Fresh oysters, from the Pacific, Atlantic or elsewhere, are a real treat. Shucking them, however, takes time and practice. Once you’re through, you’ll want to properly enjoy the fruits of your labor. But don’t just throw the mollusks on any old platter. Instead, invest in a restaurant-worthy oyster plate to properly display them (before you gobble up the lot, that is).
But an oyster plate shouldn’t just look great. It should also make sense functionally. There should be enough space, for instance, to fill the tray space up with ice, plus a center slot for the all-important cocktail sauce and lemons. Some oyster plates can even be stuck in the oven, if you prefer your bivalves cooked.
You can use an oyster plate for more than just mollusks, too. Your favorite can easily double as a serving tray for chips and dip, deviled eggs or whatever else strikes your fancy. After all, oysters needn’t be the only excuse to make use of it. Here are four of our favorites.
1. Swissmar Oyster Tray Set
On the hunt for your first oyster plate? Swissmar’s set will do the trick. A ceramic dipping bowl with three sauce compartments and a shucking puck—the ideal surface for cutting open bivalves—are all included, in addition to the stainless-steel tray. Bonus: The plate is oven safe, so you can use it to bake oysters if you’d rather not serve them raw.
Pros: Comes with great accoutrements for both shucking and serving.
Cons: Its bare-bones design may not be for everyone.
2. Burton + Burton Oyster Platter
If you’re having friends over in the near future and want to impress with a stylish oyster plate, then consider this Burton + Burton platter. Shaped like a white shell, it’s a bright, standout addition to any dinner table. Plus, the seashell shape at the base both looks great and doubles as a slot for cocktail sauce.
Pros: Your oyster plate won’t look the same as everyone else’s.
Cons: The center slot won’t hold much more than a few lemon wedges.
3. Mud Pie Oyster Tray
This oyster tray features a fun and lighthearted design, with the dipping sauce notch in the middle reading “shuck the front door,” and the accompanying fork informing you that “the world is your oyster.” The ceramic tray should also seamlessly fit in with your other tableware, too. If not, Mud Pie has plenty of other bits and bobs in its Circa Seafood collection to pair it with.
Pros: A witty tray that’s sure to get a few laughs.
Cons: Only six oyster slots mean you’ll need to double up if you’re looking to serve a dozen.
4. Outset Oyster Pan
Outset’s oyster pan is perfect for someone who’d rather cook up oysters than serve them raw. Fill the tray with up to a dozen bivalves, stick it in the oven and serve. The plate can also serve raw oysters on the half shell, making it a versatile addition to any kitchen.
Pros: A sturdy cast-iron pan that can cook up to a dozen oysters.
Cons: Not the most glamorous of platters serving platter.