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Opening Oysters

Updated: Mar 20

Getting your oysters open and on the half shell is fundamental for many recipes. Opening oysters can be done several ways.

Shucking Raw Option: Shucking the oysters traditionally means you are shucking and plating the oysters to cook as if you were going to eat them raw. This is our preferred method at the Lynnhaven Oyster Club. We prefer shucking oysters raw to cook for three reasons: Click the arrowheads at left to expand.

Heating Oysters Open: Fire, Oven, Grill, Burner or Microwave: Using heat to boil and expand the water inside an oyster is a tried and true method of opening. For the purpose of opening oysters, you are heating them to the point of "boiling over" and popping open a gap of about 1/8th of an inch between the shells. You will know they are close when you start to see small steam jets escaping from where the oyster shells come together opposite from the oyster's hinge. Once they have opened, remove from heat and allow to cool so the oyster can be safely opened and returned to the heat to finish cooking whatever uncooked topping awaits (such as Oysters Rockefeller). The below techniques are cooking methods too, so if you are simply cooking to then finish with a lemon spritz or a sauce, cook until desired, pull from heat, let cool, remove the flat shell, top and eat.

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