Oysters make for a delectable treat no matter how you prepare them, but only if you get a good batch. Here's what you need to know to pick out the best ones.
In this video from the ChefSteps YouTube channel, Marco Pinchot of Taylor Shellfish shares some tips for finding the best oysters anywhere. Oyster shapes and sizes can vary based on the species, how they grow, and where they grow, but the ones that are good for eating all have the same things in common. Here's what you need to look for:
- A flat top.
- A deep cup, or curved bottom half. The deeper the cup, the more room for meat and brine (the salty liquid.)
- A sealed edge along the oyster to tell you the brine is still inside.
Here's what you should avoid:
- Open shells. The brine is probably gone and the meat will be dry.
- Oysters that sound hollow. Give them a tap and listen.
Once an oyster is shucked, the meat should fill the shell, it should feel firm, and there should be lots of brine. If the meat looks dry, toss it out. To store oysters before you've shucked them, place them in a bowl cup-side down, then cover the bowl with a cold, moist towel.