Go Back Email Link
Southern Fried Oysters

Southern Fried Oysters Recipe

Steven Pennington
Last Fried Oyster Recipe You'll Ever Need
4.48 from 40 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 mins
Marinade 20 mins
Total Time 28 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Southern Classic
Calories 691 kcal

Suggested Equipment

Large Pot
Oil Splash Guard
Deep Fryer
High Temp Thermometer



  • 24 oz Oysters Everywhere sells them a little differently, that's okay. The flouring mix works for all amounts, double when needed. Buy local oysters when possible.

Flour Dredge

  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour Magic Flour Mix for a cup: Ingredients - Use ⅔ cup AP Flour & ⅓ cup of Corn Starch
  • cup Cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cup Cornmeal
  • 2 Tablespoon Creole Seasoning Tony's or Ol Bay
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Dried Oregano Crush in the palm of your hand to release the natural oils
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme - Dried Crush in the palm of your hand to release the natural oils
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Sea Salt To Your Taste


  • 2 cup Buttermilk Whole milk / Half & Half will work
  • 2 Tablespoon Hot Sauce (Cholula) Will not make the oysters spicy. Adds additional flavor. Often used when making fried chicken.
  • 1 tip Refrigerator for 30-40 minutes The natural acids in the buttermilk will bring flavor and help the flour stick better than normal milk


Preparation & Marinating Of The Oysters

  • Rinse off the oysters under cool running water. (If the oysters are super fresh you can skip this step). Place the rinsed oysters into a bowl.

The Marinade

  • Combine the buttermilk and favorite hot sauce like Cholula hot sauce (link in notes below). So good. Not like Tabasco hot sauce in flavor. Much better in my opinion.
    Cover the oysters with the marinade, then into the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Not overnight, the natural acids in the buttermilk will break down the oyster texture too much.

The Dry Ingredients

  • Mix all dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
    1 cup All-purpose flour + ⅓ cornstarch + 2 ½ cup cornmeal + 2 T creole seasoning + 1 T garlic salt + 1 T onion powder + 2 teaspoon dried oregano + 1 teaspoon thyme + 1 teaspoon black pepper + 2 teaspoon salt.
    Chef Tip: After mixing the dry ingredients take a taste of the flour mixture. Does it taste too much like flour or cornmeal? Then adjust and add more seasoning based on what you think it needs. You can always cook a small test batch and then adjust the seasoning. This is how restaurant chefs balance out dishes.
    TSA: Taste. Season & Adjust

Dredging For Frying The Oysters

  • Take the oysters straight from the marinade, (do not rinse), and place them straight into the dredging flour mix.
    Crispy/Thickness Options:
    1) The photo on the post = wet (marinade), then the oysters added to the dry (flour), then into the fryer.
    2) A thicker outside crust. Repeat option 1) above twice. Double dredge and fry.
  • Plan Ahead Option: You can dredge and flour the oysters in advance and place them on a cookie sheet and store them in the refrigerator until you are ready to fry. (max prep time: 30 minutes in the refrigerator).
    Be sure to cover the cookie sheet first with a good amount of cornmeal to avoid sticking.

Oil For Frying

  • A high smoke point oil is preferred when frying.
    Meaning, an oil that gets to a hot temperature without smoking or burning.
    I like using peanut oil or canola oil to fry oysters.
    Tip: If the oil does get too hot and exceeds the smoking point, there is no saving the oil. The flavor will be rancid and not useable. Start over...
    Google the "smoke point" of whichever oil you choose to use beforehand. Never exceed that listed temperature.
  • Add enough oil to the pot that will cover the oysters, the oysters need to be in the oil, not floating on top of the oil. At least 4 inches of oil in the pot.
    You are "deep" frying the oysters.
    If you're low on oil use a pot that isn't as wide and is deeper.
  • Preheat to 360 degrees, testing with a candy thermometer or temperature probe.
    The temperature will drop as soon as the first batch of oysters goes in, so keep an eye on the frying temperature. This is why we start at 360 and not 350.
    Tip: Do not overcrowd the pot or the temperature will drop too much and the oysters will not get crispy, but muddy and soggy full of oil.
    Manage the oil temperature, do not overcrowd the pot.
  • Suggestions: Test fry a few oysters to test the oil temperature before committing all your delicious oysters to the fryer.
  • Tip: Have a large plate with paper towels all laid out and ready to go before you begin frying. Place the oysters on the paper towels straight from the fryer.
  • Immediately after coming out of the fryer, sprinkle the oysters with sea salt.


Suggested hot sauce
Cholula Hot Sauce - I do not find it HOT, but actually flavor-forward and very pleasant. 
What's your favorite hot sauce? Leave a comment below.


Serving: 6oystersCalories: 691kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 21gFat: 12.1gSaturated Fat: 1.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 6.1gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 418mgPotassium: 434mgFiber: 16gSugar: 4.7gVitamin A: 674IUCalcium: 94.6mgIron: 24.7mg
Keyword How To Fry Oysters, Southern Fried Oysters Recipe
Try This Recipe, You'll Love It. Pin it!Mention @ButterNThyme or tag #butternthyme!