Test Kitchen tips: Shucking an oyster


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If you’ve never opened an oyster before, the thought of shucking one might be a bit intimidating. Although the process doesn’t take a lot of brawn, shucking an oyster does take care and know-how. And an oyster knife.

Here’s a quick step-by-step tutorial:

1. Use a folded towel to hold the oyster and protect your hand. Place the tip of an oyster knife into the hinge end of the oyster and gently twist the knife to break the hinge, opening the oyster.


2. Gently push the knife sideways halfway into the oyster. Twist again to open without spilling the oyster liquor (the liquid in the shell with the oyster).

3. Carefully loosen the oyster from the bottom muscle, using a spoon or the tip of the oyster knife, but leave it in its half shell. Set aside on ice.

Oyster knives are available at gourmet and kitchen supply stores, and typically run about $10. Look for a knife that has a non-slip handle and a guard (the oval or round piece of metal separating the blade from the handle) to protect your hand from slipping.

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