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Grilled Oysters with Barbecue Sauce

Grilling oysters is a three-step process: the oysters are steamed briefly to open them, shucked of their top shells and finished on the grill. Barbecue sauce is a tangy last-minute addition. 

Ingredients:

  •  24 large oysters
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • Basic barbecue sauce, as needed (see related recipe at left) 
  • Worcestershire sauce, as needed 
  • Hot-pepper sauce, as needed 
  • Lemon wedges for garnish 

Directions:

Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Brush the grill grate.

Arrange half of the oysters, bottom shell down, in a disposable aluminum roasting pan. Add the water and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Place the roasting pan with the oysters on the grill directly over high heat and steam until the oysters open, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the oysters to a work surface covered with a kitchen towel. Repeat to steam the remaining oysters.

Using a pointed shucking knife, carefully shuck the oysters of their top shells. Cut under the oyster muscle and flip the oysters over. Top each oyster with about 1 tsp. barbecue sauce, 1 drop of Worcestershire and 1 drop of hot-pepper sauce. Grill the oysters over the hottest part of the fire until the sauce bubbles, 30 to 60 seconds.

Using tongs, carefully transfer the grilled oysters to a platter. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve immediately with barbecue sauce, Worcestershire and hot-pepper sauce alongside. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma On the Grill, by Willie Cooper (Oxmoor House, 2009).