How to Shuck an Oyster

A. Generally, an oyster will have a flat side and a round side. With the flat side up, hold the oyster very steady on the table with the palm of your hand.

B. Where the oyster comes to a point (at its anterior edge), you will find the HINGE where the two half shells are connected. The first step in shucking an oyster is to break the hinge.

C. Take a well-made oyster knife and carefully force the tip of the knife into the hinge. It may take a little practice to find the right angle for each individual oyster so just be patient and remember that you are using a tool that may cause a potential injury if used improperly (try to aim the knife at the table and not at your hand).

D. Once you have the tip of the knife inside the hinge, you will have to pry the two half shells apart. This may take twisting or turning the knife, or any number of other techniques, but the key is to find the angle in which you have the most leverage.

E. Once the hinge has been broken, drag the knife along the underside of the flat shell (see top right photo), aiming for the ADDUCTOR MUSCLE, which is found on the right side of the oyster when the hinge is facing you. This muscle must be severed in order to remove the flat shell from the rest of the oyster.

F. Once you have removed the flat side, the last step is to sever the adductor muscle from the round side of the shell.

Now you’re ready to try a raw oyster with a twist of lime and a shot of hot sauce!