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A close up of a opened rock oyster. It is being held by a person who is also holding a shucking knife.

Summary

Wondering how to shuck Rock Oysters? We believe it's a life skill and it means you can enjoy freshly shucked oysters anytime you like. Our fastest shuckers can open 30 oysters in under 3 minutes!

You will need:

  1. Rock oysters
  2. Oyster knife (a short, sturdy knife with a pointed tip)
  3. Thick cloth or glove to protect your hand
  4. A chopping board

Watch the video below for a guide to opening Rock Oysters with our friend Courtney Roulston, host of Farm to Fork and avid oyster lover.

Step 1: The approach

Put on your glove and locate the oyster’s hinge. Farmed oysters have a nice deep shell with the hinge at their narrowest point. It can be helpful to stabilise the oyster by placing it on a chopping board, a method often used by one of our champion shuckers Sally McLean.

Step 2. Insert the knife 

Position the oyster knife at the hinge at about a 15 degree angle. Apply a gentle pressure and wiggle the knife to ‘drill’ it into the shell until it slips through the hinge. The key here is not to use too much force and just let the knife do the work to reduce the risk of cutting the oyster.

Step 3. Pop the lid & cut the adductor muscle

Now you can push down on the knife, or twist it until the lid lifts with a gentle pop. The next step is to cut the muscle that joins the two shells, the adductor muscle. This muscle can be found at the 2 o’clock position of the oyster and is closely linked to its sweetness – the larger the muscle, the sweeter the oyster. To cut it away from the lid, flatten your blade and slide it under the shell until you feel it cut.

Step 4: Free the oyster from the bottom shell

Take a moment to admire your work, you’re almost there! The next step is to cut the bottom of the adductor muscle from the shell and free the oyster. Run your blade along the inside of the shell until you feel it cut the muscle. You can then use the blade to flip the oyster for better presentation, something we love in to do Australia!

Step 5: Inspect and serve

Check the oyster for any shell fragments. Some people prefer to rinse with water, but we believe the oyster liquor should be enjoyed along with the oyster.

Shucked oysters can be served on ice and are best eaten within half an hour of shucking. If you have to wait, cover and keep chilled at 2-5 degrees.

Read more about storing oysters here.