Shuck U: How to Open an Oyster
Scrub the oyster under running water to remove any mud. Never submerge an oyster in
water--it will expel all the delicious oyster liquor. The pointy end of an oyster is the bill. The rounded end is the hinge.
To shuck the oyster, hold it down on a table or work surface using a towel to protect
Stick an oyster knife in the small opening in the hinge end.
Twist the knife like a screwdriver to pry the shell apart. If it doesn't work at first, don't
lose patience and start gouging, instead keep turning the knife up and down. When the shell pops open, slide the knife blade along the top shell to free the abductor muscle.
Remove the top shell. Cut the bottom abductor muscle loose. Use the towel to wipe away any mud you see inside of the shell. Be careful to balance the oyster right side up so as not to lose all the liquid inside the shell.
Turn the oyster over for a better presentation if you nicked up the top abductor muscle. Congratulations, you did it! Keep the shucked oysters cold on a bed of ice and serve with lemon wedges, Tabasco sauce and the libation of choice.
- Robb Walsh
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Houston dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.