There’s nothing like a delicious oyster. Like most seafood, oysters are best served fresh and pack a lot of flavor in a small bite. While these shellfish appear to have a tough exterior, they are fairly cooperative when you know what you’re doing. If you want to learn how to shuck oysters on your own, check out the guide below.
5 Steps to Shucking Oysters Properly
1. Set Up Your Space
Keep your oysters submerged in a bowl of ice water to maintain a cold temperature. First, fold a kitchen towel lengthwise into thirds to brace the oyster while you shuck it. Make sure you have an oyster knife with a thick blade with a relatively dull point.
Before shucking, pick up an oyster and note that one of its two shells has a belly to it and the other is flat. The belly side is the bottom, and the flat is the top.
2. Secure the Oyster in the Towel
Place the belly side of the oyster onto the folded towel. Fold the towel over the oyster so that all you can see is where the shells taper together, also known as the hinge. Place your non-dominant hand on top to hold it steady. It’s best to bunch up the folded towel in a way that protects your non-dominant hand in case the oyster knife slips.
3. Use Your Oyster Knife to Twist & Pry
Maneuver your oyster knife into the hinge and try to find a sweet spot where the knife can get some leverage. Gently wriggle the knife until you feel like you can exert pressure against both the top and bottom shells at once. Apply pressure until you hear a pop, then further twist your knife so that the blade pries the shells apart even more.
4. Sever the Muscle
From the hinge end, slide the blade across the top of the oyster. Keep it as flat as you can against the top shell and locate the muscle approximately two-thirds of the way through. Once you hit the muscle, sever it and pull the top shell off. Use the knife to get any stuck-on oyster meat.
5. Free the Oyster From the Bottom Shell
Finally, slide the knife under the oyster and sever the muscle from the bottom shell. Move the oyster around in the shell to make sure it's entirely free. Eat your oysters in the half shell for an easy-to-grab snack or remove them from the shell and place on ice for a unique presentation.
If you’re looking for fresh seafood all year round, check out the Alabama Gulf’s best fresh fish market, Billy’s Seafood in Bon Secour, AL. From high-quality shrimp to savory crab and crawfish, this local business offers a wide range of delicious seafood at affordable prices and is always willing to offer cooking and preparation tips to help you enjoy your seafood. To learn more about their delectable inventory, check out their website. You can also call (251) 949-6288 to speak with a friendly staff member today.