How to Open an Oyster

Photo of oyster in hand to illustrate How to open an oyster

Want to know how to open an oyster? Oyster shucking is easy if you have the right tools. I swear by my Dexter-Russell Oyster Knife, which I’ve had since I graduated from culinary school (many moons ago).

An oyster knife (also called an oyster shucker or oyster opener) is essential for shucking fresh oysters. Oyster knives have a special dull blade that helps you move through the hinge with ease.

This is the oyster knife that I use.

To begin shucking your oyster, get yourself a towel, an oyster knife and a strong arm.

Make sure your oysters have been scrubbed clean under some cold running water. The oysters should be tightly closed, or should close up when you touch them. If the shell stays open, they are probably dead and you should throw them out.

Set your oyster on a dish towel, flat side down, and insert the knife into the hinge. Put the knife down in a tad, then across, but close to the top of the shell. This should cut the muscle.

Next, slide the knife under the bottom of the oyster, cutting the muscle attached to the bottom. Open the oyster and remove any bits of shell you find around the edge.

Make sure you don’t lose any of those wonderful juices that are natural to the oyster. You want it to be loose in the shell so it slides right out into your mouth when you eat it.

The oyster should smell salty and briny like the sea. If not, toss it out.

Lay your fresh shucked oysters out on a bed of ice. Offer some lemon wedges, hot sauce, cocktail sauce and fresh shaved horseradish.

Oysters should be enjoyed immediately after opening, served with a wedge of fresh lemon. Check out my other posts about how to eat and serve oysters, how to cook BBQ oysters and more!

Here’s one fact about fresh live oysters. They keep about 5 days in the refrigerator covered in a damp cloth, and they have about 7 calories per serving.

Photo of oyster in hand to illustrate How to open an oyster

How to Open an Oyster

Want to know how to open an oyster? Oyster shucking is easy if you have the right tools, and I swear by my Dexter-Russell Oyster Knife, which I've had since I graduated from culinary school many moons ago.
An oyster knife (also called an oyster shucker or oyster opener) is essential for shucking fresh oysters. 
Oyster knives have a special dull blade that helps you move through the hinge with ease.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Instructions
 

  • First, get some oysters that have been scrubbed clean under some cold running water. The oysters should be tightly closed, or should close up when you touch them. If the shell stays open, they are probably dead and you should throw them out.
  • Set your oyster on a dish towel, flat side down, and insert the knife into the hinge. Put the knife down in a tad, then across, but close to the top of the shell. This should cut the muscle. The slide the knife under the bottom of the oyster, cutting the muscle attached to the bottom. Open the oyster and remove any bits of shell you find around the edge. Make sure you don’t lose any of those wonderful juices that are natural to the oyster. You want it to be loose in the shell so it slides right out into your mouth when you eat it.
  • The oyster should smell salty and briny like the sea. If not, toss it out.
  • Lay them out on a bed of ice, offer some lemon wedges, hot sauce, cocktail sauce and fresh shaved horseradish.
  • Oysters should be enjoyed immediately after opening, served with a wedge of fresh lemon. Check out my other posts about how to eat and serve oysters, how to cook BBQ oysters and more!

Video

Keyword chef tips, oysters

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