How to Shuck Oysters

It’s easier than it sounds. 

“Oysters on the half shell” sounds fancy, but if you can pry open the shells, you’re almost there. Grab an oyster knife (like the Dexter Russell stainless-steel oyster knife, $20) and a dish towel and follow these steps.

1

shuck-oyster-step-1
Photo by Melinda Josie

Clean oysters vigorously under cold water with a scrub brush. Grasp an oyster in the towel, with the flat-side up and the hinge (where the shells meet) exposed. Poke the knife into the hinge. Twist the knife back and forth—like turning a key in a lock—until the top (flat) shell pops open.


2

shuck-oyster-step-2
Photo by Melinda Josie

Slip the blade along the inside of the top shell, severing the muscle (the oyster will rest in the bottom shell) and being careful not to spill the liquid. Discard the top shell.


3

shuck-oyster-step-3
Photo by Melinda Josie

Run the blade under the oyster to cut the attached muscle. Wipe the knife clean; repeat. Serve the oysters on a bed of crushed ice.