Bring the Heat to Your Oyster Roast

woos hot sauce and oysters in front of a fire pit


Though summer will be here before we know it, right now we’re in the midst of colder weather. One of the staples of the colder weather months is oysters and oyster roasts. This is a traditional American event that originates from Low Country and has continued through the ages.

Thinking of planning your own oyster roast? If so, we’ve got you covered. To make your event one that everyone talks about for years to come, make sure you have a bottle of Woos! hot sauce available. Whether you’ve eating raw or cooked oysters, you can’t go wrong with our sauce.

What is an oyster roast?

Oyster roasts originated in South Carolina. During the event, oysters are placed into a roasting kettle and then covered with a burlap sack. The kettle is then placed over hot coals until the oysters are cooked to perfection.

No matter where you live in the state, an oyster roast is something that everyone should experience. You can even take things to the next level by planning your own oyster roast! Here’s how to plan a memorable event.

Planning an oyster roast

Before you get to roasting, you want to ensure that you have all of the must-haves. To start, set up one or several tables. If you're looking to save money, set up two sawhorses along with a sheet of plywood.

This is where people will gather to shuck oysters. You'll also want to have plenty of oyster knives handy. Depending on who you're inviting to the event, some attendees may be seasoned shuckers, who likely have their own knife to use.

Be sure to provide a variety of different knife styles so that guests can choose one that they like. You'll also want plenty of working gloves, such as stainless-steel mesh or rubber-coated cotton styles.

Setting up the fire

Once all of the accouterments are in place, the next step is to set up the roasting area. Contrary to the name, the oysters are actually "roasted" by steaming them over a fire. To set up the roasting area you’ll need:

  • Firewood
  • Six cinder blocks
  • A steel sheet (4’ x 2’ by ¼ inch thick)
  • Burlap sacks
  • Bucket of water (to soak the sacks)
  • Shovel

To start, dig a shallow hole that’s 2-4 inches deep. Build a fire within the hole and then surround the area with cinder blocks. Place the sheet metal on top and wait a few minutes for the surface to heat up.

Shovel oysters evenly onto the sheet. Don’t stack or pile them, otherwise they won’t cook evenly. Then cover the oysters with wet burlap and let steam for 8-19 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when the shells have just slightly cracked.

The wider open the shells are, the less juicy the oysters will be. Remember, the flavorful liquid is what everyone wants, so don’t overcook the mollusks!

Once cooked, scoop the oysters with a shovel and put them on the table for guests to shuck and enjoy.

A proper tablescape is a must

Now comes the fun part – serving and eating! There are several items that you’ll want to have available so that your guests can best enjoy their oysters. Be sure that you have a generous supply of paper towels including:

  • Saltine crackers
  • Horseradish
  • Cocktail sauce
  • Lemon wedges

The most important condiment that you’ll want to have on hand is hot sauce. Offer your guests a variety of options to choose from. One brand that you don’t want to be without is Woo! Our small batch hot sauce is big on flavor. Our sauce is one that's meant for savoring.

Happy shucking!