How to Steam Oysters at Home

Oysters are an important natural resource for Mississippi.
Oysters are an important natural resource for Mississippi. (Image: oysters for sale sea food image by david hughes from

You do not have to wait until the summer or your next visit to a seafood restaurant to eat steamed oysters. If you want to eat steamed oysters at any time, you can purchase live oysters at your local seafood store, or in your grocer's seafood section, and take them home to steam them. Steaming oysters at home can be accomplished in roughly 20 minutes with cookware and products that you already have in your kitchen.

Things You'll Need

  • 13 inch pot
  • 2 cups water, beer or wine
  • 24 live oysters (in shell)
  • Kitchen brush

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Clean the oysters. Run cold water over the oysters and scrub them with the brush. Clean all excess dirt from the oysters before steaming them.

Fill the pot with the water, beer or wine. You can use your favorite wine or beer to add a hint of flavor to the oysters if you wish. Water, on the other hand, will steam the oysters and preserve their natural flavor. The liquid should just cover the bottom of the pot and it should not be deep enough to completely cover and boil the oysters.

Heat the pot until it comes to a rolling boil and produces steam.

Carefully place the live oysters in their shells into the steaming pot. Allow the oysters to steam for four to nine minutes. You will know that they are done when the oyster shells open. Oysters that do not open are spoiled and must not be eaten.

Remove the oysters from the steaming pot using tongs. Serve the oysters with lemon juice or a condiment of your choice.


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