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Light/Quick Heating to Open Oysters for Cooked Dishes

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Okay - PLEASE don't give me instructions on how to open oysters. Know how to do it; don't want instructions as an answer here.

What I'm wondering is if I'm going to do a baked or broiled "in shell" oyster dish like Rockefeller-style, etc., could I prep the oysters by slipping them into the oven just until they gape a little in order to make the whole thing easier for me? Particularly since they're going to be briefly baked or broiled with a topping afterwards?

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  1. Yes, I've done this many times.

    1. I do ten seconds in the microwave each and then they just pop open when you touch the knife to them. They will still be basically raw.

      5 Replies
      1. re: coll

        I'll try that trick if I'm broiling them later. I've always opened them the traditional way b/c we like raw oysters.

        1. re: Puffin3

          Me too, but when I'm in a rush this works. They are still raw, just shell shocked I guess. Not warm in the least, still cold.

        2. re: coll

          Do you mean individually? Or 60 seconds for a half dozen, 2 minutes for a dozen? How do you arrange them? Thanks.

          1. re: mwhitmore

            I do them one at a time, while the next one is nuking I pop it open. Do a dozen in a minute or two.

            1. re: coll

              Great! Thanks!

        3. Thanks all!!! I don't care for raw oysters, but do love them cooked. But sometimes trying to shuck them is a hastle what with a bit of arthritis in my hands/fingers. It'll be a big help to get the little buggers to assist me with a little bit of a gape - lol!!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bacardi1

            I wanted to chime on this oyster thread. My favorite restaurant here where I live (on the Gulf coast) does baked oysters......they do many different variations, but my ultimate fav is fontina cheese & sliced jalapeno's (in rounds, seeds and all). The melted cheese & peppers into the oysters......YUM!

          2. Okay, here's how it turned out. All I can say is, thanks to my oyster vendor for adding in a few free extra bivalves so I could experiment without wasting $.

            Put one oyster on a rimmed baking sheet in a 475-degree oven. After 20 minutes, nothing.

            Put another oyster on a plate in my microwave. After 15 seconds, it exploded. Literally. Lol!

            Ended up placing the oysters in a large glass-covered skillet with a scant amount of water (about 1/2") over high heat. In 5 minutes I had just enough gape to slip my knife in. Oysters were just starting to firm up, which was fine, because they ended up under the broiler anyway.

            Topped them with a mixture of sauteed spinach, Italian flat-leaf parsley, tarragon, minced garlic, lemon juice, Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs, & shredded Parmesan cheese. Under the broiler just until the cheese melted. They were wonderful! :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bacardi1

              Good to know, I've never gone past 10 seconds and I guess now I never will.

            2. For your next endeavor, you might consider putting them in the freezer for an hour. Easier to open and they're cold enough to take your baked prep without overcooking.