How to Clean and Shuck Oysters

Jun 30, 2011 3:31 pm

Clean and shuck oysters for freshness and coolness

photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/marxfoods/">MarxFoods.com</a> on Flickr
photo: MarxFoods.com on Flickr
How to win friends and influence people: Shuck your own oysters
 

Cleaning and Opening Oysters:

Ok, break out the big guns. To get started you’ll need the right tools (a few clean towels, rubber gloves if you like, and an oyster knife) and a little muscle. Shucked oysters are available, but we recommend shucking yourself at the last minute, or even while your guests are there, so your oysters won’t dry out. 

  1. First, clean all of your oysters under running cold water to remove all of the dirt. Check them carefully as you wash them. There shouldn’t be any open shells. If you find one just discard it.
  2. Place a clean hand towel on the counter top. Place the oyster on that towel and then use another towel to hold the oyster in place. 
  3. Insert the tip of the oyster knife into the hinge of the shell. This is where the top and bottom shells come together; it's kind of indented. This is the sweet spot your oyster knife will be able to jimmy into. 
  4. Using pressure move your oyster knife so that you separate the top and bottom shells.
  5. Once the oyster is open you must remember to loosen the oyster from its shell so that slurping is made easy.  
  6. And DO NOT under any circumstance dump out the liquid in the shell. This is called oyster liquor and gives it that fresh-from-the-ocean flavor.
  7. Repeat, until you've got as many oysters open as you'd like to eat or your arm gets tired of shucking.
  8. Enjoy naked (not you, the oyster) or serve with a classic mignonette, a squeeze of fresh lemon or a dash of hot sauce.

Other pearls of wisdom about oysters from Food Republic:

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