Chilled oysters on a hot summer day are the epitome of an undersea delicacy, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave the shucking to the chef. Jerrett Joslin, executive chef and owner of The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse in Weatherford, Texas shares his tips and techniques that will have you handling oysters like a pro.
“Oyster shucking may seem intimidating but with the correct steps and proper tools it’s really quite simple,” says Joslin. “I prefer to serve oysters with fresh lemon juice or a champagne mignonette so the flavors of the oyster really shine through.”
If you want to impress your friends and family this summer, properly shucking oysters is the way to do it. Below are Joslin’s five simple steps to shuck the perfect oyster:
- Safety first: Wrap the hand that you’ll use to hold the oyster in a dishtowel. Set the oyster on a flat surface and hold it down with your towel-wrapped hand.
- Pop the hinge: When you look at the oyster, you should see that it starts at a point and then flares outward into its shell shape. The hinge is located at the original point. Insert the oyster knife next to the hinge, wiggling it around until you feel it slip inside the shell. Give the knife a twist and you should feel the hinge pop.
- Separate the shells: Keeping the tip of the knife still inside the oyster, run it between the shells toward the top. Once you get to the top, twist the knife again to separate the top and the bottom shells.
- Separate the oyster: Slide your knife under the oyster and cut through the muscles holding it to the shell.
- Slurp and Enjoy: The natural way to consume an oyster is to slurp the meat straight from the shell, usually with a dash of your favorite flavor to liven things up. If you prefer to be more civilized, you can always use a fork to scoop the meat.