How to Shuck an Oyster

In Do, September 2016 by Alexandra DrosuLeave a Comment

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Every year, the North Carolina State Capitol Foundation hosts their annual fundraiser, Shuckin’ and Shaggin’: An Oyster Roast, where guests enjoy fresh oysters, craft beer and can learn to shag to live music performed by The Embers.  And, with about 300 attendees, we wondered how many oysters were going to be shucked.

“We anticipate shucking 2,000 Oysters during the event,” says Kevin Marksberry, owner of Shuckers Grill, who is catering the roast. “The best way to shuck an oyster… Let someone do it for you! Seriously, shucking is a big part of the experience whether you slurp them raw, steam or Chargrill them.” Here, Marksberry offers advice on the best way to do it.


• Fresh oysters, unshelled

• A small, strong knife!

• Towel to protect your hand

  1. Understand oyster anatomy. Before you start shucking, take a close look at the oyster so you know how handle it. The hinge is the muscle that connects the top and bottom shells at the pointy end of the oyster.
  2. Grasp an oyster in one hand, cup-side down. The curved side of the oyster should be against the palm of your hand. The point, or hinge, should be facing toward you.
  3. Insert the oyster knife into the hinge. Point it down into the cup of the oyster. Use a twisting motion to separate the top and bottom shells. You should feel the hinge pop when you twist the knife.
  4. Run the blade along the top of the shell. Work the blade as close to the top of the shell as possible, and run it from the hinge around to the other side of the oyster. Continue using a twisting motion to separate the top and bottom shells. The shell will be very tightly closed, so be careful not to let the knife slip.
  5. Pop the top off and do your best not to break the shell into pieces. A few stray bits may get inside, but the shell should stay mostly intact. Don’t tip the shell from side to side or turn it over, or the delicious juices inside will pour out. Enjoy!

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