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Grilled Oysters with Lemon-Garlic Butter

Photo: Peter Frank Edwards; Styling: Elizabeth Demos 

Active time 30 mins
Total time 35 mins

Makes 24 oysters

This is a great appetizer to kick off a party, because oysters tend to draw a crowd—it's fun to watch (and smell) them sizzling over the heat. Prep the Lemon-Garlic Butter and cheese topping in advance, then shuck and grill the oysters in batches. They're best eaten soon after they come off the grill, with slices of crusty bread to sop up any remaining sauce. It's so delicious, you won't want a drop of it to go to waste. 


  • 1 cup (1/2 lb.) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) grated Romano cheese
  • 24 large Gulf oysters
  • 1 loaf French bread

How to Make It

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Remove from heat, and place saucepan next to grill to keep butter warm.

  2. Heat grill to medium (about 400°F). Stir together Parmesan and Romano cheeses in a bowl.

  3. Shuck oysters, and discard top shell. Using an oyster knife, disconnect the oyster from the bottom shell, keeping the oyster in the shell. Place the raw oysters on the half shell on the grill, and top each oyster with about 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture. Grill, uncovered, until juices start to bubble and the edges of the oysters begin to curl, about 2 minutes. Top each oyster with a generous pinch of the cheese mixture. Continue grilling, uncovered, until the edges of the shells start to brown, about 2 minutes. Using tongs, transfer oysters from grill to a serving platter. Top with any remaining butter mixture. Serve with grilled or baked French bread.

  4. Note: Large oysters are important here, because they stand up better on the grill and cradle more of the buttery sauce.