oyster roasts: a southern tradition

January 27, 2015
Brunswick Forest


CCBY, Erin Kohlenberg, https://www.flickr.com/people/erinkohlenbergphoto/

Winter months in the South mean it is oyster-roasting time! Oyster roasts are a long-held Southern tradition that is said to originate from the Native American tradition of cooking oysters and other shellfish over an open fire.
You can host your own oyster roast party this winter by following these simple instructions:

Visit a local seafood store like Brunswick County’s Holden Beach Seafood, located just a short drive from Brunswick Forest, to buy your oysters. Figure at least two dozen oysters per person at the roast. Wash the oysters when you get home and store them somewhere cold like in a cooler or refrigerator.

Roasting oysters can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it. A simple roasting pit works fine, as does a roasting sheet set on top of cinderblocks. You will want to use a metal grate or thin metal sheet for cooking the oysters. Once the metal is hot, place the oysters on it and cover them with a piece of wet burlap. Roast for about 5 minutes and then they are ready to serve!

After cooking, the oysters should be partially opened. You can open them completely with an oyster knife and then serve the tasty shellfish with your favorite condiment like hot sauce, melted butter, saltine crackers or cocktail sauce.

The most important part of your oyster roast is recycling the oyster shells after the party is over. Oyster shells are recycled and planted in creeks to help ensure growth of new oyster populations. Oyster shells can be recycled in Brunswick County at the Brunswick County Landfill in Bolivia. For other oyster shell recycling locations, visit the Division of Marine Fisheries website.