Mike and I have been enjoying these Grilled Oysters with Bacon Cayenne Butter for several years. I finally decided to share the recipe with you along with some helpful tips about the prep.

Grilled Oysters with Bacon Cayenne Butter

Recipe Tip 1: You Don’t Have to Love Oysters

A lot of my friends are not into oysters and neither is my Mom. But, I forgive them, because each and every one of them loves this recipe. My mom frequently asks when Mike is making his grilled oysters again. And, after a recent shrimp boil at our friend’s house, our grilled oysters disappeared before Mike and I even got to have one.

Grilled Oysters with Bacon Cayenne Butter

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Grilled Oysters with Bacon Cayenne Butter

Recipe Tip 2: The Secret Ingredient

Drum roll please. What’s the secret to getting non-oyster people to love this recipe? BUTTER. Spicy bacon and cayenne butter to be exact. It makes A LOT and you can freeze it to use on other foods like chicken, fish or steak too. SO GOOD.

Grilled Oysters with Bacon Cayenne Butter

Recipe Tip 3: Use larger sized oysters

Larger oysters aren’t everyone’s favorite, but the oysters will shrink a lot as they cook on the grill, so the larger they are, the better. Blue Point or Delaware Bay are really good for grilling.

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Grilled Oysters with Bacon Cayenne ButterGrilled Oysters with Bacon Cayenne Butter

Recipe Tip 4: Get help with the grilling process

This recipe requires both Mike and me to be stationed at the grill, because the shucking of oysters and adding the butter is tricky if you’re on your own. One person manages the shucking and the other person adds the butter topping while making sure the oysters don’t get over cooked.

The second you put these in front of people, they disappear. So, be sure to enjoy a couple at the grill before you set them down in front of your guests.

Happy shucking!



  • 3 slices hickory-smoked or applewood-smoked bacon
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 24 fresh oysters (such as Malpeque or Bluepoint)


  1. Cook bacon on baking sheet with wire rack in oven at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
  2. Let cool and crumble the bacon into a Vitamix or food processor.
  3. Add butter, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.
  4. Blend until smooth, occasionally scraping down sides, if needed.
  5. With machine running, gradually add white wine, then fresh lemon juice and continue to process until blended.
  6. Drop butter onto saran wrap and shape into 2-inch-diameter log.
  7. Wrap to enclose; chill butter until firm, at least 2 hours.
  8. Heat the grill to high and place oysters, flat side up on grill.
  9. Cover and cook for 1 - 2 minutes.
  10. The oysters should now be slightly open. Quickly remove the oysters, careful not to spill any of their liquor.
  11. Hold an oyster with an oven mitt and use a shucking knife to pry open the oyster. It should easily open.
  12. Spoon 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick rounds of cayenne-butter onto each oyster and return to the grill.
  13. Cover and grill 5-6 minutes.
  14. Remove from grill and serve with lemon wedges.


1. Larger sized oysters are better for grilling because they will shrink as they cook on the grill.

2. You can freeze the leftover butter to use later. It's also great on chicken and fish.

All images ©Regan Baroni 2017.

  1. mike says:

    A CLASSIC – thanks for posting this Regan… best oyster recipe in the world!!!

    • Regan says:

      It is the best, because it’s yours! #oystersforever

  2. Kik says:

    Don’t mind me, just drooling all over myself. These look incredible!

    • Regan says:

      Girl, drooling is totally acceptable! xoxo

  3. […] up a seafood feast instead of a turkey. Could you imagine starting off Thanksgiving with a bunch of grilled oysters instead? Mmm… now I’m […]

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