First shuck the oysters: Scrub the oyster well under warm water and make sure the shell is tightly shut and does not sound hallow when tapped (if it does, the oyster is likely dead and you shouldn't eat it).
Hold the oyster in a kitchen towel with the cup side down so you won't lose any of the liquor. Then, insert a sharp, strong knife (we actually have an oyster knife, but that isn't necessary) at the joint of the oyster. Work the blade until you feel the joint release.
Next, twist the blade ninety degrees to open the oyster. Be careful not to spill the juices!
Scrape the meat off the top of the oyster. Discard top shell. Skim the knife under the meat on the bottom to loosen it up. Be careful not to spill the juices! (Though, some people don't like oyster liquor and elect to pour it off.)
Place a generous dollop of cocktail sauce on top of the oyster, if desired, and slurp.
Home cook, food blogger, cookbook author, wine lover, avid traveler, and mother of two young children. Check out my books: The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life (2012), and The Family Calendar Cookbook: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year (2015), Running Press.