Oyster Party Advice

I'm hosting a Christmas Eve afternoon get together of oysters and champagne. Some of my friends do not eat raw oysters so I am planning on preparing some by grilling and some Rockefeller.

My question is how far in advance could I shuck the oysters that I am going to cook? Could I do it the night before and simply put the shucked oysters and their liquor in a tupperware container? Of course, I would need to save one half of each shell in a separate container.

Tony S
  • Posted by: Tony S
  • December 11, 2013


lapadia December 12, 2013
Hi! Since you are grilling here is a recipe we love to do, and btw, it has changed a few non-oyster people's minds.
Winifred R. December 11, 2013
Some of our local processors in Virginia freeze oysters on the half shell. I haven't been allowed to see production because it's proprietary, but it is a high quality, high value product from the Chesapeake Bay. Maybe these are some of the oysters you're getting on the Gulf. Enjoy for me since I'm not a big oyster fan, just never got that acquainted with them. Scallops are my preference, but to each their own!
Patti I. December 11, 2013
I live on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and we can buy trays of oysters that are on the half shell and then frozen. You can pull them straight out of the freezer, top them, and then bake or grill them.
Pegeen December 11, 2013
And this would be lovely with salty oysters:
Roasted Apple, Shallot and Blue Cheese Tart
Pegeen December 11, 2013
In case your friends need some tips:

Bon appetit!
Tony S. December 11, 2013
Thank you all for the feedback. Luckily, I am only in charge of oysters and champagne, the rest of the guests are bringing non-oyster related items.
Pegeen December 11, 2013
Here's a cod ceviche that would look beautiful served in martini glasses or stemmed dessert glasses. Nice companion to the oysters.
lloreen December 11, 2013
I don't know the answer to your question, but I just wanted to add that I have been to some lovely parties in France in which oysters are accompanied by foie gras and baguette....that is kind of traditional for Christmas Eve in some parts of France. It is nice to have something rich and earthy to accompany the oysters. Sounds like a fun party.
Pegeen December 11, 2013
p.s. Hopefully you are also able to serve some other tasties with the champagne, as some people cannot tolerate shellfish, raw or cooked. In any case, it sounds like an elegant party!
Pegeen December 11, 2013
Don't forget to save an oyster shell or two, for serving some herbed salt to sprinkle on the oysters. Like these: http://food52.com/provisions/products/52-jacobsen-salt-co-oyster-salt-cellar-pair. Just chop a little rosemary or thyme very fine and mix with a bit of coarse salt.
As June recommends, it’s often easier to buy some pre-shucked oysters from a good fish purveyor. And you may have access to a bigger selection, too, if you're interesting in doing a tasting presentation. They will have done the work weeding out any dead ones from the live ones.
You could shuck them yourself the day before – put them in the freezer for a little while to force them to open faster. But I would set that sealed container of shucked in a deep bowl of ice inside a fridge.

Do you already have a recipe for your Oysters Rockefeller? These are both good:
ChefJune December 11, 2013
Some fish mongers sell oysters already shucked and in their own liquor. You could buy those for the oysters you are going to cook. It will save you a lot of time unless you're an expert shucker. and the fishmonger will give you shells if you ask. And yes, you can do that the night before!
SKK December 12, 2013
June has the best advice.
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