This basic shellfish brine comes from Mike Stines’ article “Smoking Succulent Shellfish.” Read more how-to and recipes for smoked mussels, clams, scallops, and oysters here.
- 2 quarts cold water, divided
- 1 cup (10 ounces or 280 g) coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Heat one quart of water to a simmer over medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the remaining water. Cool the brine to below 40 degrees F.
- Pour the cooled brine over the oysters and soak, refrigerated, for 30 minutes. After brining, rinse the oysters under cold water and drain in a colander.
- Prepare the smoker for a 225 degrees F. cook using your favorite smoking wood (avoid using heavy wood such as mesquite). I usually use alder, apple or oak, but I’ve also used dried seaweed.
- Place the oysters on a porcelain grill rack or Frogmat smoking mat. (Or return the oysters to the cupped (bottom) portion of the shell and arrange them on a tray with rock salt.) Smoke the oysters for 30 to 40 minutes or until the edges begin to curl. Remove from the grill and serve warm or cool. You can also serve them cold with a drizzle of olive oil, some crushed red pepper and crusty bread.