ahi seafood market fairhope

How to Shuck an Oyster

Intimidated by the rock-hard oyster shell staring you down? No worries – we’ve got you!

How to Successfully and Safely Shuck an Oyster

Don’t let the rough exterior and craggy shell fool you – Anyone can learn to shuck an oyster! 


*Special thanks to Admiral Shellfish CompanyMurder Point Oysters, and Toadfish for their published educational materials.

Getting Started

Gather your supplies and clean your oyster. A quick scrub with a sponge or dish towel will do the trick. Then, grab a dish towel, glove, or oven mitt and an oyster knife, such as this one from Toadfish

Steps to Shucking your Oyster

  1. Grip is important! Hold the oyster in your mitt or towel with the flat side up, cupped side down and pointing away from you, so the hinge (or point where the oyster holds together) is pointed at you. View image below for proper grip.

  2. Slide the tool between the shell by applying pressure directly at the hinge, you may need to wiggle the knife while doing so to insert it properly. You will eventually sever the adductor muscle with this motion, this holds the oyster together.

  3. Once severed, use a swift motion and swipe the knife between the shells. You will feel the top of the oyster pop!

  4. Remove and discard the top shell, and any shell debris left on the oyster.

  5. Using your tool, carefully swipe the knife’s blade under the oyster to loosen it from the bottom shell. This will make it easy to eat!

  6. Enjoy with your choice of mignonette, cocktail sauce or a squeeze of lemon.

Did you know:

A tight oyster is a fresh oyster! So, if you struggle with inserting the knife and popping the top shell off, REJOICE! You are about to indulge in a mighty fresh bite.

At our market we carry local, fresh and wild-caught oysters in the shell or pre-shucked as well as fresh oysters from some of the most popular and respected oyster farms in our coastal bay area. We also occasionally get in oysters from coveted locales famous for their particular flavor, such as North Carolina Blue Point and Rose Bay. Let us know what you think!

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