Serves a Crowd

Our Shuck & Slurp method for eating Oysters

January 25, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves As many people as you want
Author Notes

I appreciate a great Oysters Rockefeller every so often, but this is how we usually eat them. The instructions below follow the sequence of these photos. —Kelsey Banfield

What You'll Need
  • As many Oysters as you'd like
  • Cocktail Sauce or a mixture of Ketchup & Horseradish
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Next, twist the blade ninety degrees to open the oyster. Be careful not to spill the juices!
  4. 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.)
  5. Place a generous dollop of cocktail sauce on top of the oyster, if desired, and slurp.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Sodium Girl
    Sodium Girl
  • Annelle
  • lastnightsdinner
  • Kelsey Banfield
    Kelsey Banfield
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.

5 Reviews

Sodium G. January 27, 2010
Thanks for the play-by-play! I learned on YouTube a few months ago when I realized I could by oysters at half the price at the Farmer's Market if I shucked them myself. It's definitely a good skill to have. Awesome pictures too.
Annelle January 26, 2010
WooHoo!! Or fill the shell with as much vodka as it will hold and then cocktail sauce, and slurp....
This looks wonderful!
lastnightsdinner January 25, 2010
Kelsey B. January 25, 2010
Thanks! I just noticed that I uploaded these in order but now they've all been rearranged so the "how-to shuck" order is kind of lost - but you get the idea! :)
lastnightsdinner January 25, 2010
Absolutely! I took some photos of our weekend shucking as well, but yours came out much better :D