How to Shuck an Oyster

How to Shuck an Oyster
As Wellfleet natives, knowing how to shuck an oyster is a right of passage.  Raw oysters are commonplace in the kitchens of Wellfleet and Cape Cod. However, figuring out how to unlock this treasure from their protective shells can be challenging, and potentially dangerous! (read on)

Here is our best description on how to shuck an oyster, written by our very own Wellfleetians!  Make sure your oysters are fresh, legally caught, and grown in Wellfleet.

  • Hold the oyster, flat side up, in a cloth or towel, pressed firmly against the work surface.
  • Keep your hand out of the area where the oyster knife could slip.
  • Place the tip of the oyster knife in the hinge and turn your hand, pushing in with steady pressure until you feel the snap.
  • Now give a full twist to make enough of an opening to slide the  oyster knife along the top of the shell, cutting the muscle.
  • The top of the shell is now off and all that is left to do is cut the bottom muscle.
  • Keep the oyster level at all times, so as not to lose any of the juice. Always serve on crushed ice, which holds the oyster level and keeps it cold.

Since many of you are visual learners, here are a few videos on how to shuck an oyster:

Martha Stewart style:


Legal Sea Foods’ Executive Chef Rich Vellante: