HOW TO STORE & OPEN AN OYSTER PROPERLY

STORING OYSTERS

  • When you open your package, remove the baskets from the box and place in the fridge. If stored properly they should last for 9 days after the packing date. If you prefer to remove them from their wooden basket, store "flat side up" to prevent their juice from leaking and cover them with a damp cloth or towel.

  • Do not store your oysters submerged in water or ice, this can kill them. Only put on ice before serving. 

  • Healthy oysters should stay or snap shut when you touch them. They should feel weighty. 

  • Discard any that smell bad or have loose or broken shells.

HOW TO STORE & OPEN AN OYSTER PROPERLY

OPENING (SHUCKING) YOUR OYSTERS

Here are a few pointers to follow:

  • Use a small knife or another thin-edged instrument. An actual oyster knife is great, but a table knife can work as well. You need something with a thin edge that you can work between the shells but that is also strong enough to pry open the shells. Most  people will also want something with which to hold the oyster. A rag or kitchen towel or oven mitt are all good options. At all times you must protect your hands, oyster knives or other opening instruments can slip and injure if not used correctly and carefully. 

  • Hold the oyster with the flatter side up. The cupped side will hold the oyster and its liquid while you shuck it. 

  • Look for the hinge – that point where the shells are joined tighter than just being held together by the muscle that is the oyster. Some people insert the knife right at the hinge, but it's often easier to insert the knife between the shells near the hinge. 

  • Whether you inserted the knife at the hinge or near it, get the knife right into the hinge and  "pop" it open by twisting the knife blade. Sometimes just twisting the knife after you put it  in between the shells will do it, other oysters are more stubborn and you'll need to work the knife fairly far in to be able to angle the knife to get enough leverage to  "pop" the hinge open. 

  • Please Note: Keep it as flat as possible to avoid spilling out too much of the oyster juice inside. 

  • When you've popped the hinge open, slide the knife between the shells, keeping it along the bottom of the top shell—you don't want to mangle the oyster! Most of this sliding will  be very easy, but the point where the oyster is attached to the top shell will provide some resistance that you'll need to cut through. You've now separated the two shells that house the oyster. Remove the top shell (if there is a lot of meat attached to it, use the knife to cut or scrape it off. 

  • Use the shucking knife or a sharp paring knife to cut along the bottom shell to make sure  the oyster is free and clear of that bottom shell too. 

  • Throughout this process, try to keep as much of the liquid in the shell as possible. 

  • You will want to serve oysters as soon after shucking them as possible. You can keep them  cold by placing them on a tray of crushed ice.   

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