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