Georgia Magazine - October 2017 - 40A
Second helping: More on the half shell
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BY JANE F. GARVEY
In his father's day, oysters were
cooked in cast-iron kettles over
wood that had burned down to coals.
Today, Brown cooks over hickory
charcoal supplemented with lump
charcoal, which burns longer and
hotter. A piece of cast iron is laid on
top of the charcoal to retain the heat
so he doesn't have to adjust the fire.
The oysters should be laid on
the cast iron in a single layer and
covered with a wet, burlap sack. The
soaked burlap is critical to keeping
the oysters moist, so they don't lose
their juices. They roast for five minutes, just until they're open.
"Dad would get oysters in bags
with mud all over them, lay them out
and spray them with a hose. Any that
were barely open or sounded hollow
were culled," Brown recalls.
Oysters will vary in size, so the
meat inside is different sizes, he
"When roasting oysters, we like
to see them just start popping open,
so we know the liquid in them has
bubbled at least one time-getting to
212 degrees," he says. That way he
KAREN BURNS PHOTOGRAPHY
KAREN BURNS PHOTOGRAPH
ennett Brown, founder of
LowCountry Catering in
Smyrna, is known for his
barbecue. But he also does oyster roasts. The family hails from
South Carolina, and his father,
Bennett Brown Sr., brought with
him to Georgia the pig-pickin'
and oyster-roasting traditions of
his native Palmetto State.
The younger Brown grew up
with this tradition and has made it
his life's work. His father's oyster
roasts were famous, and Brown
does them as well for large gatherings. Oysters are roasted over charcoal "the old-fashioned way," he
A fan of wild oysters, Brown
does these events in winter. "In
months with R in them," he says.
A worker with LowCountry Catering shucks
oysters for 150 guests at a recent oyster
roast in Atlanta.
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