11 Kitchen & Table Essentials for a Summer Oyster Party
As we dive into summer, everything social begins to migrate outdoors. Dinner parties are now held in backyards, porches, or on apartment building-rooftops, and spritzes are sipped on while sitting on picnic blankets or under umbrellas at the beach. A major main character of warm-weather dining is, of course, shellfish and mollusks. Clams, shrimp, crawfish, lobster, mussels, and oysters suddenly are on the menu at every dinner—whether it’s at your favorite restaurant or in a friend’s backyard.
Here at Food52, we love to eat with the seasons. And oysters? We think they always deserve a spotlight. If you love to host but aren’t sure what you should have on hand for an oyster party, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured our Shop and pulled together 11 of our favorite kitchen and tabletop items we think are essentials for any summer shellfish bash.
Psst! Not sure how to get fresh oysters to your home? Check out our guide to buying oysters online.
1. Messermeister 6.5-Inch Oyster Knife, $50
The key to a good oyster knife is an extremely sharp tip. This one has a 6.5-inch blade, ultra-sharp tip, and an easy-grip handle. It was designed by a three-time Dutch oyster shucking champion, Marcel Schouwenaar, and was built from surgical stainless steel. Not sure how to shuck? Read our quick how-to here.
2. Microplane Cut Resistant Kitchen Gloves, $20+
When you’re working with an ultra-sharp knife tip, you need to keep yourself safe. These cut-resistant gloves will help prevent injury while prying the oyster shells open.
3. Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baking Sheets, $24+
These baking sheets can be used in a straightforward way—to make baked Oysters Rockefeller—or as a serving tray for raw oysters. Just pour a layer of ice up to the sheet’s edge, place the half-shells on top, and you’re good to go.
4. Five Two Essential Roasting Pan & Rack,
While this roasting pan works great for ribs, a roast, or a 20-pound turkey, it’s also fantastic for baking or grilling oysters. Just place the shells on the built-in flat rack before moving it over to the oven or onto your grill.
5. SIN Handmade Oyster Platter, $112
This ceramic oyster plate is maybe the chicest way to serve eight half-shells. Handmade from porcelain, inspired by Victorian-era designs, and finished with an ivory-white glaze, this plate sits right at the intersection of function and beauty.
6. Le Creuset Stoneware Rectangular Dish with Platter Lid, $125
If you’re the person bringing the oysters to a dinner party, you’ll want this dish from Le Creuset. Not only will it keep your oysters, lemons, and mignonette secure during transit, the lid can double as a serving platter once it’s on the table.
7. Fish & Fish Glass Oval Plate, $36
Another serving platter to consider is this colorful, transparent oval plate made from green glass. It was inspired by Depression-Era glassware, designed by award-winning artist Paola Navone, and is even dishwasher safe.
8. Vida Nube Melamine Large Double Dip, $54
Fill this large bowl with lemon wedges, oyster garnishing sauces, vegetables with dip, or even more raw oysters over ice. Made from shatterproof melamine, it’s ideal for outdoor entertaining and is dishwasher safe.
9. Simple Ceramic Ramekins, $50
These ceramic ramekins are perfect for holding the countless toppings that can be sprinkled or spooned onto oysters. Whether it’s a dollop of garlic onto a raw oyster, a sprinkle of chive onto a baked one, or a spoonful of mignonette, these little cups will easily hold the garnishes you need.
10. MADRE Linen Napkins, $80
You can’t serve finger food without napkins. These linens from Madre are light, colorful, easy to clean (that’s right, they’re machine washable), and will look great on any table.
11. Valencia Bubbly Goblets, $40+
Fill these beautiful goblets with a spritz, sparkling wine, or a bubbly non-alcohol drink to complement the seafood you’re snacking on. They’re available in four colors (Amber, Green, Blue, and Pink), as a set of two or six.
What do you like to have on hand for an oyster party? Let us know below!