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How to Shuck an Oyster

"Why, when the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open" William Shakespeare

Oysters have bi-valved shells to protect their soft bodies. The two shells are joined by a hinge and an adductor muscle holds the shells together. The oyster will then use this muscle to clam up tight as soon as it is removed from the water.

The art of opening an oyster

With a little bit of practice and the right tool, it’s easier to open an oyster than it is to peel a prawn.

Step 1.

Shuck an Oyster - Step 1

Put on gloves. Hold the oyster, flat side up, with the pointy end angled towards your tummy.

Using your shucking knife, bash off the frilly edge of the shell.


Step 2.

Shuck an Oyster - Step 2

Insert the shucking knife between the upper and lower shells.

Hint: give the knife a wriggle, it’ll help you to penetrate the shells.


Step 3.

Shuck an Oyster - Step 3

Using a twisting motion, pry the shells apart.

Slide the knife slowly from side to side up, flat against the top shell.

Be firm, but gentle, so as not to damage the oyster or lose any of the fluid.


Step 4.

Shuck an Oyster - Step 4

Once you’ve removed the top shell, carefully slide your knife under the oyster and cut the abductor muscle. Then, gently turn the oyster over inside its shell, and… presto!

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