Oysters are a loved delicacy and a real crowd-pleaser. They’re always a great idea for a party snack or a star-of-the-night dish at family get-togethers. In addition to being tasty, they’re also rich in nutrients.
However, we often don’t eat the oysters immediately after buying them, so we need to store them overnight or even over a certain period. Storing them properly is pivotal to preserving their freshness and taste.
Knowing that the best oyster dishes are the ones with fresh oysters, this article explores all about their proper storage and maintenance, as well as how you should never keep fresh oysters because they’ll go bad!
Thanks to these tips, you’ll no longer need to worry if the fresh oysters you purchased at the market will last until your next cooking endeavor!
How to Store Raw Oysters Overnight?
Oysters are alive when we buy them and even when we eat them. So, with them, being alive is fresh!
Otherwise, if it’s not alive, an oyster isn’t safe for consumption. This food is like no other; the prize is inside a rough shell and it’s very smooth and salty.
To store it properly, you need a breathable and light bag and to wrap them with gel or ice packs. Remember to check them regularly in the fridge. Set them with the right side up and with the larger shell on the bottom.
To prolong their freshness, cover the bag with a dampened towel.
Another great way to store fresh oysters is on ice in a perforated steam pan. Place a container under it to collect any drips from the ice. In this way, the freshness of the oysters is prolonged without getting them soaked in water.
Can You Store Shucked Oysters?
Oysters should never be put in the freezer while in their shell or after being cooked. However, their meat can be kept in the freezer after shucking. This actually prolongs their freshness up to three months!
Keeping cooked oysters in the freezer makes it harder to reproduce the same texture from their grilling, baking, or frying.
If you want to keep cooked oysters, you can do it in the fridge instead. In this way, they can preserve their texture and taste for up to three days!
How Long Do Oysters Stay Fresh Once You Buy Them?
Since oysters are exposed to air several times per month on low tides, they develop strong adductor muscles and are “trained” to keep their shells closed.
Thanks to these muscles, oysters are easy for storing and shipping. When you buy them from a quality vendor, the oysters were pulled from the water 24 hours (or less) before they get into your shopping cart.
In the fall and winter, when the temperatures are lower and the oysters are dormant, they can stay fresh for up to two weeks, but only if you store them the right way, which was explained previously.
However, in the summer, they’ll remain fresh for a week or so.
When it’s time to consume or prep the oysters, transfer them to a colander and rinse them well. This will remove any debris or loosened parts of the shell.
Which Tools Do I Need for Handling Oysters?
To handle oysters, you’ll need two things, i.e. an oyster shucking knife and protective gloves. The knife for oyster opening is a specialized tool designed to help you open up the tough shells of oysters and reach the meat inside.
Wearing protective gloves is also pivotal during shucking to ensure maximum safety. Oftentimes, the process of shucking oysters can be slippery, quick, and tricky. The gloves won’t just protect you from the knife, but also from the oyster’s sharp edges!
These gloves are made of strong materials and offer various levels of protection and strength. In case you’re not very confident with a knife, you can invest in a shucking machine. It doesn’t require experience in shucking and decreases the chance of injuries.
It’s ideal for prepping larger volumes of oysters and it’s easy to use and fast!
What Are the Best Ways to Eat Oysters?
- Fresh, right from the shell
Oyster aficionados enjoy eating the meat right after shucking, without any garnish. However, there’s nothing wrong in raising the game and combining them with some yummy complements like cocktail sauce, fresh lemon juice, mignonette sauce, etc.
Oysters are delicious on the grill. Place them onto the grill unshucked and cook until they crack open or place them already shucked with the shell side down on the grill. When you put them closed on the grill, they need around a minute to open.
Add a bit of butter to each oyster and a mixture of herbs like chives, cilantro, parsley, etc.
Grill them for five minutes if they’ve been shucked. You’ll notice they’re ready by the simmering sound and the slight curving.
Fried oysters, when properly prepared, are yummy with their crispy crust and a soft middle. Heat up oil in a Dutch oven at 360 degrees F.
Dip the oyster meat in flour and then in a blend of eggs, water, and buttermilk, and last into crushed potato chips.
You fry the oysters in the hot oil for two to three minutes. Once golden, remove them and leave them to drain on a paper towel before serving with your favorite dipping sauce.
If you want your oysters to taste divine and to look amazing, broil them in their shells and top them with breadcrumbs.
Broil them in the broiling section of your oven on a baking sheet for around four minutes, until the breadcrumbs go brown. Best when served with lemon wedges!
Set the oysters on a baking sheet and roast them at 450 degrees F, for 10 minutes or until they open. After taking them out, serve them topped with butter.
Oysters are one of the most popular seafood today and have long been the main attraction at parties. They’re low in fat and calories and abundant in protein and other important nutrients.
However, experts recommend consuming them ASAP after they’re taken out of the water. But, we often don’t want to miss out on some delicious oysters that we spot at the market, so it’s great to learn there’s an efficient way to store oysters overnight.
The methods we’ve presented can prolong their freshness for two to three weeks after being taken out of the water. In this way, you can prepare them when you plan to serve them and everyone will be amazed by their deliciousness.
Let’s not forget the importance of the right tools when shucking oysters, i.e., quality shucking knife or shucking machine and protective gloves.
Oysters are best when enjoyed right out of the shell, but there are also awesome recipes that involve grilling, broiling, and roasting that is equally tasty!