If you plan on having a fancy dinner party or just want to dazzle your dinner guests, fresh oysters are the perfect appetizer. However, shucking an oyster is a difficult task for many people. So let’s break it down in to simple steps.
I’ve seen people try to shuck oysters with butter knives, steak knives, and coat hangers. Most of these ended up with bleeding accidents. To shuck an oyster properly, you should go to a kitchen supply store and pick up good wooden or plastic shucking tool. If you are a beginner, buying one with a finger guard will help prevent accidents.
As with clams and mussels, the oyster shell should be closed tight or closes when touched. Eating a sick or dead oyster is a good way to end up sick in the hospital. If possible, you should store them in sea water or on ice. Keep them on ice until you are ready to serve them.
Now it’s time to open the oyster up. Basically, to open the oyster we are cutting the hinge inside the shell. There is a round and smooth part of the shell with a visible seam. Hold the oyster firmly and insert the shucking tool in to the seam. It may take a little wiggling to get it in. Now, rocking the blade back and forth while moving around the seam, you should feel where the hinge is. You can gently test opening the shell by turning the knife vertical. If it doesn’t seem to move, keep working the seam until the hinge is cut.
At all times you should keep the oyster level so the delicious juices are spilled out on to the floor. Once the hinge has been cut, keep working the blade around to cut all the meat away from the shell. Open up and shell gently and scrap the contents all on to one half.