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You can cook oysters from a jar pretty much however you want. Jarred or canned oysters are pre-shucked and stored raw, so it’s totally up to you how you’ll cook them.
Pre-shucked oysters, which are usually cheaper, are ideal for cooking. When cooking oysters in their shells, it’s easy to see when they’re done as the shells will pop open. Without those shells, how do you know they’re cooked?
Let’s go through some popular means of cooking oysters. Note that cooking oysters won’t take much time at all. It’s more like you’re warming them, so most recipes out there won’t surpass ten minutes of cooking time.
First, jarred oysters are most often added to soups and chowders. You can find many different recipes online and, if you have a soup or a sauce that you make often, you can try an oyster variant.
You may want the oysters to be roasted beforehand, in which case you should place them in ramekins and cook them in an oven before adding them to the pot. If you’re cooking the oysters in the pot from the start, adding cream is a great way to cook them.
Pre-shucked oysters can also be breadcrumbed and fried to make a multi-textured treat. All you need to do is heat a generous amount of oil (three inches) in an oven, preferably a Dutch oven at over 350 degrees.
Then you need to breadcrumb them using your favorite method, typically flour and egg-water mix. Then you fry the oysters for three minutes and place them on a drainer to dry.
Pre-shucked oysters are designed to be cooked, so many swear off eating them raw. That doesn’t mean you can’t eat them raw, which others have said is fine, but you’ll have to accept that they won’t match the freshness of a live oyster that has just been plucked out of its shell.
Keep an eye on the best-before date on the jar, you don’t want to take the risk if this date has come and gone.
How To Clean Oysters From A Jar
Most of the oyster cleaning happens when they’re still in their shells, typically during the shucking process.
You don’t rinse an oyster fresh from its shell but pre-shucked oysters are different. With pre-shucked oysters in a jar or a can, the liquid they’re stored in is typically the water that the oysters have been rinsed with, not oyster juice.
The water should be clean but it’s ultimately useless for cooking purposes unless you’ve found a recipe that can make creative use of the water.
Upon opening a jar, don’t remove the water because you may need it to keep the oysters you don’t use fresh for another few days.
Otherwise, the oysters don’t need to be rinsed in most cases but you can rinse them off with even fresher water if you want to. There’s no harm in rinsing off any pre-shucked oysters you cook if you’re roasting or frying them.
After being rinsed and strained, you can then pat them dry before you start cooking them properly.
How Long Do Oysters In A Jar Keep?
When it comes to seafood and expiry dates, you don’t want to mess around.
Eating oysters that have gone bad can expose you to harmful bacteria that’ll upset your stomach and make you skittish about eating seafood in the future.
When you have oysters in a jar or a can, check for the date.
Don’t eat oysters that have passed the date otherwise you’re already taking a risk.
Once the jar is open, you can keep it refrigerated to keep the remaining oysters fresh for two to three days.
Similarly, if you’ve shucked oysters yourself and have leftovers, you can store them in a similar fashion and eat them within three days. Wait any longer and you won’t be able to guarantee their freshness.
How To Tell If Jarred Oysters Are Bad
Eating bad oysters is a surefire way to ruin your day. Fortunately, gauging the freshness of an oyster is a matter of looking at the meat, no matter if they were shelled or not when you received them.
A healthy oyster has plump, moist meat that’s glossy. They’ll typically be a tan color too.
If the oyster is bad, it will have lost its luster, it’s not glossy anymore and it’s dry and somewhat withered instead. If bad, they’ll be colored grey, pink, or even black.
You can find videos and images online comparing good and bad oysters, so you can check them out.
If you’re familiar with the smell of healthy oysters, then you can also give them the old sniff test.
The smell is most often described as smelling too fishy, to the point of being described as offensive. Trust us, you’ll know the smell of a bad oyster when you smell it.
If you have eaten an oyster or two and now you’re feeling sick, you should visit your doctor.
Even fresh oysters have the potential of giving you Vibrio sickness, which gives you such fun symptoms as vomiting, diarrhea, and a raging fever.
Oyster-related illnesses can even get bad enough to claim lives in some cases. You don’t want to take any chances with jarred oysters that may have gone bad.
Where To Buy Oysters In Glass Jars
Finding the best-jarred oysters is important. Where quality is a concern for most products, the quality of oysters relies on their freshness.
Seafood won’t last long once it has been harvested, so you need to get oysters from a source where you can be confident they’re fresh and haven’t turned bad somewhere during the supply chain.
You can find oysters, with other seafood, available online. This is viable nowadays because of our speedy delivery systems.
Some restaurants may also sell you oysters to take home and prepare yourself as opposed to eating them in-house, but you need to make sure they’re of high quality and worthy of your time and money.