Smoking oysters without a smoker

by | May 7, 2024 | Recipes

People most often eat oysters by slurping them raw right out of the shell, but this is by no means the only way to eat these delicate bivalves. Oysters are delicious when deep fried, grilled in their shells, and are particularly good smoked. Oysters take on a light smoky flavour when you smoke them which complements their natural briny taste.

Smoked oysters can be eaten as an appetiser, snack, or main course. They also pair wonderfully with a Caesar salad for a light, yet fancy, lunch.

But not everybody has a smoker conveniently lying just for when that smoked oyster craving raises its head. Luckily, it’s easy to smoke oysters using a gas barbeque or even inside on the stovetop. And doing it right isn’t hard. The key is to pay close attention to your wood chips and to cook low and slow.


So, how do you smoke oysters without a smoker?

A step-by-step guide

Soak the wood chips

Soak your wood chips in water for about an hour. When wood chips are soaked they tend to give off extra steam rather than smoke and this keeps the ambient grill temperature lower. Good things when smoking oysters. The extra moisture is also good for keeping oysters from drying out during the smoking process.

Prepare the oysters

Scrub the oysters thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Then, shuck the lovely fresh oysters. Remove the top shell and loosen the oyster meat in the bottom shell using the tip of the oyster knife.

Heat the BBQ

If you’re using a barbecue, preheat it to medium-high heat: around 180°C. If you have two elements, heat only one element of the grill – not the one where you’ll place the oysters.

Make your smoker

You can create a makeshift smoker by making a tin foil pouch filled with soaked wood chips. Seal the foil, then cut slits or holes over the bag so smoke can escape.

Get smoking

If you have two elements, place the wood chip box or pouch so that it rests directly on the grill grates of the side that’s hot. When the chips start to smoke, place the oysters on the grill beside the one with the smoker. If you only have one element, you can place the oysters directly on the grill plate. Close the lid and smoke the oysters.

Smoking indoors

For indoor smoking, put the woodchips in a wok or deep frying pan with a lid (or you can use tin foil). Then place a wire rack over the wood chips. Heat the wok or frying pan over medium-high heat until it starts to smoke, then reduce the heat to low. Next, arrange the oysters on the rack. Then cover tightly and let the oysters cook.

How do I know when the oysters are ready?

Let the oysters smoke for about 10-15 minutes. Smoked oysters are done when they are firm and opaque, and the edges have started to curl up.

Serve and savour

Once the oysters are smoked to perfection, serve them immediately with fingers or toothpicks and enjoy the delicious flavour or pop them on toast. Or you can top them with this spicy miso butter.

Smoked oysters with spicy miso butter

Print Recipe
Smoked oysters with spicy miso butter are the perfect finger food to ‘wow’ your guests.


  • 24 fresh Mahurangi oysters
  • 6 tbsp butter – about 85gms
  • 2 tbsp miso
  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup of spring onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper or to taste
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges for serving


Make the spicy miso butter

  • In a small bowl, combine the softened butter, miso, sriracha, and lime juice together.

Smoke the oysters

  • Remove the oysters from the grill rack and top them with 1/2 teaspoon of the miso butter mixture. Then return the oysters to the grill for another 3 minutes.

Dress the smoked suckers

  • Top the oysters with spring onions and lime wedges. Enjoy!

The oyster of choice

Thanks to our careful husbandry and intelligent market selection, our plump Pacific oysters have become the oyster of choice in the Auckland restaurant scene and are exported in large numbers to Pacific Rim countries.

Feel free to contact us directly should you want more information. As a family business, we are very proud of what we produce and sell – and we only sell the best.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This