If MasterChef has taught us anything this week, it’s that shucking an oyster is not a skill that’s held by your everyday cook. Pete spent much of a recent pearl-themed challenge fiddling with oysters before eventually deciding to steam them open.
If you also have no clue how to master this art, we are here to help. Thankfully, the internet is filled with guides on how to shuck oysters.
How to shuck an oyster at home
If you’ve never learned how to shuck an oyster, you don’t need to run out and spend cash on a chain-mail glove or special device to do it safely.
You’ll need a shucking knife, clearly, but that and a folded up tea towel are all you need to get the job done safely. Dan Souza, from America’s Test Kitchen, shows us that folding the towel and placing it over our fingers will make it much more difficult to harm ourselves in the shucking process.
In this video, Souza explains that professional quality oyster knives are king here because “they’re designed with a textured handle that won’t slip, and a rigid blade with a small point that makes it easy to get inside the oyster”.
Then he takes a tea towel and rolls it up “So you have many layers. The idea is to protect your hands,” he shares. Popping your thumb underneath the rolled-up tea towel makes it “very difficult to stab yourself,” which is pretty useful.
Even if you don’t like raw oysters and prefer yours cooked, getting fresh oysters from a fishmonger or market is much cheaper than buying them pre-processed and canned. Still, if you get fresh oysters, you’ll need to know how to shuck them, regardless of how you plan to prepare them.
Is this how you shuck oysters or do you have a better way? Perhaps you just leave it to the line cooks at your favourite seafood restaurant instead? However you do it, let us know in the comments below.
The Best Way to Shuck an Oyster [America’s Test Kitchen]
This article has been updated since its original publish date.