What’s the best way to shuck oysters? Is it with a blade or by hand? While some will tell you that one method is better than the other, when it comes to cooking oysters you’ll want to know which method is best for you. There are a few ways you can cook them. It all depends on your preference and the size of your oysters.
For those who like the idea of a seafood shuck, I recommend using a sharp knife to remove the oyster from its shell. When you’re ready, carefully flip the oyster over so that the sharp end is pointing up. If you find yourself a little bit unsure about how to shuck, all you have to do is pick the shell open and gently push down on it. Be careful not to poke yourself, as this can cause damage to both the oyster and the inside shell.
If you prefer to make the shuck in the water, one of the easiest methods is using a high carbon steel blade. This will cut through the oysters easily and prevent them from moving around too much. The best part is the fact that you won’t have to worry about getting a large hole in your finger. A high carbon steel blade is going to get quite a bit of muscle memory. After a few tries, you’re going to be able to quickly and efficiently shuck most pear-shaped oysters.
Handling the oysters manually is another popular method of harvesting oysters. This works best when harvesting small ones. Simply hold the shell in your palm and shuck with both hands. This can be a little trickier, especially if you’re dealing with larger oysters. For these you’ll want to use a metal stick or wire glove. Some oysters can be hard to shuck without proper training, so be sure to go slowly and with great care.
A shuck knife is going to be your best bet if you’re on a budget. There are actually quite a few different brands of this type of tool. One of the best companies out there is Spyderco. They have both a folding blade and an electric shucking knife.
Another thing that you should take into consideration is your dexterity. You can either purchase regular knives or a fine titanium shuck knife. A regular knife is going to get ragged sooner and will likely do less damage. The fine titanium models will stay sharp for a longer period of time. Be sure to give them a try before investing in the more expensive models. Even if they cost a little bit more, they will likely last longer and be much better for you.
If you can’t get a good shucking oyster knife, try using butter knives. These work great because they aren’t really sharp. What you do is put your fingers between the oyster and the knife. If you want to make sure that the oysters don’t open, just hold the knife up to the oyster and pull. If they go in easily, you can stick them in the freezer for a few minutes and pull them out later. There are a few different brands of butter knives, so you should be able to find one with the same type of handle.
Last but not least, get some strong gloves. It’s not only necessary to protect your hands, but it’s also a safety precaution to keep you from coming in contact with the sharp ends of shuck oysters. Go ahead and buy a pair of saltwater gloves. This will make the process much easier because you won’t have to worry about your hands getting scratched, cut, or burned. Once you have a pair on, you can start rinsing the oysters out in the brine tank and you’ll be all set.