How to Shuck an Oyster In 5 Steps

All illustrations by Claire McCracken.

Illustrations by Claire McCracken.

1. Place oyster flat side up on a cutting board or hold it in a towel and find the rear hinge where the top half of the shell meets the bottom.

Illustrations by Claire McCracken.

2. Carefully insert a thick-bladed oyster knife into the hinge and give it a twist. You’ll hear a pop as the hinge separates.

Illustrations by Claire McCracken.

3. Run the blade of the knife along the inside of the shell, severing the muscle attached to the top shell. Remove and discard the top shell.

Illustrations by Claire McCracken.

4. With the oyster exposed, run the knife beneath it to sever the bottom muscle.

Illustrations by Claire McCracken.

5. Plate oyster on ice and enjoy.

—As told by George Hastings, two-time national oyster-shucking champion, US Oyster Festival, St. Mary’s County

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