Crunchy, crispy, and perfectly fried! These deep fried oysters make for the perfect side dish or appetizer for any occasion.
Growing up in Maryland, oysters are a way of life and deep fried oysters are the most perfect crispy golden nuggets from the sea!
Mix it up by adding some deep fried shrimp into the mix with the Best Crispy Deep Fried Shrimp recipe!
Deep Fried Oyster Recipe
They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach and I’m here to tell you that is true! Looking to get there faster? This oyster recipe will do the trick!
Deep Fried Oysters are my favorite way to eat them and dipped in a creamy remoulade sauce will take this recipe and knock it right out of the park.
Ingredients for Deep Fried Oysters
Oysters. To make deep fried oysters, you will need freshly shucked oysters. Marylanders, this is easy for you. For everyone else, you might need to call around and check your local fish market.
Dry Ingredients. Make the batter with all-purpose flour, cornstarch, and seafood seasoning.
Wet Ingredients. Milk and hot sauce.
For Cooking. Deep fry your oysters in cooking oil/Canola oil.
Ingredients For Remoulade Sauce
Don’t get intimidated! Remoulade is easy to prepare and is my go-to dipping sauce with any seafood.
The creamy tangy sauce is the perfect balance of creamy, acidic, spicy, and tangy. Here is a list of everything you’ll need to make Remoulade at home:
- Tabasco Sauce
- Lemon Juice
- Fresh Parsley
- Fresh Dill
How to Make Deep Fried Oysters
Drain oysters. Remove shucked oysters from the jar or container and drain them in a colander.
Prep the oysters. Once you have drained the oysters, place them in a prep bowl, preferably one with a lid, and add milk, hot sauce, and seafood seasoning.
Combine and refrigerate. Gently fold the ingredients together then place in the fridge with a lid for a minimum of 30 minutes and no longer than 8-10 hours.
Prep the dredge. Prepare the dredge by combining all ingredients into a wide shallow container and setting aside
Heat Oil. Heat up your frying oil to a temperature of around 350 degrees F. Try to maintain this temperature as close as possible. It is important to remember, that the temperature will lower as you add the oysters.
Coat the oysters. While you’re waiting for the oil to heat up and come up to temperature, begin tossing the oysters into the dredge in small batches. Make sure to completely coat the oysters in the flour mixture and shake off any excess flour.
Fry. Carefully drop the oysters into the oil making sure not to overcrowd the pot and make sure the oysters don’t stick together. Total fry time should be about 3-5 minutes.
Stir while waiting. Make sure to occasionally stir the oysters gently with a strainer to keep them separated. The oysters are fully cooked as soon as they begin to float.
Scoop and serve. Scoop fully cooked oysters out of the oil with a strainer onto a tray lined with paper towels and immediately season with seafood seasoning. Serve with lemon, fresh parsley, and a cocktail or remoulade sauce.
How to Prepare Deep Fried Oysters
So, now you know what ingredients you need and how to make deep fried oysters, but preparing the oysters is a whole different ball game.
Don’t fret, frying up these crispy oysters is actually pretty easy. However, there are a few tips that will make sure they come out perfect every time!
A major pro-tip for all you Marylanders, I purchase already shucked oysters from my local seafood market (shoutout to Adam at Blue Point Crab House)!
As soon as I get home, I drain the oysters, however, and this is important, I don’t rinse them, I only drain them.
Once the oysters have been drained, I soak them in milk and hot sauce for a few hours before I dredge them in the flour mixture.
The flour dredge is very simple and that’s the way I like it. The oyster is the star of the show and the crispy texture just compliments the oyster’s fresh salty flavor.
I like to wait about 30 minutes before deep frying to dredge the oysters in the flour mixture. 30 minutes gives the dredge time to absorb and attach to the oyster better.
If you’re in a rush you can dredge them 5-10 minutes ahead of time but 30 minutes is the sweet spot for me.
Deep Fried Oysters 101
The secret is to not overcrowd the oil. Drop the oysters into the oil one at a time in different areas and make sure you don’t fill the pot up. Below are some other tips and tricks:
- Too many oysters frying at once will lower the temperature of the oil and you’ll end up with greasy breading.
- Overfilling can also cause the oil to bubble over due to the high moisture content of the oysters.
- Oysters don’t need long to cook so as soon as you’re happy with the crispy texture on the outside they are finished.
- If the cooking oil is brand new the oysters may not be as golden as you want but don’t overcook them just for the sake of color.
- The first batch may have a blonde color but the second and third will develop a beautiful golden color.
- As soon as the deep-fried oysters are fully cooked immediately transfer them to a pan lined with a paper towel to absorb the excess grease.
- Season them while they are still hot so the flavor will resolve right into the breading. go easy on the seasoning so as to not overpower the flavor of the oyster.
Outdoor Setup for Deep Frying Oysters
If you have ever deep fried anything, you know it makes a mess! In order to minimize the mess, I prefer to deep fry my oysters outside using a turkey fryer burner setup.
Make sure to have cardboard underneath the burner to absorb any grease and have all of your equipment nearby.
Another great tip, if you are planning on frying outside before I start, I like to set up a folding table a few feet away from the fryer so everything I need is within reach.
Equipment for Deep Fried Oysters
- Fire Extinguisher
- Outdoor Burner (if cooking outside)
- Large Metal Pot or Dutch Oven
- Spider or Strainer
- Paper Towels
- Tongs ( GOOD ONES)
Other Methods for Fried Oysters
Though it’s hard to beat the crispy texture of deep-fried oysters I know it’s not always the healthiest or most convenient.
If you want to use less oil and fry oysters on the stove you can use a cast-iron skillet to pan-fry the oysters.
Fill the skillet up with about 1 inch of oil and cook the oysters for about 1-2 minutes per side until crispy.
If you want a healthier version that won’t stink up the kitchen with the smell of fried food you can make air-fried oysters.
You’ll want to replace the flour and cornstarch with Italian or Panko Breadcrumbs. after you dredge the oysters place them in an air fryer and spray with cooking oil.
Cook at 375 degrees F. for 8-10 minutes then flip and continue cooking until crispy.
I drain the oysters before soaking them in milk and hot sauce but I don’t rinse them. I want the milk to help tenderize the oysters and ad flavor but I don’t want to wash away the natural flavor of the oyster.
What to serve with deep-fried oysters?
The classic fried oyster plater at most restaurants is served with a side of coleslaw, French fries, cocktail, tartar, and a lemon wedge.
I fancied things up with remoulade which is just a fancy tartar sauce anyway.
The coleslaw is more of a palate cleanser to cut the richness from all the fried food.
The cocktail and tartar sauce is a nice contrast I like to go back and forth between the two.
You’ll find recipes for the Remoulade and Cocktail sauce at the bottom of this post.
More Seafood Recipes You Have To Try!
Make sure to try these Crispy Fried Shrimp as well!!!
- White Crab Chili
- Stuffed Flounder w/ Crab Imperial
- Cedar Plank Crab Cakes
- Crab Burger
- Chesapeake Crab Butter Sauce
Deep Fried Oysters
- large pot or cast iron pan
- 2 pints Raw Shucked Oysters
- 2 tsp Seafood Seasoning
- ¾ cup Milk
- 1 tbsp Hot Sauce
Additional Ingredients/ Garnish
- 2 Lemons Sliced into wedges
- Fresh Parsley
- 2-3 Qt Canola Oil For Frying
- Remove shucked oysters from the jar or container and drain in a colander. Place oyters in a container and add milk, hot sauce and seafood seasoning. gentling fold the ingredients together then place in the fridge with a lid for a minimum of 30 minutes and no longer then 8-10 hours.
- Prepare the dredge by combining all ingredients into a wide shallow container and set aside
- Heat up your frying oil to a temperature of around 350 degrees F. Try to maintain this temperature as close as possible. the temperature will lower as you add the oysters. Let the oil temperature recover before adding your next batch.
- While you're waiting for the oil to come up to temp drain off any liquid from the oysters and then begin tossing them into the dredge in small batches. Make sure to completely coat the oysters in the flour mixture. shake off any exsess flour and set oysters on a tray.
- carfully drop the oysters into the oil making sure not to over crowd the pot and make sure the oysters dont stick together. Occasionally stir the oysters gently with a strainer to keep them seperated. the oysters are fully cooked as soon as they begin to float. Sould be about 3-5 minutes total frying time. You will need to work in batches depending on the size of your fryer.
- Scoop fully cooked oysters out of the oil with a strainer onto a tray lined with paper towels and immediately season with seafood seasoning. Serve with lemon, fresh parsley and cocktail or remoulade sauce.
- Food Processor
- Rough chop the parsley, dill, shallot, cornichons and capers so that they will blend evenly in the food processor. Place in the bottom of the food processor along with mayonnaise, ketchup, dijon, tabasco, lemon juice with zest and Worcestershire sauce.
- Pulse just long enough to combine. If you dont have a food processor just chop the ingridents fine to the consistancy you prefer then whisk together all the ingredients.
- Whisk ingredients to combine.