Episode 113: White Glove Smoke Session

Chipotle-Smoked Oysters

Chipotle-Smoked Oysters

Many years ago, I attended a wedding in Salinas, California. I saw a sign by the side of the road that said “Barbecue Today”, so of course I screeched my car to a stop and what did I find? Not beef, not pork, but oysters, on a half shell, sauced with barbecue sauce and cooked on a wood-burning grill. That was the meaning of barbecue in this part of California.

That’s the inspiration of this recipe. Oysters on a half shell, fragrant with woodsmoke, and drizzled with chipotle horseradish barbecue sauce.


More Easy Smoked Appetizer Recipes:



Chipotle-Smoked Oysters

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4
  • Method: Hot smoking
  • Equipment: Smoker or Grill: Memphis Wood Fire; Fuel: Pellets; Oyster shucking knife; shellfish rack (optional)


For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce or ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 canned chipotle chile, minced

  • 18 oysters in the shell
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Make the sauce. Place the ingredients in a saucepan and whisk to mix. Simmer until flavorful, 5 minutes, and let sauce cool slightly. The sauce can be made ahead of time.

Step 2: Set up your smoker or grill following the manufacturer’s instructions. Preheat to 400 degrees.

Step 3: Just before serving, shuck the oysters, discarding the top shells; be careful not to spill the juices. Pass the shucking knife under each oyster to loosen it from the bottom shell. Leave the oyster in the shells. Arrange the oysters in a shellfish rack or on a wire rack, again, taking care not to spill the juices. Place a spoonful of sauce and a thin slice of butter on top of each oyster.

Step 4: Smoke the oysters until the butter is melted and the oysters are cooked to taste, about 10 minutes. (I like them warm but still raw in the center.) Serve with grilled or crusty bread and an icy glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

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Steven Raichlen, a national barbecue treasure and author of The Barbecue! Bible, How to Grill, and other books in the …

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