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How to Shuck an Oyster

Since oyster shucking is one of those life skills we all dream of having without accidentally cutting off a hand, we headed to Hog Island Oyster Co. in Marshall, CA to get a lesson from a real pro. Mariko Wilkinson broke it down into five easy steps.

Tip: If you don’t happen to have an enormous rubber glove at home, use a dish towel to protect your hand and keep the oyster steady.

  • 1

    Hold the oyster cupped side down in your hand and locate the hinge where top shell and bottom shell meet. Place the oyster knife in the hinge at a 45-degree angle, pushing and wiggling until knife is stuck.

  • 2

    When the knife is firmly in the hinge, twist and wiggle until oyster releases and the shell pops open.

  • 3

    Use the blade of the knife to cut the muscle, separating it from the top shell.

  • 4

    Scrape out any shell fragments and cut the muscle to release it from the bottom shell.

  • 5

    Add a squeeze of lemon, a dash of hot sauce, or a spoonful of mignonette, if desired, and enjoy!

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