How to Host an Oyster Roast at Your Charleston Home

917032252The saying in the Lowcountry goes that any month ending with an “r” is a great time to host an oyster roast. You’ll find many of these events taking place around the Charleston area, especially in the months of November and December.

Hosting an oyster roast can be a great reason to get family together during the busy holiday season to celebrate a classic Southern tradition – and enjoy some great seafood to boot!

Here’s how to host your very own Lowcountry oyster roast:

Cooking Your Oysters

First, you’ll need to decide if you want to cook your oysters over an open fire or steam them. If you choose the open fire method, put the oysters on a ¼ inch metal sheet, which can be set on blocks over an outdoor fire pit. Allowing the metal to heat first, layer the oysters, covering them with wet burlap. They are ready to eat when the pop open, about 8-10 minutes.

To steam them, use a lidded 10-gallon pot with drop basket. Boil about 3 inches of water and insert the basket of oysters. Once they have popped open, give them a couple more minutes before serving.

How many oysters should you buy? A good rule of thumb is 50 pounds for every five people, according to Southern Living.


To allow everyone to easily eat the oysters, consider making a table out of plywood, cutting two large holes, under which you can place large buckets to dispose of the oysters. Oyster shells can be recycled so only allow people to drop shells in the buckets. Cover the rest of the table with newspaper and use a shovel to dump your oysters on the table.

To eat them, you’ll need oyster knives and gloves (for handling the hot oysters). You can supply them or ask everyone to bring their own! Use your knife to pry open the oyster and then run the blade under the meat to remove it.

Eat ‘em up

Everyone likes to eat their oysters differently, so provide a variety of sauces and options. Lemon, hot sauce, horseradish, butter, ketchup and cocktail sauce are popular toppings. You’ll also want to have plenty of saltine crackers on hand to eat with your oysters.

Take a picture of your oyster roast and share with us on our Facebook page!

For more information about building a new Charleston home to host your oyster roast, visit us at or call us at 843-830-0158.