How to shuck oysters without a shucking knife

Food lovers will know that in the kitchen, tools and accessories can quickly pile up. There just seems to be a tool for each food item: egg slicer, apple corer… A shucking knife is one of those tools rarely found in homes. Most seafood lovers don’t own one.

Maybe you have not invested in a shucking knife yet, or you simply cannot find it at the moment when you need it (only to find it 2 months later!).

We think that everyone should be able to enjoy fresh oysters at home, no matter your cooking gear. Oysters are one of the water’s greatest treats and opening them at home can be very satisfying. It is also considerably less expensive than going to the restaurant and the possibilities for sauces are endless.

Fresh Oysters

So today we show you how to shuck oysters at home, without a shucking knife.

You will need:

  • a tea towel
  • a flat-head screwdriver
  • a knife (optional)

How to open an oyster with a screwdriver:

  1. Put the oyster on a thick tea towel and cover your hand with it. This will help prevent any injuries should the screwdriver slip.
  2. Find the hole in the hinge and insert the tip of the flat-head screwdriver.
  3. Start twisting and wiggling the screwdriver. Do it firmly but not too forcefully so you don’t end up breaking the shell.
  4. Once the oyster open, use the screwdriver or a knife to cut the muscle holding the shell closed.
  5. You can now fully open the oyster. Run a screwdriver or a knife under the meat to separate it from the shell.
  6. Enjoy with a mignonette sauce, a hint of lemon juice or any kind of sauce!

If you want to see this method in action, watch this clip from New York chef Shane Lyons who demonstrates how to shuck an oyster with a screwdriver.