How to shuck an oyster

Unlock the hinge

Look for the hinge of the shell. It should look like an exposed seam, which wraps around a smooth corner. Work the seam. Insert the oyster knife into the seam, with the blade parallel to the seam. Use the point to do this, gently but firmly rocking the knife back and forth.

*NOTE - when shucking do not hold onto the oysters but firmly hold oyster against a solid table with a towel.

Insert and twist

Once the knife has been inserted, you can twist the blade to open the hinge a little more. Repeat this process, gradually inserting the oyster knife until you have cut the hinge completely. Now slide the oyster knife along the inside edge between the shell and the meat. As you work at this step, try to keep the oyster level so that the liquid inside doesn't spill out. Some oyster eaters consider this liquid, or liquor, to be the finest part of the oyster-eating experience.

Find the muscle

There's one muscle, which looks like a thick cord that holds the shell tightly together. Use the knife to cut this cord at the point where it adheres to the shell. This can be done in a sort of scraping motion with the knife angled against the shell. Once the cord has been cut, the two halves of the shell should fall neatly apart.

Discard the empty half-shell and place the full one on the serving platter