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Cooking Oysters

Kamran

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
26
Hi,

I've been wanting to learn how to safely cook oysters to make me want to eat them. For a while now, I would mostly go to Whole Foods, get a few oysters shucked, and eat em raw very soon afterwards. I would do this periodically when I felt like I really needed some zinc. They taste really great and I never feel like anything is 'off' when I consume them raw, but I don't want to risk getting hepatitis or something serious. I've decided that I want to consume oysters more often and what's impeding me is the slight fear that I will get sick from eating raw oysters eventually.

So I tried just heating some up in the microwave last night. They were pretty rubbery and not very tasty. I did it for the sake of health, but there's gotta be a better way to go about this.

Any tips? Any ways to cook them while preventing nutrient loss as much as possible would be awesome. What do you guys do as far as oysters go?
 

narouz

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
4,429
Kamran said:
Hi,

I've been wanting to learn how to safely cook oysters to make me want to eat them. For a while now, I would mostly go to Whole Foods, get a few oysters shucked, and eat em raw very soon afterwards. I would do this periodically when I felt like I really needed some zinc. They taste really great and I never feel like anything is 'off' when I consume them raw, but I don't want to risk getting hepatitis or something serious. I've decided that I want to consume oysters more often and what's impeding me is the slight fear that I will get sick from eating raw oysters eventually.

So I tried just heating some up in the microwave last night. They were pretty rubbery and not very tasty. I did it for the sake of health, but there's gotta be a better way to go about this.

Any tips? Any ways to cook them while preventing nutrient loss as much as possible would be awesome. What do you guys do as far as oysters go?

This is a tough question.
Peat does advise care with seafood to avoid just the things you worry about.
The problem, with oysters, for me is
that if you cook them long enough to kill any bacteria you might think could possibly be there,
then I'd think you would cook the oyster to the point of being quite unpalatable.
I am ready to be corrected here.

I've eaten a lot of very lightly steamed oysters in my life.
As far as I know...I'm okay.
I take the precautions of making sure the oysters in the shell are firmly closed.
I steam them just long enough for them to barely barely open,
or maybe not even open...just be able to be opened fairly easily.
I look at them and smell them to gage if they're okay.

Also, lately, I've been making oyster stew,
with shucked oysters.
I use milk or half&half and butter and some spices.
But I don't boil the stew,
nor do I cook it very long at all once I add the oysters with their juices.
Because it will, just as you say, make the oysters rubbery.
So...I wouldn't imagine this would satisfy strict health concerns.
 

Kamran

Member
Thread starter
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
26
Thank you Narouz for your helpful reply! I thought more people would want to respond since i'd imagine a lot of people here consume oysters, but that's okay.

I'm looking at rates of food poisoning from oysters and incidences of heptitis and things like that and they seem pretty low so far. What i've gathered from the little bit of research that i've done is that people with weaker immune systems should really exercise caution when it comes to eating raw shellfish.

The people at Whole Foods are trained on how to pick and shuck oysters. I've had some guys tell me they can't sell me oysters because all of em died by the end of the day, so it's good that they're not serving me shellfish that have been dead for a few hours. That eases my mind a bit.

I still exercise bits of caution and am aware of the risk, I just would love to be able to eat oysters in larger amounts than I currently do.

Anyone know when the crown prince oysters are coming back?
 

charlie

The Law & Order Admin
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
12,371
Location
USA
Kamran, its a really busy time of the year for people. I have noticed traffic is down across a lot of sites right now. So thats why maybe not a big response to your post.

As for me, I cook the crap out of my oysters or anything seafood. If it gets a little rubbery, oh well. At least I know I killed off the bad stuff, hopefully.
 

Kamran

Member
Thread starter
Joined
Sep 28, 2012
Messages
26
Hi Charlie,

Thanks for the info, I hadn't considered the holiday season lowering traffic but it makes sense. It wasn't really a complaint, just kinda curious. :)

How do you cook em? I mean, i'd like the peace of mind of killing off the bad stuff as well. But i'm also kind of concerned with what will happen to the zinc content.
 

Rachel

Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2012
Messages
181
Location
San Antonio, Texas USA - for now
Kamran said:
Hi,

I've been wanting to learn how to safely cook oysters to make me want to eat them. For a while now, I would mostly go to Whole Foods, get a few oysters shucked, and eat em raw very soon afterwards. I would do this periodically when I felt like I really needed some zinc. They taste really great and I never feel like anything is 'off' when I consume them raw, but I don't want to risk getting hepatitis or something serious. I've decided that I want to consume oysters more often and what's impeding me is the slight fear that I will get sick from eating raw oysters eventually.

So I tried just heating some up in the microwave last night. They were pretty rubbery and not very tasty. I did it for the sake of health, but there's gotta be a better way to go about this.

Any tips? Any ways to cook them while preventing nutrient loss as much as possible would be awesome. What do you guys do as far as oysters go?
Want a tip? Throw away that dang microwave! :) It turns food into nasty stuff, taste wise and health wise. :yipes

Don't fret about the zinc, Kamran. Heat does not destroy zinc, or most other minerals, for that matter.
Virtually all minerals are unaffected by heat. Cooked or raw, food has the same amount of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, and sodium. The single exception to this rule is potassium, which — although not affected by heat or air — escapes from foods into the cooking liquid.

With the exception of vitamin K and the B vitamin niacin, which are very stable in food, many vitamins are sensitive and are easily destroyed when exposed to heat, air, water, or fats (cooking oils). The following table shows which nutrients are sensitive to these influences.
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/p ... foods.html

Search epicurious.com if you'd like a yummy oyster chowder or Oysters Rockefeller recipe.
 

charlie

The Law & Order Admin
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
12,371
Location
USA
Kamran said:
Hi Charlie,

Thanks for the info, I hadn't considered the holiday season lowering traffic but it makes sense. It wasn't really a complaint, just kinda curious. :)

How do you cook em? I mean, i'd like the peace of mind of killing off the bad stuff as well. But i'm also kind of concerned with what will happen to the zinc content.


I just cook them in a frying pan with some butter. Try to keep things simple as possible if I can. I had some yesterday morning for breakfast, and this time, they actually tasted OK so maybe I was really needing the zinc of whatever is in there.

Rachel, Ray Peat said the microwave is pretty much the same as if you were going to boil something. The only danger seems to come if you were standing real close to it while its on and maybe has a leak. But he said todays microwaves were made really good and protected. I was kinda shocked when I heard this. That being said, I still wont be using a microwave.

That is great to know about the minerals. But kinda stinks about the vitamins since at this time I am boiling my milk and probably killing the vitamins in it. :(
 

Rachel

Member
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Nov 3, 2012
Messages
181
Location
San Antonio, Texas USA - for now
Charlie said:
Rachel, Ray Peat said the microwave is pretty much the same as if you were going to boil something. The only danger seems to come if you were standing real close to it while its on and maybe has a leak. But he said todays microwaves were made really good and protected. I was kinda shocked when I heard this. That being said, I still wont be using a microwave.

That is great to know about the minerals. But kinda stinks about the vitamins since at this time I am boiling my milk and probably killing the vitamins in it. :(

I'm surprised he feels that way, too. I've seen evidence to the contrary.
Microwaved food tastes like @#&#!!! Just ask Gordon Ramsey. :lol:

Why are you boiling your milk, Charlie? Do you get it raw?
 

charlie

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Yes, I get it raw. And have been kinda paranoid about the bacteria in it since I did my antibiotic course. Some people say its good, some say it will kill you on contact, I dunno, it just really sucks that there isnt good solid info available on this.

Its the only milk around here that I can get without added vitamins. Plus, they are a pretty good dairy, grass fed except when they come in to be milked I think they might sneak them something but at least its a local farm.
 

Birdie

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Aug 10, 2012
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Glad you're getting good at cooking oysters, Charlie!

I can't get good raw ones here. We used to gather them years ago. Now, I'm getting the canned ones. Never again for the smoked ones but the canned are tolerable.

I try to get them when we're out, but we don't go out often. I'm not sure the source is reliable here so I don't buy raw and cook them. So, it makes no sense that I will eat them when somebody else (restaurant) cooks them, but that's how it is.

I heat up my coffee in the microwave. I think it's fine for that.
 

narouz

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Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
4,429
On the oyster thing, just wanted to add a bit of a counterweight.
Now, I have a problem with too much iron,
so factor that in.
But in relation to the iron problem,
I asked Peat what might be up,
and he said I might cut back some on my oyster eating.
I was having like 8oz fresh oysters per week.
Ironically, I was eating that much oyster
because I wanted the copper to help get rid of the iron.
But Dr. Peat said to remember
that oysters have a lot of iron, too,
and that having some oysters once every two weeks was enough.
He didn't specify the amount, so a little vague, but...
...as I say: not necessarily wise to go overboard with oysters.
I think some of the frenzy about oysters
may come from reports that Peat himself eats a lot of oysters,
like everyday.
Maybe he knows he does not have an iron problem.
Generally, copying what Dr. Peat does is also probably not the best course.
 

charlie

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Interesting, thanks narouz.
 

gretchen

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Nov 30, 2012
Messages
816
I lived on the coast of Texas growing up; looking back, I wish I'd eaten more oysters. You can't even really find good oysters in a store. I'm going to have to order them online.
 

Birdie

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Could be Ray has low enough iron. And he would drink coffee with them. Maybe he eats less of them in Eugene than in Mexico. If you say he eats a lot of them, he must get some good ones.

My iron is really low but, still, I only eat them about every 2 weeks. Or else, I eat a couple a day until the can is gone. Then, a long break. Since mine are canned, they are not good enough to eat often so it's not a temptation. I have to remind myself to eat them. I had mussels last week and tell myself that's good enough for a while. :lol:
 

jus d'orange

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Joined
Dec 11, 2012
Messages
12
I buy bumblebee canned raw oysters and fry em up in some butter or coconut oil and toss a little white wine (estrogenic i know, but not much) for taste. Serve on white rice. Not the freshest but for 3 bucks a can pretty - easy on the wallet.
 

Birdie

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Well, with all the other food he's reported to be eating every day, I don't think Ray could be eating daily oysters too. More likely that he does about what he advises and has them every couple of weeks. It drives a lot of people nuts when he leaves out precise measurements.

Thanks to jus I looked for canned raw oysters. Found a jar at the fish counter. Sauteed them and they were great. Thank you! Even my husband ate a couple with his eggs.

Another thing I found, was pate. That is a welcome easy way to have liver occasionally. I put it on apple slices once and tortilla chips once. I like so much that bites with fruit are fine.
 

Ella

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Oct 6, 2012
Messages
646
Mark you don't need to fry in any kind of fat. Best to cook in their own juice and they don't need to be cooked to death. Place under the griller or oven with lemon juice, thinly sliced spanish onions to keep them moist. If iron is a problem; skip the lemon juice. Around 15 minutes and they are right for eating. I also add to gelatin broth - the last 5 - 10 minutes of cooking and blend. They don't get rubbery. You could add milk to the broth to stop absorption of iron or alternatively drink either milk or milk coffee with them. I freeze them in their shells and cook in their shells. 2 oysters a day is ample for any male in addressing zinc, copper and other trace elements.
 

RayPeatFan777

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Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
96
Mark you don't need to fry in any kind of fat. Best to cook in their own juice and they don't need to be cooked to death. Place under the griller or oven with lemon juice, thinly sliced spanish onions to keep them moist. If iron is a problem; skip the lemon juice. Around 15 minutes and they are right for eating. I also add to gelatin broth - the last 5 - 10 minutes of cooking and blend. They don't get rubbery. You could add milk to the broth to stop absorption of iron or alternatively drink either milk or milk coffee with them. I freeze them in their shells and cook in their shells. 2 oysters a day is ample for any male in addressing zinc, copper and other trace elements.
Thank you Ella.
This questions might seem stupid but I'm only just starting to get serious about cooking and food prep.

Assuming you defrost them before cooking, how long will it take to defrost in the refrigerator? What's your routine?

do I open the shell before cooking?

What heat for the oven?

I didn't realize you could freeze live oysters, I was thinking I would have to shop for oysters every other day to make sure they don't go off before I eat them :)
 

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