The Best Way to Shuck an Oyster | ChefSteps | PBS Food

The Best Way to Shuck an Oyster



Love fresh oysters, but can’t deal with the frustrations that come with opening them? Often, shuckers approach their oysters from the back, using a special tool to crank open that thick, tough bit of business. Your arm gets sore, it takes forever, and annoying bits of shell get stuck in that beautiful bivalve meat.

You probably see where we’re going with this: We’ve got a better way! By opening the oyster along the bottom right-hand side near the front, we can easily cut away the adductor muscle that attaches the meat to the top shell, then gently remove that top. If the traditional method is the equivalent to prying a door open with a crowbar, this method is akin to picking a lock—you’ll feel less like a sweaty lout, more like a sexy spy. Then, just give the oyster meat a quick flip to detach it from the lower muscle and show off its smooth, clean underbelly, and you’ll be serving the best-looking bivalves on the block. Block? How about the neighborhood? Neighborhood? How about the city? City, how about the—okay, okay, you get the picture.


It’s a picture of shell-free, sweet-looking oysters with which to wow your guests. All you need now is a bottle of bubbly and an appetite for some sublime sea creatures.

Fresh oysters, unshelled
A small, strong knife, such as a paring knife


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