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Ina Garten’s Grilled Oysters Trick: A Must-Try Recipe

It’s an unfortunate fact about oysters that they’re just not made to lie flat. Their irregular shapes can sometimes lead to a lot of pesky rocking and rolling. With raw oysters, ice is a big help, keeping the oysters chilled while also serving as a steady base that helps keep then from wobbling around. Ice can’t help you when you’re making grilled oysters though. Some people like to use a sheet of aluminum foil, which does keep them from slipping through the grate, but it won’t do a thing to keep them upright. That is, unless you use the foil as Ina Garten does.

Ina Garten’s nifty trick for grilling oysters is to lightly crumple the foil before setting it on the grill. Don’t crumple it too much — you don’t want a tinfoil ball. The ridges of the lightly-crinkled foil will help keep the oysters where they’re supposed to be. Holding them in place is especially important if you’re making them the way Garten does with plenty of butter. This way, “all the oyster liquor and the butter stay in the shell,” Garten explained in a TikTok video. When ready to serve, each grilled oyster is full of golden, melted deliciousness. You wouldn’t think aluminum foil would make much of a difference in having flavorful oysters, but Ina Garten is always full of surprises. Bonus tip: On rainy days, you can use the trick indoors. Put crumpled foil on a baking sheet to keep oysters upright under the broiler.

Grilling Oysters, Ina Garten Style

oysters cooking on a grill

Ina Garten’s aluminum foil trick is essential for making sure you don’t lose any flavor, but you won’t have fully flavorful grilled oysters if you don’t add the right ingredients from the start. Before putting oysters on the grill, Garten mixes up a topping with lots of real butter, minced fresh garlic, fresh dill, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper. This herby, buttery concoction is then dolloped onto shucked raw oysters on the half shell. Garten grills the oysters with the cover on, for precisely three minutes each.

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Blue Point oysters from Long Island are Garten’s oysters of choice for grilling, but you can choose from any oyster varieties you like so long as they’re plump and meaty. Garten recommends fleur de sel, which you can sprinkly on your grilled oysters after cooking to enhance the flavors, according to Garten.

Grilled oysters are quick to prep if you buy them pre-shucked, and since they only take three minutes to cook, you’ve got plenty of time to prepare and grill other dishes. Grilled oysters make a perfect starter for an upscale grilled seafood dinner of salmon, mahi mahi, or lobster, but even the burger-loving crowd will appreciate them. Utilize Ina Garten’s tips for stress-free barbecue prep to make things easier.

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