Shuck U: A Short Master Class in the Art of Opening an Oyster

Plated oysters
Photo: iStock

“Be gentle.” And be careful.

These are the two keys for shucking an oyster, the East End’s ultimate pret-a-manger delight, says Patrick McCormack of Shuckers, who you’ve seen plying his craft in the VIP lounge at Dan’s Taste of Two Forks and GrillHampton.

“It’s definitely a skill.” But one you can learn. The right oyster knife (short and ideally with a guard to help prevent your hand from slipping) is essential as well, and a pair of gloves (especially for beginners) and plenty of patience should complete your prep.

Shucking oyster hands
Photo: Andriy Sarymsakov/123RF


Clean off the oyster thoroughly.

Place the oyster in the palm of your hand, flatter side up, or hold down on a flat surface.

Place the knife tip in the groove by the hinge where the shells come together.

Twist the knife at the hinge and it will pop open.

Separate the shells, and slide the knife along the bottom shell to cut the oyster loose.

Slurp. Enjoy.

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