Homemade smoked oysters – made fancy

Homemade smoked oysters – made fancy

Smoked oysters

Homemade smoked oysters.

How have I not done this before? I mean, considering I’ve owned a hot smoker for over a year now.

But do you know what? You don’t even need to possess a smoker to do them at home.

Got a wok? Well then there’s half of your smoker. Grab one of those bamboo steamer lids from an Asian grocer – big enough to snuggly fit on your wok – and a small round rack that’ll fit in the bottom.

I used to do the wok-smoking method ages ago – see it here where I smoked a chunk of salmon.

Smoked oysters with paprika & blood orange

Smoked oysters

As for the oysters, I’ve gone with unshucked as they open naturally from the heat in the smoker. The shell just needs to be thoroughly scrubbed to lose the grit and loose fragments of shell.

It takes a few minutes before you hear a hissing sound as the water inside the oyster heats and starts to escape.

And then pop!

Well, it doesn’t really pop – it’s just the oyster telling you it’s hinge has packed it in.

This is when the smoking action begins. Once they’re open the smoke can fill the cavity and start to flavour the oyster. Do this for about 10 minutes and you’re done!

Once they’re out of the smoker and removed from the shell, I’ve bathed them in a combination of virgin olive oil, smoked paprika, salt and vinegar.


Smoked oysters with paprika & blood orange

My first preparation was serving the smoked oysters in their shells, lightly drizzled with the marinade and topped with bits of blood orange and Turkish pul biber (also called Aleppo pepper). Oh, can’t forget a little greenery in the form of nasturtium and native violet leaves snipped from in front of my house.

Nice little bite from the pepper and tangy sweetness from the orange.

Another thing I did was serve them over a pureé of celeriac, parsley and seasoning, some toasted pumpernickel, pul biber and baby garlic chives.

I did the same kind of thing in some small handmade Chinese soup spoons I’ve had for years. I reckon a scattering of fried shallots would have done it some good, as well. A bit of crunch, you know? Perfect for a cocktail shindig, don’t you think?

All that’s missing is a chilled glass of bubbles or a dry white vino – oh and perhaps someone to help you eat them!

Smoked oyster canapés

Smoked oyster canapés


Print Recipe
Homemade smoked oysters - made fancy
This is a simple method of smoking oysters at home, without brining.
Smoked oysters with paprika & blood orange
Course Starters
Course Starters
Smoked oysters with paprika & blood orange
  1. Combine the oil, vinegar, paprika and salt. Set aside.
  2. Place the oysters onto the rack of a smoker.
  3. Scatter about ¾ cup of wood chips - or your choice of smoking medium - into a foil tray. Place the lid on and get the heat going.
  4. Once hot enough (after 10 minutes or so) the oysters should pop open on their own. If they don't, take the unopened ones out and gently pry them open with a thin blade, using a tea towel to protect your hands.
  5. Put them back into the smoker and continue smoking for about 10 minutes, or until firm and slightly coloured.
  6. The oyster should still be attached to the top half of the shell. Cut it free and put it into a small bowl. Eating them at this stage is good, as well, as they've been poaching in their own juices and smoking at the same time.
  7. Pour the combined oil, vinegar, paprika and salt over the oysters. Allowing them to marinate in the fridge overnight does improve the flavour, but you can serve them up within a couple of hours. If you do refrigerate the oysters, allow them to sit out of the fridge for a few minutes as the oil firms up and goes opaque when chilled.
Share this Recipe
  • OMG!!! YUM!

    These look so good!

    I can’t imagine how good they would taste with a lovely smokey flavour!

    Thanks for sharing


    Gourmet Getaways

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    I am surprised you haven’t made these sooner as well! They look amazing, please tell me they are turning up at a get together soon 😉 As I am fond of the old smoked oyster or two, I will be having a go at DIY.

  • foodnessgracious

    Very cool recipe and i love those shells for shooting!

  • So much fancier than cracking open a tin!

  • Well, aren’t you just brilliant! These look incredible, and I bet I could pull this off using my wok, as you suggest. Smoked oysters were the very first thing Mark and I ate when we moved into our first home in Maine just 20 years ago! Time for some more for our 20th anniversary.

Real Time Analytics