.
- Cover with a lid and heat on medium-high for about 8 to 10 minutes until you start to 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.
Nik Sharma is an award-winning freelance food writer and photographer. He also writes a recipe-based food column for the San Francisco Chronicle called A Brown Kitchen and is also the author of the blog A Brown Table. His first cookbook, Season (Chronicle Books), was published in October 2018. He lives in Oakland, California.